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Toronto home price growth leaps ahead of Vancouver

Click to play video 'Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver break down latest numbers' Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver break down latest numbers
Dan Morrison from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver explains what the latest numbers mean to home buyers and what the future might hold for 2017 – Jan 4, 2017

Toronto: it’s Canada’s biggest city, and now it has the home price growth to match.

Year-over-year price growth there is officially rocketing up faster than it is in Vancouver, as pointed out in a chart released by BMO senior economist Robert Kavcic on Friday.

This chart from BMO Capital Markets shows Vancouver and Toronto home prices going in separate directions.
This chart from BMO Capital Markets shows Vancouver and Toronto home prices going in separate directions. BMO Capital Markets Economic Research

The chart notes that home prices in Toronto are growing at a rate of 21.1 per cent year-over-year, while in Vancouver they’re “just” growing at 17.8 per cent, as prices there have “fallen outright from four months ago.”

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These trends come after a series of government interventions in Canadian housing markets last year.

First, the B.C. government imposed a 15 per cent property transfer tax on foreign buyers last August.

A sold sign is pictured outside a home in Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, June, 28, 2016.
A sold sign is pictured outside a home in Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, June, 28, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Then, in October, the federal government brought in new mortgage rules that included a stress test to ensure homebuyers can still afford their mortgages if interest rates go up.

Home price trends in Toronto and Vancouver suggest that the foreign buyers tax is having a stronger influence than the changes to mortgage rules, Kavcic wrote.

“No surprise there at all,” he said.

READ MORE: New federal mortgage rules come into effect today

The chart also comes after Metro Vancouver homeowners were shocked to discover how much their properties’ assessed value went up year-over-year earlier this week.

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Many homes’ values went up from 30 to 50 per cent, even as prices have dropped.

However, the assessment numbers reflect property values on July 1, 2016, which was before the provincial government announced the tax on foreign buyers.