TORONTO - Average prices for three common types of housing were up year-over-year in most Canadian markets in the first quarter, national real estate company Royal LePage said Thursday.
Royal LePage said the average price for a standard two-storey detached house was up 2.2 per cent in the January-March period compared with a year ago, while the national average price for detached bungalows rose 2.4 per cent.
The average price for condominiums rose 1.2 per cent from first quarter of 2012.
Some local markets didn't fit the national pattern, however.
For example, Vancouver, Victoria and Saint John, N.B., had year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter price declines in all three categories.
According to the Royal LePage survey, the national average price for a two-storey house was $407,044 in the quarter, the bungalow average was $364,857 and the average price for a condos was $246,071.
Vancouver remained by far the most expensive market in Canada with the average price for detached two-storey houses and bungalows above $1 million while the average condo price was $481,250.
Toronto, the country's most populous city and often considered the second-most expensive after Vancouver, followed the national trend to higher prices in all three types of housing.
The Toronto two-storey average in the first quarter was $671,252, the bungalow average was $565,700 and the condo average was $359,671.
Royal LePage president and CEO Phil Soper says the Canadian housing industry is in a very unusual situation.
"The combination of very low mortgage rates and flat home prices, against a background of general economic improvement across the nation, is not something we've seen before," Soper said Thursday.
"Typically one of these variables is moving hard in an opposite direction."
Soper acknowledged that there have been warnings of impending market upset and dramatic price decreases but said there's no evidence of that.
"The current environment is very supportive for housing," Soper added.
The survey's findings of continuing, but slower, year-to-year price increases in most markets is consistent with other real estate reports.
However, Royal LePage also found that in most cities there were also increases between the last quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013 — in contrast with some reports that have shown month-to-month decreases since last summer.