Canadian home prices fell in the fourth quarter but they are still well above pre-pandemic levels, a report from Royal LePage found.
In the Royal LePage House Price Survey released on Friday, it said the national aggregate home price dropped 2.8 per cent on a year-over-year basis in the fourth quarter, to $757,100.
This marked the first year-over-year decline since the end of the 2008, during the financial crisis.
“It may be headline-grabbing to say that prices are down by double digits, yet well less than one per cent of property owners completed their purchases in February or March of last year, when the pandemic-driven urgency to buy and serious housing supply shortages came together to create a final spike in prices,” said Phil Soper, president and chief executive officer of Royal LePage, in the report. 
The Greater Vancouver Area and Greater Toronto Area both posted record year-over-year house price declines in the fourth quarter. The aggregate price of a home in Vancouver dropped by 3.5 per cent to $1,208,900, while the average cost fell by 4.6 per cent in the Greater Toronto Area to $1,068,500.
However, some markets reported a jump in housing prices. 
The aggregate price of a home in Calgary increased by 3.9 per cent to $599,100 on a year-over-year basis in the fourth quarter, while home prices rose by 2.2 per cent to $544,300 in the Greater Montreal Area.
“While the red-hot market conditions are behind us, there remains a widespread shortage of homes in Canada that cannot be offset by temporarily cooling demand,” Soper said. 
He added that record immigration rates, high levels of employment and strong savings will put pressure on limited housing supply once again, which will drive home prices up. 
“Soon enough, these buyers will return to the market and will be met, once again, with the realities of low inventory and much competition,” he said.