Fun & Fabulous

Where Irish immigrants live in Canada

Significant numbers of Irish live in many cities across Canada — and Toronto and Vancouver don't even crack the top 10! If you really want to increase your luck, head to Peterborough, ON, Saint John, NB or St John's, Nfld
real estate markets where the Irish live
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Irish immigrants have spread far and wide and many of them ended up in the Great White North. In fact, there are 38 urban centres in Canada where there are a significant number of Irish descendants — and Toronto and Vancouver don’t even crack the top 10!

Here are the Canadian real estate markets where Irish immigrants and their descendents live:

1. Peterborough, Ontario

% of city’s population that is Irish: 31.76%

$410,707 average sales price in January 2019 (+4.5% y-o-y)

Due in part to the new mortgage stress test rules, Peterborough’s housing market was especially hot in November and December 2017. In January 2018, that frothy activity calmed down a bit as did the number of listings. But over the course of the year, the market started to level out. As a result, there was a year-over-year increase of 4.5% in property prices from January 2018 to January 2019, from $392,958 to $410,707, respectively. 

2. Saint John, New Brunswick

% of city’s population that is Irish: 29.84%

$165,344 average sales price in January 2019 (-11.2% y-o-y)

Activity is certainly down when comparing January 2019 to January 2018 (a year-over-year drop of 11.4%), reflecting the drop in sales activity, which was a fifth of what it was in 2017.  Those looking to buy or sell right now are in a great position, given the price correction and slower sales activity. 

3. St. John’s, Newfoundland

% of city’s population that is Irish: 29.73%

$296,610 average sales price in January 2019 (-5.2% y-o-y)

Sales activity for both single-family homes and strata (or multi-family) properties was down, once again, throughout 2018. As a result, year-over-year prices for properties in St. John’s dropped by 5.2%. This is good news for buyers with secure employment and a desire to get into the city’s property market. 

4. Kingston, Ontario

% of city’s population that is Irish: 27.55%

$366,002 average sales price in January 2019 (-2.1% y-o-y)

What a difference a year can make? Last year, around this time, prices in Kingston, Ontario, had increased by almost 20%. Now, a year-over-year comparison shows that home prices dropped by 2.1% from $366,002 in January 2019 to $374,043 in January 2018.  

5. Charlottetown, PEI

% of city’s population that is Irish: 27.11%

$208,971 average sales price in January 2019 (-3.7% y-o-y)

While property moved quickly in Charlottetown in 2017, sales activity in the largest city in PEI certainly calmed right down in 2018, prompting sales price declines. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association’s housing statistics, home prices declined by 3.7%, year-over-year from $208,971 in January 2019 from $216,957 in January 2018.  

6. Fredericton, New Brunswick

% of city’s population that is Irish: 26.02%

$171,669 average sales price in January 2019 (-4.9% y-o-y)

Residential prices dropped between January 2018 and January 2019 dropped by almost 5%, after a stagnant year-over-year ending in December 2017 (there was a 1% increase in sale prices between January 2017 and January 2018). For sellers, the market is certainly not that favourable. The biggest issue was the impact of the mortgage stress test that was introduced in January 2018. Despite recent sales activity and price drops, most Realtors in New Brunswick consider the market correction to be complete and 2019 will offer stable, if not stagnant sales activity. 

7. Halifax, Nova Scotia

% of city’s population that is Irish: 23.57%

$309,597 average sales price in January 2019 (+5.9% y-o-y)

In recent year, the supply of homes in Halifax has dropped. As a result, property prices in this city have consistently risen — 8.9% from January 2017 to January 2018 and 5.9%, year-over-year increase, between January 2018 and January 2019. 

8. Barrie, Ontario

% of city’s population that is Irish: 23.45%

$464,400 average sales price in January 2019 (-2.7% y-o-y)

Now is the time to buy in Barrie. Average sale prices dropped again, year-over-year, from January 2018 to January 2019. Given these price reductions, sellers will need to adjust their expectations. This makes the market ideal for buyers sitting on the sidelines.  

9. North Bay, Ontario

% of city’s population that is Irish: 22.86%

$261,014 average sales price in February 2019 (12.7% y-o-y)

Residential sales activity in North Bay, on a year-to-date basis, for the first two months in 2019 was up 5.7% from the same period in 2018. The average price of homes sold in the region in February 2019 was $261,014, an increase of 12.4% from February 2018.

10. Sarnia, Ontario

% of city’s population that is Irish: 22.71%

$349,441 benchmark price in January 2019

Sarnia, Ontario, house for sale
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If you were looking for a deal on a moderately-priced home in the Sarnia-Lambton, Ontario housing market, then 2018 was your year. Now, sellers will be happier to learn that 2019 is showing strong activity, according to CREA statisticsResidential listings were up 13.2% from January 2018. This has paid off for sellers with just over $31,000,000.00 in sales, a 10-year high and a 20% increase over January 2018.

11. Oshawa, Ontario

% of city’s population that is Irish: 21.94%

$487,000 average price in March 2019 (-3.3% y-o-y)

Housing prices are down slightly in Oshawa, Ontario. This is good news for buyers who have had to wade through a few years of hot, hot real estate activity in this South-Eastern Ontario city. These days, the housing market is not just impacted by the mortgage stress test or the across-the-board real estate sales activity slowdown, but also by local, economic difficulties. The news in late 2018 that the massive GM plant located in Oshawa had and will continue to have an impact on the city’s economy, including the real estate market. 

12. Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

% of city’s population that is Irish: 21.35%

$183,046 average price in February 2019 (+26.4% y-o-y)

Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, house for sale
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The average price of homes sold in Sault Ste Marie, in February 2019, was $183,046, rising 26.4% from February 2018. Overall supply has been moving lower over the last few years. Active residential listings numbered 478 units at the end of February, a decrease of 11% from the end of February 2018 and a decade low for this time of the year. Months of inventory numbered 6.7 at the end of February 2019, up a bit from the 6.1 months recorded at the end of February 2018 but still below the long-run average of 8.6 months for this time of year.

13. Whitehorse, Yukon

% of city’s population that is Irish: 20.35%

$454,446 average sales price (for Yukon) in January 2019 (-5.5% y-o-y)

Whitehorse, Yukon house for sale
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In early 2018, the Government of Canada announced investment plans that would see $33 million pumped into neighbourhood development and housing in the Whitehorse area. Despite this investment, housing prices in the Yukon dropped 5.5% to $454,776 in January 2019 from $482,418 in January 2018. 

14. Victoria, British Columbia

% of city’s population that is Irish: 19.90%

$680,200 benchmark price in January 2019 (+4.2% y-o-y)

Listings in Victoria, B.C.  are beginning to increase. A total of 329 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region — a decrease of 23.7% year-over-year from January 2018 to January 2019.  Sales of condominiums were down 5.9% from January 2018 while, sales of single-family homes were down 29.3% from January 2018  to January 2019. 

15. London, Ontario

% of city’s population that is Irish: 19.82%

$387,859 average sales price in January 2019 (+11.2% y-o-y)

According to the London St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR),  announced 525 homes were sold in January 2019, up 17.4% over January 2018. A positive note, for sellers, is that the number of resale home sales was higher than the 10-year average, with the second highest number of units sold in January since 2010.

16. Greater Sudbury

% of city’s population that is Irish: 18.70%

$232,199 average sales price in January 2019 (+5.7% y-o-y)

Sudbury, Ontario house for sale
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This year offered a quiet start for buyers and sellers in Sudbury‘s real estate market. Sales activity was down 22.7% year-over-year from January 2018 — but stood close to the same-month average sales activity for the period between 2015 and 2017. The average price of homes sold in January 2019 was $232,199, up 5.7% from January 2018.

17. Ottawa, Ontario

% of city’s population that is Irish: 18.48%

$432,849 average price in January 2019 (+1.5% y-o-y)

Ottawa, Ontario house for sale
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January is typically one of the slowest months of the year for local real estate and that can be particularly true for cities hit hard by winter, Yet, in spite of record cold and snowfall, sales activity is up almost 16% in Ottawa.  This is the highest number of January transactions the city has experienced in decades. The average sale price of a residential home sold in January 2019 in the Ottawa area was $432,829, a year-over-year increase of 1.5% over January 2018. The average sale price for condominiums was $283,990, a year-over-year increase of 7.7% from January 2018. 

18. Moncton, New Brunswick

% of city’s population that is Irish: 18.27%

$177,600 benchmark price in February 2019 (+1.6% y-o-y)

Moncton, NB, house for sale
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According to Chris Constantine, President of the Greater Moncton REALTORS® du Grand Moncton, the first couple of months have been a record-breaking start to 2019. The surge in sales activity is partly due to continued strong demand combined with the lowest inventories in a decade. The overall MLS® HPI composite benchmark price for Greater Moncton was $177,600 in February 2019, a small year-over-year increase of 1.6%.

19. Thunder Bay, Ontario

% of city’s population that is Irish: 18.18%

$225,500 median price for single-family home in January 2019 (+8.2% y-o-y)

Thunder Bay, Ontario house for sale
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The median number of days on market for single detached homes in Thunder Bay, ON, was 21.5 in January 2019, down from the 33 days recorded in January 2018. The median sale price for single detached homes in Thunder Bay in January 2019 was $225,500, up 8.2% from the median price in January 2018.

20. Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

% of city’s population that is Irish: 17.84%

$225,343 benchmark price in January 2019 (-39.5% y-o-y)

Yellowknife, NWT house for sale
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It’s pretty hard to ignore the impact a slowing economy and the mortgage stress test has had on the housing market in the Northwest Territories, in general, and in the city of Yellowknife, in particular.  The year-over-year price decline was almost 40% — a pretty significant decline for an area with limited real estate market activity. 

21. Kelowna, British Columbia

% of city’s population that is Irish: 17.51%

$509,545 benchmark price in February 2018 (+6.0% y-o-y)

Kelowna, BC, house for sale
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As buyers were priced out of the Vancouver market, Kelowna appeared to be a good option but now sellers are starting to feel the chill of the cross-Canada cooldown. Residential sales in January 2019 were down 4% compared to December 2018 and 31% down from January 2018.  

22. Hamilton, Ontario

% of city’s population that is Irish: 17.42%

$552,000 average sales price in March 2019 (+2.9% y-o-y)

The City of Hamilton gets more and more popular, even after the housing market correction. Demand for four-bedroom and five-bedroom homes are up and properties typically sit on the market for an average of 27 days. However, sellers of properties priced at $1-million or more may notice that it takes much, much longer to sell a home from an average of 16 days on the market in February 2018 to 58 days in February 2019.  

23. Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario

% of city’s population that is Irish: 17.10%

$484,076 average price in January 2019 (+5.3% y-o-y)

Like all Ontario cities, the Kitchener-Waterloo real estate market certainly felt the impact of the mortgage stress test. January was surprisingly busy with an above average number of home sales. According to Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Association, sales activity was up 15% in January 2019, compared to the previous 10-year average for January. The average sale price of all residential properties sold in January increased by 5.3% to $484,076 compared to January 2018.  

24. Chilliwack, British Columbia

% of city’s population that is Irish: 16.85%

$384,000 average price in January 2019 (-19.4% y-o-y)

Chilliwack, BC house for sale
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The real estate market in Chilliwack is certainly reeling from the impact of the mortgage stress test. The average days on market is now 37 with homes listed for under $250,000 going from an average of 11 days on the market in February 2018 to 32 days in February 2019; homes listed between $250k and $500k went from 13 to 42 days and homes listed above $500k went from 19 to 32 days. 

25. Regina, Saskatchewan

% of city’s population that is Irish: 15.39%

$262,800 benchmark price in February 2019 (-5.1% y-o-y)

According to the Association of Regina Realtors, sales in Greater Regina are off to a  positive start in 2019. The benchmark price in February 2019 was $262,800 down 5.1% from $277,000 one year ago. Over the last five years, the Benchmark price is down 12.3%.

26. Medicine Hat, Alberta

% of city’s population that is Irish: 15.29%

$242,302 average sales price in January 2019 (-21.3% y-o-y)

According to the Medicine Hat Real Estate Board a total of 59 units were sold in January 2019 — a decrease of 13.2% (nine sales) from January 2018. The average price of homes sold in Medicine Hat in January 2019 was $242,302, falling 21.3% from January 2018.

27. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

% of city’s population that is Irish: 14.75%

$286,500 benchmark price in January 2019 (-4.1% y-o-y)

The asking price of homes for sale in Saskatoon decreased by 1.23% since March 2018, while the number of homes for sale has decreased by 0.52%. 

28. Lethbridge, Alberta

% of city’s population that is Irish: 14.42%

$293,288 average sales price in December 2018 (+10.9% y-o-y)

Sales activity in Lethbridge, AB, was down 20.3% from the record set in December 2017, however, that year-over-year decline was more a reflection of how sales surged in December 2017 as buyers rushed to get deals done in advance of the new government mortgage stress test. The average price in December 2018 was $293,288, jumping 10.9% from December 2017.

29. Calgary, Alberta

% of city’s population that is Irish: 14.16%

$456,000 average price in February 2019 (-9.6% y-o-y)

Calgary‘s real estate market really took a hit after the January 1, 2018 mortgage stress test came into effect. As economic challenges linger into 2019, Calgary’s housing market remains at a sluggish pace. January sales totalled 804 units, 16% below last year and 21% below long-term averages for the month.

30. Edmonton, Alberta

% of city’s population that is Irish: 14.08%

$354,598 average sales price in February 2019 (-5.47% y-o-y)

Edmonton, Alberta houses for sale
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Edmonton real estate slowed in 2018. Average days on market for all homes increased from 64 days in February 2018 to 73 days in February 2019. New listings also dropped by 8.55%, year-over-year. 

31. Abbotsford, British Columbia

% of city’s population that is Irish: 12.77%

$555,000 average price in February 2019 (-12% y-o-y)

Current Abbotsford MLS stats indicate an average house price of $554,611 with the median days on market for a home now at 26 days. While property priced under $250k has not been seriously impacted, when it comes to the average number of days a property sits on the market, all property priced above $250k was being impacted.

32. Winnipeg, Manitoba

% of city’s population that is Irish: 12.52%

$327,045 average sale price for detached homes in February 2019 (+6.5% y-o-y)

Winnipeg, Manitoba, houses for sale
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The Winnipeg real estate is stable. January 2019 MLS sales increased by 11% over the same month last year and 8% over the 5-year average for January.  

33. Vancouver, British Columbia

% of city’s population that is Irish: 11.18%

$1.2-million average price in March 2019 (-5.1% y-o-y)

Prices in Vancouver continue to drop but average sales prices for single-family homes are still above the $1-million mark. However, homes priced below $1-million are the properties sitting on the market for longer, with homes listed above $1-million still being snapped up within 20 or so days. 

34. Toronto, Ontario

% of city’s population that is Irish: 9.18%

$865,000 average price for March 2019 (+2.3% y-o-y)

Current Toronto MLS stats indicate an average house price of $864,945 and 3,592 new listings in the last 28 days. As of today, Toronto housing data shows median days on market for a home is 19 days — a fairly quick turnaround for anxious sellers.    

35. Montreal, Quebec

% of city’s population that is Irish: 5.84%

$480,000 average price of single-family homes as of December 2018 (+7.0% y-o-y)

Montreal, Quebec houses for sale
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Overall, the number of new listings in 2018 were down by 7% and sales were up by 3%.

36. Sherbrooke, Quebec

% of city’s population that is Irish: 5.66%

$206,474 average sales price in January 2018 (-18.7% y-o-y)

Sherbrooke, Quebec houses for sale
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While the total number of sales was up 6% in January 2018, when compared to the same time in January 2017, the overall amount of new listings on the market is trending downward, with a drop of 13%. This could encourage more buyers to make a move before inventory becomes too low that prices rise higher.

37. Quebec City, Quebec

% of city’s population that is Irish: 4.92%

$257,000 average expected sales price in 2019 (+3% y-o-y)

Quebec houses for sale
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A strong labour market, rising disposable income, and high consumer confidence will boost home sales in 2019. The Quebec Realtors Association expects a slight 1% increase in the number of transactions in 2019, for a new record of 87,650 sales. The median price of a single-family home is expected to increase by 3%, to $257,000.  

38. Trois-Rivieres, Quebec

% of city’s population that is Irish: 3.76%

$155,000 average sales price in December 2018 (+2% y-o-y)

Trois-Rivieres houses for sale
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With a population just under $135,000, the Trois-Rivieres real estate market is still struggling. At present, the unemployment rate sits at 7% and almost half of the population earns less than $50,000 per year. Still, the Trois-Rivieres market is ticking along with sales prices inching up year-over-year. 

Sources: CREA National Price Map, Jens von Bergmann / Censusmapper.ca, CMHC, Centris, FCIQ, Statistics Canada Census 2016

Romana King
Romana King

Romana is an award-winning personal finance writer with an expertise in real estate. She is obsessed with the property marketplace and is the current Director of Content at Zolo.

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