Oakville Sees Steepest Price-Per-Square-Foot Rise in Canada

Cost of a square foot of Oakville home nearly six times higher than 20 years ago
Joannah Connolly
October 23, 2017

Greater Toronto’s desirable suburb Oakville has seen the fastest home price growth in the country, in terms of dollars per square foot of living space, finds a survey released October 23 by real estate brokerage Century 21.

The nationwide study used its own historical and current real estate sales data to examine the price per square foot (PPSF) for a typical home across the major towns and cities in Canada, from Victoria to St John’s, in 1997, 2006 and 2017.

The brokerage found that growth in the price of Oakville’s detached houses outpaced anywhere else in the country over the 20-year period, up 493%, or nearly six times, from $105.77 in 1997 to $627.33 this year. Downtown Montreal condos saw the second-fastest-growing home prices in the nation, up 468% over the same period.

“Oakville was a sleeper neighbourhood for a long time – perhaps kept that way on purpose, because of its unique lifestyle and beautiful lakefront,” Brian Rushton, executive vice-president of CENTURY 21 Canada, told REW.ca in an interview ahead of the survey’s release.

“What has really impacted Oakville prices is the growth in new construction of the past decade or so – including some very large homes on big estates.

“Even though the homes being built in Oakville are large, the price per square foot has increased the highest, largely because of the huge increase in land values.”

Also in the Greater Toronto Area, Markham saw 353% in that time, putting it in sixth place nationally for price growth. Mississauga rose by 309%, Brampton 321% and Newmarket 236%.

Canada’s third-, fourth- and fifth-steepest PPSF rises were seen in Vancouver’s West Side, North Vancouver and West Vancouver respectively.

Vancouver’s West Side was ranked as the highest overall PPSF in Canada this year, at $1,210 per square foot of a typical detached house. Downtown Vancouver condos came in second nationally, at $962.75 PPSF.

The 2017 PPSF for condos in Downtown Toronto ranked as the second-priciest downtown area (and third-priciest area overall) at $818.86, behind Downtown Vancouver but way ahead of Downtown Montreal, at $533.30.

“The Downtown Toronto condo market continues to be on fire, not unlike Downtown Vancouver,” said Rushton. “It’s all about the lifestyle, and it’s where young buyers want to buy. I don’t see that trend ending any time soon. That’s the new reality in Toronto.”

The study also reported that home prices per square foot in Ottawa were among the lowest in Canada at just $215. This is similar to Red Deer in Alberta and less than North Calgary. The nation’s capital has also shown comparatively muted growth over the past 20 years with a 121% increase in PPSF.

Joannah Connolly
Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condo, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 22 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio.