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Moving up: 'Aspirational homes' still affordable

Sandor Fizli/Sandor Fizli

Home prices are rising again, but the cost of moving up to that "aspirational home" in Canada is still affordable because of low mortgage interest rates, real estate firm Coldwell Banker said Wednesday. Transferring to Singapore? Not so affordable.

In its annual survey comparing the prices of 2,200-square-foot, four-bedroom houses in 345 North American markets - homes suitable for "middle-management corporate transferees" - Coldwell Banker found that Vancouver remains the most expensive market in Canada, and the 10th most expensive in North America, for corporate up-and-comers.

The average 2009 list price of Vancouver homes in the surveyed category was $1.26-million.

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Coldwell Banker also looked at housing prices outside of North America and found that, "compared to many major markets throughout the world, Canadian real estate looks like a bargain," John Geha, president of Coldwell Banker Canadian operations, said in releasing the survey results.

The study looked at single family homes (with 2 1/2 bathrooms) of the type "usually purchased by move-up buyers experiencing lifestyle changes," Mr. Geha said.

"Despite record-breaking prices in many of Canada's major markets, these homes are selling, as buyers take advantage of today's historically low interest rates," he said. "These move-up buyers have been a critical component in our resurgent real estate market, and will continue to play a major role in Canada's recovering economy."

The cost of "moving up," by city

  • Vancouver: $1.26-million
  • Toronto: $824,347
  • Victoria: $663,000
  • Burnaby, B.C.: $657,000
  • Fort McMurray, Alta.: $638,000
  • Calgary: $525,525
  • Scarborough, Ont.: $481,750
  • Oakville, Ont.: $469,500
  • Montreal: $469,250
  • Burlington, Ont.: $464,025
  • Kelowna, B.C.: $444,475
  • Mississauga, Ont.: $443,333
  • Edmonton: $432,250
  • Waterloo, Ont.: $400,833
  • Winnipeg: $390,368
  • Saskatoon: $381,975

Where the bargains are (under $300,000)

  • Charlottetown: $158,667
  • Brantford, Ont.: $239,750
  • Lindsay, Ont.: $243,100
  • Windsor, Ont.: $244,000
  • Moncton: $276,843
  • Halifax: $277,302
  • Collingwood, Ont.: $290,000
  • Barrie, Ont.: $295,000

North America's 10 most expensive markets(in U.S. dollars)

  • La Jolla, Calif.: $2.12-million (U.S.)
  • Beverly Hills: $1.98-million
  • Greenwich, Conn: $1.52-million
  • Palo Alto, Calif.: $1.49-million
  • Santa Monica, Calif.: $1.46-million
  • San Francisco: $1.36-million
  • Boston: $1.34-million
  • Newport Beach, Calif: $1.3-million
  • Palos Verdes, Calif.: $1.24-million
  • Vancouver, B.C.: $1.17-million

Overseas posting? Better negotiate some financial assistance

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  • Singapore: $1.89-million (U.S.)
  • Milan: $1.64-million
  • Florence: $1.61-million
  • Shanghai: $1.38-million
  • Bucharest: $1.37-million
  • Hamilton, Bermuda: $1.35-million
  • Rome: $1.26-million
  • Dublin: $1.13-million

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