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Canadian home prices surged a record 42% in April from a year ago, according to a Canadian Real Estate Association report published Monday, with policy makers largely seeing such gains as reflecting the surge in demand for bigger residences to ride out the pandemic instead of signs of a financial bubble.
The new record increase tops price gains of 32% in March and 25% in February. The report noted this latest figure may be exaggerated because last April was when the market tumbled as the pandemic's first wave discouraged open houses. In dollar terms, the average sales price rose to CAD695,657 from CAD490,082.
The gain came even as sales fell 12.5% in April from March, reflecting another round of tougher public health measures. Sales rose 256% from a year ago, again reflecting a comparison to a very weak April 2020, but still suggesting underlying demand is firm. Prices are also being driven up by tight supply -- the 2-month inventory of homes for sales is close to the March record low of 1.7 months.