As winter unfolds in Canada, the real estate landscape is witnessing shifts in home prices. The national benchmark price, which peaked in June 2023 at $760,600, has been on a downward trajectory for the past five months, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). This article explores the dynamics of home prices this winter, focusing on the key question: Where are home prices dropping the most in Canada?

Canadian Real Estate Trends:

Most major markets, including Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Winnipeg, have seen a decline in prices since the summer. Seasonality plays a role, with colder months traditionally seeing a slowdown in sales activity. However, rising borrowing costs have also contributed to this trend.

Identifying the Declining Markets:

Zoocasa analyzed benchmark price data for 21 major Canadian markets to identify the cities experiencing the largest price drops. Surprisingly, only three out of the 21 markets have seen a price increase since June.

Ontario’s Affordability Challenges:

Ontario cities, in particular, have witnessed a change in affordability. Kitchener-Waterloo tops the list with the most significant decline, experiencing an 8.9% drop since June. London & St. Thomas, Greater Toronto, and Hamilton-Burlington have also seen benchmark prices fall by more than 7%, stabilizing closer to pre-pandemic levels.

Notable Exceptions:

Calgary, St. John’s, and Saint John stand out as the only markets that have not experienced a price decline since June. Calgary, in particular, has seen a 10.5% increase in home prices since November 2022, making it relatively affordable with a benchmark price of $557,400 in November 2023.

Single-Family Home Prices in Ontario:

The seven cities experiencing the largest percentage drops in benchmark prices for single-family homes are all in Ontario. Kitchener-Waterloo leads with a 9.7% decrease since June 2023. However, buyers across the country can still find opportunities in more affordable markets like Regina, Winnipeg, Halifax-Dartmouth, and Edmonton.

Condo Market Resilience:

Demand for more affordable property types, particularly condos, has remained steady in 2023 despite higher interest rates. While Kitchener-Waterloo, Greater Toronto, and London & St. Thomas experienced over 4% drops in benchmark condo prices since June, condo prices grew in nine cities. Saint John and St. John’s saw the strongest growth, increasing by 12.9% and 7.4%, respectively.

Guidance for Homebuyers:

For those looking to enter these markets, seeking advice from a local real estate agent is crucial. Local experts can provide specific information and guidance tailored to the unique dynamics of each real estate market.

Navigating the winter real estate market in Canada requires a keen understanding of the cities experiencing the most significant drops in home prices. As affordability shifts and market dynamics evolve, potential buyers can make informed decisions with the assistance of local real estate professionals.