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Toronto and Vancouver’s lofty home prices, put into historical context

Home prices in Toronto and Vancouver continue to rise at a blistering pace – and both markets remain the two most expensive in Canada.

As one would expect, average prices in both cities run well above the national average. But going back 35 years, has that always been the case? And how have those price gaps fluctuated over time?

First off, here are sales figures released by the Canadian Real Estate Association on Monday. In Greater Vancouver, the average residential sale price was about $947,000 in October, and for Greater Toronto it was roughly $631,000. Excluding both areas, the national average price was just over $339,000.

For Vancouver, it amounts to an average home price that is 2.79 times greater than the national average. The October ratio is Vancouver's second-highest on record, eclipsed only by a peak of 2.91 reached in February of 1995. For 76 consecutive months, Vancouver's price-gap ratio has run above its 35-year average.

It's a different story in Toronto, where the average price is 1.86 times greater than the national average. While Toronto's ratio has been creeping higher for years, it's still well below a peak reached in April of 1989.

Finally, dating back to 1980, the average monthly sale prices in Vancouver and Toronto have always exceeded the national average.

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