Housing prices rose the most in these 5 spots in Canada in 2023

Houses for sale in Ottawa

Mauricie, Que., had the biggest increase at 17.3%

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In a housing market dominated by high interest rates and slowing sales, home prices remained stubbornly elevated across the majority of Canada as the curtain fell on 2023. The most recent data released by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) revealed that, between December 2022 and December 2023, benchmark home prices in 42 out of the 56 housing markets tracked by the group gained ground. Here are the five that ended 2023 with the biggest increases:

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Mauricie, Que.

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Benchmark home price: $264,400
Change: +17.3 per cent

Located between Montreal and Quebec City and encompassing the Trois-Rivières and Shawinigan markets, the Mauricie ended the year with benchmark home prices up 17.3 per cent over the previous December. The region’s three- and five-year gains are even more stunning, at 66.6 per cent and 108.5 per cent, respectively.

Named for the Saint-Maurice river that runs through the region, Mauricie experienced the highest rate of population growth in Quebec between 2021 and 2022, according to the Institut de la statistique du Québec. Its attractiveness may have something to do with just how low home prices there are: Among the benchmark prices tracked by CREA, it was the lowest.

Sudbury, Ont.

Benchmark home price: $437,900
Change: +15.1 per cent

In 2023, Sudbury’s real estate market was entrenched in seller’s territory, a trend that is expected to endure through 2024. According to a report from ReMax, the strength in Sudbury’s market is being propelled by a confluence of factors: heightened interest from out-of-city investors in the rental market, first-time homebuyers setting their sights on properties within the $350,000 to $500,000 range, and a surge in demand for luxury waterfront properties from move-up buyers migrating from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

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Combine that with a slowdown in new construction projects due to high interest rates and municipal development charges, and the result is robust demand for existing properties.

Greater Moncton

Benchmark home price: $350,700
Change: +12.6 per cent

In Greater Moncton, N.B., the benchmark price increased 12.6 per cent year-over-year, reaching $350,700 in December. This increase points towards a growing interest in the region, potentially driven by its affordability compared to larger urban centres. the benchmark price for the region is less than half of the national price.

That affordability, however, is being eroded. The benchmark price for single-family homes surged to $345,100, a 13.6 per cent year-over-year increase. Townhouses and row units increased more moderately, reaching a benchmark price of $264,000, up by 6.1 per cent compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, the benchmark price for apartments fell, settling at $280,000, reflecting an 11.4 per cent decrease from year-ago levels.

Bancroft, Ont.

Benchmark home price: $551,900
Change: +12.5 per cent

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In March of 2023, a financial services company Desjardins predicted that Ontario would undergo a substantial housing correction, with declines of up to 25 per cent on average across the province. It single out Bancroft as the most vulnerable market, with potential downside of 50 per cent.

The group’s worst-case scenario, however, failed to materialize. According to CREA, Bancroft’s year-over-year benchmark home price actually increased again, and finished the year  12.5 per cent ahead of December 2022 levels. That made it the fourth-highest benchmark price increase in the association’s studied area.


Benchmark home price: $568,000
Change: +10.5 per cent

The only major city in the top five for 2023 was Calgary, where benchmark home prices registered a 10.5 per cent year-over-year increase in December. According to a recent report out of the Calgary Real Estate Board, migration into Alberta has created consistently tight housing conditions leading to price increases across the city.

The report found that for five straight quarters, more than 30,000 people per quarter have migrated to Alberta, reaching a record 56,306 in the third quarter of 2023. The province had an increase in both international and inter-provincial migration, with 45,194 people moving in from other provinces between the first and third quarters of 2023.

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Although the board predicts that inter-provincial migration will decrease in 2024, and Calgary’s population growth will slow from 4.7 per cent in 2023 to 3.6 per cent in 2024, gains from recent years are likely to keep demand high.

• Email: shcampbell@postmedia.com

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