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Home prices surge again in Richmond Hill, Markham
'Increased foreign buyer activity' cited as one cause
July 14, 2016
Kim Zarzour  

Richmond Hill homeowners continue to ride the crest of a housing price wave that saw double-digit growth across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) during the second quarter of 2016, according to a survey released yesterday.

The Royal LePage Housing Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast released Wednesday reported the highest national year-over-year gain seen in five years – primarily in the Greater Vancouver and Toronto areas.

The median prices of two-storey homes and bungalows in the GTA rose 11.4 per cent and 10.7 per cent year-over-year respectively, the survey showed, with strongest growth found in regions outside of Toronto’s city limits.

Richmond Hill experienced the largest gains in appreciation east of British Columbia, with aggregate prices surging 21.3 per cent to $992,632 — in part due to increased foreign buyer activity, the survey said.

Markham house prices were also boosted by foreign buyers, seeing an increase of 12.4 per cent year-over-year in the second quarter to reach $825,753.

“Multiple offers are now the norm, as rock-bottom interest rates and the relative value of the yuan and U.S. dollar have encouraged many to buy Canadian, resulting in an unprecedented level of demand within the region,” noted the survey.

Vaughan was not far behind, with prices increasing by 10.1 per cent to $780,699.

Home builders appear to be responding to the price jumps.

The Toronto Real Estate Board, which reported a 17 per cent rise in June home prices earlier this month, said at the time that lack of supply in the city was “of paramount importance.”
New numbers on housing construction starts, however, may give some relief. Housing starts jumped to an annualized pace of 218,333 units in June, the Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation said Monday.

That’s the highest since September and a 17 per cent increase from a month earlier – suggesting builders are responding the rising prices in Vancouver and Toronto areas.