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Ranked: Canada’s Housing Markets, by Price Growth in 2023

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See this visualization first on the Voronoi app.

A bar chart ranking the various Canada housing markets by percentage price growth between September 2022–2023.

Ranked: Canada’s Housing Markets By Price Growth in 2023

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Between 2010 and 2022, real Canadian housing prices jumped 90%, making Canada one of the most expensive and unaffordable housing markets in the world.

We visualize the average price of housing across Canada’s provinces and territories in 2023 (excluding Nunavut), based on data from the Canada Real Estate Association (CREA).

The data visualized above is a mix of averages provided by provincial organizations to CREA as well as benchmarks found using CREA’s MLS® HPI tool. Data from the MLS tool is labeled with an asterisk in the below table, and the methodology behind how it is calculated can be found here.

ℹ️ A “benchmark home” is one whose attributes are typical of homes traded in the area where it’s located, and provides a more accurate price as it accounts for hidden attributes, like above-ground-living-area square footage, presence of unfinished basements, etc.

All prices in this article are in Canadian dollars (CAD). The chart above adds in the U.S. dollar (USD) equivalent based on a 0.74 CAD/USD conversion rate.

One Canadian Housing Market is Not Slowing Down

The average price of a house in the Northwest Territories (NWT) comfortably crossed half a million dollars in September, 2023, a 40% jump from $385,500 a year earlier.

However a house in NWT still costs below the country-wide average of $640,000.

Here’s how the rest of Canada’s housing markets did between September 2022–23, ranked by percentage price growth.

RankProvince / TerritoryAverage House Price
(Sept 2022, CAD)
Average House Price
(Sept 2023, CAD)
YoY Change
1Northwest Territories$385,492$561,080+46%
2Novia Scotia*$370,000$398,000+8%
3Quebec$470,108$499,911+6%
4Alberta$425,132$450,105+6%
5British Columbia$922,152$969,306+5%
6Manitoba$335,488$351,445+5%
7Newfoundland
& Labrador
$285,100$295,400+4%
8New Brunswick*$280,600$292,600+4%
9Ontario$835,848$851,756+2%
10Prince Edward Island*$362,300$365,200+1%
11Saskatchewan*$324,500$328,000+1%
12Yukon$541,363$531,609-2%

Note: *Data from MLS® HPI tool. Other data are average prices. Nunavut data not available from the source.

The price boom in NWT, which picked up pace during the pandemic, is due to a lack of supply and new construction. The territory has also seen greater wildfire risk over the years—in 2023, nearly 70% of the population faced displacement due to encroaching fires. Over the long, hot summer, wildfires wiped out towns and forced the entire city of Yellowknife (population 20,000) to evacuate for three weeks.

The federal government has promised the construction of 50 new affordable homes to mitigate some of the destruction.

While no other housing market has mirrored what’s happening in NWT, every one of them, except the Yukon has seen some sort of price growth.

For British Columbia, and Ontario—the country’s most expensive regions—prices are closer to $1 million than not. Their biggest cities, Vancouver and Toronto routinely feature in annual reports on real estate bubbles around the world.

However, both regions have recently seen a housing supply surge which may cause prices to drop as much as 10% in 2024—still leaving them 15% higher than before the pandemic.

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United States

Charted: U.S. Median House Prices vs. Income

We chart the ever-widening gap between median incomes and the median price of houses in America, using data from the Federal Reserve from 1984 to 2022.

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A cropped chart with the ever-widening gap between median house prices vs. income in America, using data from the Federal Reserve from 1984 to 2022.

Houses in America Now Cost Six Times the Median Income

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

As of 2023, an American household hoping to buy a median-priced home, needs to make at least $100,000 a year. In some cities, they need to make nearly 3–4x that amount.

The median household income in the country is currently well below that $100,000 threshold. To look at the trends between median incomes and median house prices through the years, we charted their movement using the following datasets data from the Federal Reserve:

Importantly this graphic does not make allowances for actual household disposable income, nor how monthly mortgage payments change depending on the interest rates at the time. Finally, both datasets are in current U.S. dollars, meaning they are not adjusted for inflation.

Timeline: Median House Prices vs. Income in America

In 1984, the median annual income for an American household stood at $22,420, and the median house sales price for the first quarter of the year came in at $78,200. The house sales price-to-income ratio stood at 3.49.

By pure arithmetic, this is the most affordable houses have been in the U.S. since the Federal Reserve began tracking this data, as seen in the table below.

A hidden caveat of course, was inflation: running rampant towards the end of the 70s and the start of the 80s. While it fell significantly in the next five years, in 1984 the 30-year fixed rate was close to 14%, meaning a significant chunk of household income went to interest payments.

DateMedian House
Sales Price
Median Household
Income
Price-to-Income Ratio
1984-01-01$78,200$22,4203.49
1985-01-01$82,800$23,6203.51
1986-01-01$88,000$24,9003.53
1987-01-01$97,900$26,0603.76
1988-01-01$110,000$27,2304.04
1989-01-01$118,000$28,9104.08
1990-01-01$123,900$29,9404.14
1991-01-01$120,000$30,1303.98
1992-01-01$119,500$30,6403.90
1993-01-01$125,000$31,2404.00
1994-01-01$130,000$32,2604.03
1995-01-01$130,000$34,0803.81
1996-01-01$137,000$35,4903.86
1997-01-01$145,000$37,0103.92
1998-01-01$152,200$38,8903.91
1999-01-01$157,400$40,7003.87
2000-01-01$165,300$41,9903.94
2001-01-01$169,800$42,2304.02
2002-01-01$188,700$42,4104.45
2003-01-01$186,000$43,3204.29
2004-01-01$212,700$44,3304.80
2005-01-01$232,500$46,3305.02
2006-01-01$247,700$48,2005.14
2007-01-01$257,400$50,2305.12
2008-01-01$233,900$50,3004.65
2009-01-01$208,400$49,7804.19
2010-01-01$222,900$49,2804.52
2011-01-01$226,900$50,0504.53
2012-01-01$238,400$51,0204.67
2013-01-01$258,400$53,5904.82
2014-01-01$275,200$53,6605.13
2015-01-01$289,200$56,5205.12
2016-01-01$299,800$59,0405.08
2017-01-01$313,100$61,1405.12
2018-01-01$331,800$63,1805.25
2019-01-01$313,000$68,7004.56
2020-01-01$329,000$68,0104.84
2021-01-01$369,800$70,7805.22
2022-01-01$433,100$74,5805.81

Note: The median house sale price listed in this table and in the chart is from the first quarter of each year. As a result the ratio can vary between quarters of each year.

The mid-2000s witnessed an explosive surge in home prices, eventually culminating in a housing bubble and subsequent crash—an influential factor in the 2008 recession. Subprime mortgages played a pivotal role in this scenario, as they were issued to buyers with poor credit and then bundled into seemingly more attractive securities for financial institutions. However, these loans eventually faltered as economic circumstances changed.

In response to the recession and to stimulate economic demand, the Federal Reserve reduced interest rates, consequently lowering mortgage rates.

While this measure aimed to make homeownership more accessible, it also contributed to a significant increase in housing prices in the following years. Additionally, a new generation entering the home-buying market heightened demand. Simultaneously, a scarcity of new construction and a surge in investors and corporations converting housing units into rental properties led to a shortage in supply, exerting upward pressure on prices.

As a result, median house prices are now nearly 6x the median household income in America.

How Does Unaffordable Housing Affect the U.S. Economy?

When housing costs exceed a significant portion of household income, families are forced to cut back on other essential expenditures, dampening consumer spending. Given how expanding housing supply helped drive U.S. economic growth in the 20th century, the current constraints in the country are especially ironic.

Unaffordable housing also stifles mobility, as individuals may be reluctant to relocate for better job opportunities due to housing constraints. On the flip side, many cities are seeing severe labor shortages as many lower-wage workers simply cannot afford to live in the city. Both phenomena affect market efficiency and productivity growth.

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