Canada's 21 Hottest Neighbourhoods

Defining "hot" as homes experiencing  price increases over the past year and over the past month, these are the hottest neighbourhoods in which to sell homes in Canada right now:

• Toronto (3 areas)
• Toronto suburbs (8)
• Vancouver (2)
• Vancouver suburbs (1)
• Ottawa (1)
• Ottawa burbs (2)
• Winnipeg (2)
• Halifax (1)
• Regina (1)
Over the past year - from April 2008 to April 2009 - average prices in 21 neighbourhoods increased by up to 17%.
And from the month of March '09 to April '09, average prices jumped by up to 16%, according to our CENTURY 21 Canada survey covering 10 major cities.

Dodging the Worst of Recessionary Trends

Seems that these Canadian neighbourhoods have dodged the recessionary trends - and we found that more than 100 other big city neighbourhoods in Canada are experiencing resurgent house prices after months of languishing in the financial doldrums!

Some of the most sizzling house markets include:

• Centennial Park area, in Etobicoke, ON (suburb of Toronto) - Average price of $302,052 in April 2009, up 17% over April 2008; 4% increase over March '09
• Langley, B.C. - township 30 km. east of Vancouver - Average price of $490,354 in April 2009, up 12% over Apr. '08; 15% increase over Mar. '09
Halifax, NS - northeast shores of harbour - Average price of $222,756 in April 2009, up 11% over Apr. '08; 11% increase over Mar. '09

An additional 17 neighbourhoods had price increases of 10% to 27% over the past month from March 2009 to April 2009, but experienced declines over the past year from April 2008 to April 2009.

Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary each have two of these neighbourhoods, while the others are Richmond Hill, Brampton, North York, Etobicoke (these 4 in the Toronto area), Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Abbotsford, Port Moody, and Burnaby (the last 3 in BC).

Word on the Street as I Cross Canada

The survey results support what I'm hearing right now in my annual Canada-wide tour of housing markets. Although most markets have been impacted by the recession, some have neighbourhoods in which prices are resilient and stronger today than a year ago, and many have neighbourhoods that are getting stronger month by month this spring.

And this survey should serve as a reminder to Canadian homeowners to avoid relying on city, provincial or national 'averages' to gauge their local neighbourhood housing markets.

Instead, sellers should always monitor the selling prices of similar homes in their own neighbourhoods - and buyers should monitor selling prices of typical homes in the neighbourhoods where they want to live.

What's happening in house sales on your block? Do you live in any of these hot neighbourhoods (or wish you did)? Leave your comments below!


  1. Esto 06/11/2009 at 11:20 PM

    Well Don it's fine to say avoid relying on city averages, and go to smaller geographic areas, but you have to be careful. I mean, why stop at these large neighbourhoods you have defined, why not go to groups of blocks? Or why stop at groups of blocks, why not go right to the single block? And why stop there, why not go right to my own single house, and analyze it?

    I'll tell you why: volume.

    Apples to apples, oranges to oranges. The smaller the area you pick to gauge house price trends, the more dangerous it is that you have picked the wrong sales to compare. When you get to a very small geographic area, it is possible that you end up comparing apples to oranges.

    What if the $302,000 average price today is based on a bunch of 2,600 sq.ft 2-stories? But last year’s $290,000 was actually based on a bunch of 2,000 sq.ft townhomes?! See the problem? That error occurs because, the smaller the market, the less diversified the actual sales in a given month.

    The solution is either larger geographic areas, or larger time periods. The latter can be accomplished by using a 3-month or 6-month moving average. The problem with that, however is that, like larger zones mask these “hotness” trends you allude to, longer time periods mask them as well.

    There is no real solution to finding the best measure of price trends. Not in housing markets anyways. It’s probably the most difficult economic commodity to analyze. Good luck!

  2. Don Lawby 06/12/2009 at 10:36 AM

    The whole point that we are making is that the markets are local and specific. The easiest way is using an area salesperson who will complete a Market Analysis for you and/or provide information on the area or property.
    - Don

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