The recently released 2009 Coldwell Banker Home Price Comparison Index (HPCI) found a price gap of more than $2 million between the most expensive and most affordable North American markets for the studied 2,200 square foot home. In the annual comparison of similar homes in 345 North American markets, La Jolla, CA led the list as the most expensive real estate market on the continent with an average home price of $2,125,000 US. Vancouver, B.C. placed 10th on the North American most expensive list at $1,174,241 US ($1,262,625 CDN) topping the 35 Canadian markets studied. Grayling, Michigan was North America’s most affordable market, one of 20 similarly-priced communities on the most affordable list. Canada’s most affordable major market of Charlottetown, PEI was narrowly edged out of the North American top ten most affordable markets. A similarly-sized home there costs only $147,560 US ($158,667 CDN).
Internationally, Singapore, $1.9 million US dollars, was the most expensive market for the same type of home compared with Salinas, Ecuador, $69,375 US dollars, was the most affordable studied international market.
Differing from most housing reports which compare median prices, the annual Coldwell Banker HPCI, provides an apples-to-apples comparison of similar 2,200 square foot, four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath homes in Canada, the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and a sampling of 56 countries/territories outside of North America where Coldwell Banker Real Estate has a presence.
“While Canadian home prices have been on the rise again following a brief market downturn, today’s historically low interest rates have kept the dream of homeownership within reach for most of today’s homebuyers,” says John Geha, president of Coldwell Banker Canada Operations ULC. “Compared to many major markets throughout the world, Canadian real estate looks like a bargain.”
The study’s 4-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home is what would typically be sought for middle-management corporate transferees. “It’s what we call the ‘aspirational home’ and is usually purchased by move up buyers experiencing lifestyle changes,” explains Geha. “Despite record-breaking prices in many of Canada’s major markets, these homes are selling, as buyers take advantage of today’s historically low interest rates. These move-up buyers have been a critical component in our resurgent real estate market, and will continue to play a major role in Canada’s recovering economy.”
Highlights and Top Market Lists
- Vancouver leads the hot-again west coast at over $1.17 million US ($1.26 million CDN) dollars for the studied home, nearly double that of nearby Burnaby, BC at $611,243 US ($657,250 CDN). Toronto comes in at $766,643 US ($824,347 CDN)
- Boomtown Fort McMurray at $593,340 US ($638,000 CDN) surpasses both Calgary at $488,831 US ($525,525 CDN) and Edmonton at $401,993 ($432,250 CDN) as Alberta’s most expensive market.
- East meets West, as Winnipeg, MB with $363,042 US ($390,368 CDN), Saskatoon, SK at $355,237 ($381,975 CDN); Whitehorse, YT $341,775 US ($367,500 CDN) and St. John’s, NF $324,338 US ($348,750 CDN) all post ‘aspirational home’ prices in the mid to upper $300,000s
- Charlottetown remains the country’s most affordable market, priced at $147,560 US ($158,667 CDN). Brantford, ON at $222,968 US ($239,750 CDN), Moncton, NB at $256,843 ($276,175 CDN), and Halifax, NS at $257,891 US ($277,302 CDN) were some of the other more affordable Canadian markets in the study. Including Charlottetown, there are 85 North American markets in which the sample home price averages under $200,000 US.
- The most expensive market outside North America is Singapore, where an HPCI subject home averages $1.9 million US dollars, more than $630,000 higher than Vancouver. Singapore was followed by Milan and Florence, respectively, each with prices surpassing $1.6 million US for the subject home.