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38 Canadian real estate markets where the Irish live

There are significant numbers of Irish in many Canadian cities — and Toronto and Vancouver don't even crack the top 10!
real estate markets where the Irish live

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 significant numbers of Irish descendants — and Toronto and Vancouver don’t even crack the top 10!

Here’s a list of the 38 Canadian real estate markets where the Irish live.

1. Peterborough, Ontario

Irish: 31.76%

$392,094 average sales price in January 2018 (+19.9% y-o-y)

Peterborough, ON, house for sale

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. Those looking to buy these days are likely to notice reduced inventory, down 8.5% from January 2017. 

2. Saint John, New Brunswick

Irish: 29.84%

$183,373 average sales price in January 2018 (+11.7% y-o-y)

Saint John house for sale

While activity might have been down compared to January of 2017 (a year-over-year drop of 20.4%), the average sale price has remained high at $183,373 (up 11.7% year-over-year). Those looking to buy or sell right now will probably start to notice the market smoothing out and becoming less frothy and more balanced. 

3. St. John’s, Newfoundland

Irish: 29.73%

$317,987 average sales price in January 2018 (+5.5% y-o-y)

St. John's, NFLD, house for sale

The sale of single detached homes was down by 3.6% in St. John’s when compared with the rest of Canada, which experienced a 2.4% year-over-year reduction in sales activity for single-family homes, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). This is good news for buyers in this city since the inventory of homes has increased 4.2% from the same time last year.

4. Kingston, Ontario

Irish: 27.55%

$369,923 average sales price in January 2018 (+18.8% y-o-y)

Kingston, ON, house for sale

In Kingston, Ontario, it’s buyer beware as we head into 2018. Inventory levels in this city are at historical lows, with 34.2% fewer listings year-over-year in January 2018. Either would-be buyers are entering seller’s territory — with more demand than supply — or sellers are holding off to try and get a better sense of how the market will unfold in 2018. 

5. Charlottetown, PEI

Irish: 27.11%

$222,533 average sales price in January 2018 (+9.8% y-o-y)

Charlottetown, PEI, house for sale

Stronger demand means that available inventory in Charlottetown, and across Prince Edward Island, is being snapped up. In fact, there were only 883 active listings — a 26.4% year-over-over drop from January of 2017. If you are looking to get into this real estate market, you might want to strike sooner, rather than later.

6. Fredericton, New Brunswick

26.02% of the city’s population is Irish

$175,873 average sales price in January 2018 (+1.0% y-o-y)

Residential prices have remained relatively unchanged at $175,873 (only up 1% since January 2017). Due to the fact that inventory has been trending downwards, this relative stability in price may not have a very long shelf life. (CREA)

7. Halifax, Nova Scotia

Irish: 23.57%

$291,070 average sales price in January 2018 (+8.9% y-o-y)

Halifax, NS, house for sale

While the supply of homes continues to drop, the number of sales in Halifax was one of the healthiest on record (since 2012). The average sale price rose 8.9% to reach $291,070 in January 2018, according to CREA.

8. Barrie, Ontario

Irish: 23.45%

$522,053 average sales price in January 2018 (+8.7% y-o-y)

Barrie, ON, house for sale

Now is the time to buy in Barrie. Average sale prices dropped from January to February 2018 and inventory is creeping up. Sellers will probably need to adjust their expectations, particularly those listing homes for more than half a million — inventory in this price bracket is now sitting on the market four times longer than a year ago. Thing is, this makes the market ideal for buyers sitting on the sidelines.  

9. North Bay, Ontario

Irish: 22.86%

$227,284 average sales price in January 2018 (-2.6% y-o-y)

North Bay, ON, house for sale

The beginning of 2017 was much more active than 2018, with a reported decrease of 22.4% in residential sales activity. The average sales price was also down 2.6% from January of 2017, which signals to buyers that if you have already found the perfect house now might be the best time to buy. (CREA)

10. Sarnia, Ontario

Irish: 22.71%

$291,201 benchmark price in January 2018

Sarnia, Ontario, house for sale

If you are looking for a more moderately-priced home, you might be in luck. The Sarnia-Lambton, Ontario housing market is showing progressive slowdowns, with the number of sales dropped by 27%, year-over-year, and the number of listings down 26%, year-over-year, according to CREA.

11. Oshawa, Ontario

21.94% of the city’s population is Irish

$502,000 benchmark price in January 2018 (-16% y-o-y)

Oshawa, Ontario house for sale

Housing prices are down almost across the board in Oshawa Ontario, which is good news for buyers. The city has been through a few years of hot, hot real estate activity. New listings are up 22% for detached, down 4% for townhomes and up 133% for condos, according to Zolo real estate trends

12. Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Irish: 21.35%

$166,102 benchmark price in January 2018 (+17.2% y-o-y)

Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, house for sale

The number of residential sales in Sault Ste. Marie was impressively high in January of 2018, with an increase of 50.9%, when compared to January of 2017. This is the second highest sales activity increase on record (the first was in 2008). Listings are down 11%, year-over-year, according to CREA, but the market is in a balanced territory with CREA reporting six months of inventory available at the end of January 2018. 

13. Whitehorse, Yukon

Irish: 20.35%

$326,619 average sales price in January 2018 (-2.0% y-o-y)

Whitehorse, Yukon house for sale

The Government of Canada is planning on investing $33 million into neighbourhood development and housing in the Whitehorse area. For those looking to buy in this city, now might be a good time to get in on the ground floor before land prices start increasing and housing prices start rising.

14. Victoria, British Columbia

Irish: 19.90%

$633,400 benchmark price in January 2018 (+14.3% y-o-y)

Victoria, BC, house for sale

The market in Victoria is beginning to feel the heat, but this time the pressure is on sellers to adjust with numbers falling across the board when compared to a year ago. Sales of condominiums were down 15.5%, year-over-year and single-family homes sales were down 24.4%, year-over-year, according to the Victoria Real Estate Board

15. London, Ontario

Irish: 19.82%

$349,848 average sales price in February 2018 (+10.8% y-o-y)

London, Ontario house for sale

January 2018 was a tough month for sellers looking to exit the London, Ontario market. It was an unseasonably tough winter and this kept many buyers away from open houses and listing showings. A byproduct of this is that inventory has suffered, with new home listings down 31.8% compared to one of the strongest months in region history (January 2017). 

16. Greater Sudbury

Irish: 18.70%

$219,599 average sales price in January 2018 (-15.9% y-o-y)

Sudbury, Ontario house for sale

Last year was the peak of this area’s five-year high, according to CREA. The average price of a home was up to $259,458 and buyers can continue to expect sellers to ride this high demand especially as declining inventory pushes demand even higher.

17. Ottawa, Ontario

Irish: 18.48%

$427,487 benchmark price in January 2018 (+8.8% y-o-y)

Ottawa, Ontario house for sale

The number of new listings in the Ottawa market is unseasonably low when compared to the last five years. The average home price has increased by 8.8%, while the average condominium price decreased by 8.6%. Keep in mind, the Ottawa trend goes against what buyers and sellers are experiencing in other markets, where condominiums and townhomes remain in high demand.

18. Moncton, New Brunswick

Irish: 18.27%

$179,900 benchmark price in January 2018 (+8.7% y-o-y)

Moncton, NB, house for sale

Average sale prices for homes in the Greater Moncton area rose 8.7% in January of 2018 (compared to 2017), with emphasis on single-family detached (7.9%) and semi-detached homes (8.7%). The only real area of weakness was in townhomes, which only increased 2.3%. Add to this strong market a lack of inventory — it’s a five-year low for listings — and 2018 may be a great year for sellers in Moncton, New Brunswick.

19. Thunder Bay, Ontario

Irish: 18.18%

$216,912 benchmark price in January 2018 (+7.1% y-o-y)

Thunder Bay, Ontario house for sale

The market in Thunder Bay, for sellers, is currently favourable to single detached homes. They spent fewer days on the market in January 2018 (35) than in January 2017 (52). While the median sale price was down 1.7% when compared to last year, the amount of time each home spends on the market is indicative of a healthy market for those looking to sell and in Thunder Bay, demand is increasing for single-family detached homes! 

20. Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Irish: 17.84%

$372,550 average sales price in January 2018 (+9.0% y-o-y)

Yellowknife, NWT house for sale

Yellowknife features the second highest vacancy rate out of the major northern cities, at 4.2%. The city has also experienced a surge of new home developments. In 2016, there were 59 new builds, the highest since 2004. Also, the market for condominiums remains strong, which means there are plenty of choices available to buyers throughout the area.

21. Kelowna, British Columbia

Irish: 17.51%

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

Kelowna, BC, house for sale

As buyers are priced out of the Vancouver market, Kelowna has shown an increase in both sales volume (+27%) and new listings (+45%), when compared to this time last year. Young buyers, who are interested in condos, are flocking to the area, spurring more development and opportunities for purchases. 

22. Hamilton, Ontario

Irish: 17.42%

$531,610 average sales price in January 2018 (+2.9% y-o-y)

Hamilton, ON, house for sale

As more folks continue to be priced out of Toronto, the City of Hamilton gets more and more popular. Now this city is a hotbed for buyers in the market for two-bedroom detached homes (up 25% from last year to a total of $492,000). Demand for larger homes and condos are down, and the average days on market remains high (27 days for a two-bedroom home).

23. Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario

Irish: 17.10%

$445,532 average sales price in January 2018 (+6.9% y-o-y)

Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario house for sale

Historic low levels of inventory have come to define the local market in the Kitchener-Waterloo region. Average prices amongst all residential properties increased by 6.9%, year-over-year, which has not deterred buyers in a market where demand is far outpacing supply at this current moment. 

24. Chilliwack, British Columbia

Irish: 16.85%

$508,261 benchmark price in February 2018 (+20.6% y-o-y)

Chilliwack, BC house for sale

Compared to one year ago, the average price of a detached home in Chilliwack has gone up 25%. This is frustrating for buyers who have had to deal with a hot interior B.C. market for a few years now. Some are saying that strong year-end sales for 2017, was more about beating out the new mortgage rules than demand, but supply is also at an all-time low — the lowest since 1993 — so the buyer demand may not decrease all that much in 2018. 

25. Regina, Saskatchewan

Irish: 15.39%

$279,400 benchmark price in January 2018 (-4.8% y-o-y)

Regina, SK house for sale

When compared to the remainder of Canada, Regina’s influx of listings in 2017 is almost gargantuan in scope with 19% increase from 2016. This has created a buyer’s market in this city with an almost 5% decrease in the average selling price within the city. This is the rare case where both supply and demand might be on more even terms.

26. Medicine Hat, Alberta

Irish: 15.29%

$307,845 average sales price in January 2018 (+22.5% y-o-y)

Medicine Hat, AB house for sale

Medicine Hat has experienced a slight increase of listings on the market in January 2018 (209) compared to January 2017 (199). But the real headlines were the big jumps in the province’s average housing prices. South Central Alberta had a 64.6% increase, year-over-year, followed by Medicine Hat and Fort McMurray (+12.4%) and Calgary (+0.2%). Yet, the months over inventory in the province sits at 8.1 months — putting most of the province firmly in a buyer’s market. 

27. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Irish: 14.75%

$293,300 benchmark price in January 2018 (-4.1% y-o-y)

Saskatoon, SK house for sale

The past few months of market activity have been positive for Saskatoon, as well as the surrounding area. The number of transactions increased by 11%, followed by a 1% increase in average sale price. Purchasing activity is especially motivating for buyers on the higher end of the spectrum, with a 65% increase in homes sold within the $400,000 to $1-million range. 

28. Lethbridge, Alberta

Irish: 14.42%

$264,534 average sales price in January 2018 (-1.2% y-o-y)

Lethbridge, Alberta houses for sale

While the total number of listings available on the market has decreased from January 2017 (463) to January 2018 (381), the number of total sales has increased (+23%) going into 2018. This could signify increased buyer confidence in this real estate market, going forward or it could be the last of the frantic activity as the new mortgage stress test kicks in and rates are poised to rise. 

29. Calgary, Alberta

Irish: 14.16%

$426,500 benchmark price in January 2018 (-0.5% y-o-y)

Calgary, Alberta houses for sale

Even as other parts of Canada start to feel the cooling effect of new mortgage qualification rules and the potential of increasing mortgage rates, Calgary’s real estate market is going strong. Even with a 0.5% decrease in the average sales price from 2017 to 2018, the city is poised for a strong 2018. In February 2018, we saw a 5% to 6% increase in average sale prices (from January 2018) and predictions show prices will start to rise as we go through 2018.

30. Edmonton, Alberta

Irish: 14.08%

$359,134 average sales price in January 2018 (+0.6% y-o-y)

Edmonton, Alberta houses for sale

The growth in Edmonton real estate has been slow and steady, with a gradual uptick month-after-month. Sales in January of 2018 were up 14.23% when compared to January of 2017. At the same time, the year-over-year price of row houses and duplexes, as well as condominiums, were all down (-2.06% and -7.04%, respectively). An increase in listings signals more of a buyer’s market, with large supply giving buyers time to sort through their options to find the perfect home.

31. Abbotsford, British Columbia

Irish: 12.77%

$982,700 benchmark price for single-family detached in January 2018 (+0.6% y-o-y)

Abbotsford, BC, houses for sale

The Fraser Valley area market has strengthened over the course of the year. In Abbotsford alone, the average price for a detached home has increased by 18.1% compared to this time last year. While, in Mission, the increase was less pronounced but just as evident (10.9%). The lack of incoming supply, in particular, has been driving prices in this area up and up. 

32. Winnipeg, Manitoba

Irish: 12.52%

$280,439 average sales price in January 2018 (+2.9% y-o-y)

Winnipeg, Manitoba, houses for sale

Winnipeg is almost stable to a fault. Unlike any other city in Canada, the sales stats from January 2017 to January 2018 show little-to-no change in statistics, with the two year reporting eerily similar numbers in sales, listings, and volume. As a result, this city boasts an even playing field between buyers and sellers, making it a good, stable, balanced market. This may change in 2018 if the new mortgage rules might hamper buyers as we progress through the year.

33. Vancouver, British Columbia

Irish: 11.18%

$1,056,500 benchmark price in January 2018 (+16.6% y-o-y)

Vancouver, BC, houses for sale

Prices in Vancouver continue to climb, as it continues to claim the top spot in Canada’s most expensive real estate markets. As of February 2018, average prices for all detached homes was $2.4-million, down 2% from February 2017; townhome prices have remained stable over the last year, while the average prices for condos was actually up 14% from February 2017 to February 2018, with three-bedroom condos experiencing the largest year-over-year gains from $1.7-million in February 2017 to $2.4-million in February 2018.

34. Toronto, Ontario

Irish: 9.18%

$743,200 benchmark price for January 2018 (+5.2% y-o-y)

Toronto, Ontario houses for sale

The Greater Toronto real estate market has been on a wild roller coaster ride these last few years and prices and sales activity for detached homes, townhomes and condos have fluctuated a great deal over the last 18 months. As of February 2018, average prices for all detached homes was $1.3-million, down 18% from February 2017; townhome prices have remained relatively stable over the last year, while the average prices for condos were up 10% from February 2017 to February 2018, with one-bedroom condos experiencing the largest year-over-year gains from $435,000 in February 2017 to $491,000 in February 2018.   

35. Montreal, Quebec

Irish: 5.84%

$355,500 benchmark price as of January 2018 (+5.17% y-o-y)

Montreal, Quebec houses for sale

As is the case in many of Canada’s largest cities, the end of 2017 was good to condos in Montreal. The average number of sales rose 22%, compared to 2017, while the median price rose 4% to $236,000, according to Centris.

36. Sherbrooke, Quebec

Irish: 5.66%

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

Sherbrooke, Quebec houses for sale

While the total number of sales was up 6% in January 2018, when compared to the same time last year, 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

Irish: 4.92%

$263,532 average sales price in January 2018 (+0.4% y-o-y)

Quebec houses for sale

Quebec City is an interesting case when compared to some of Canada’s other big cities. While median prices for detached homes are up 3%, the price of condominiums have dropped by 2%, as well as the number of active listings (-6.0% y-o-y).  

38. Trois-Rivieres, Quebec

Irish: 3.76%

$142,411 average sales price in January 2018 (-12.1% y-o-y)

Trois-Rivieres houses for sale

Statistics were down across the board in Trois-Rivieres, amongst the total amount of sales (-12%), new listings (-8%), active listings (-11%), and sales volume (-24%). Because it is the start of the year — and Quebec winters are notoriously poor — we may begin to see things perk up as we head into the spring. 

To put all these markets in context, the Canadian benchmark price was $481,562 in January 2018, a +2.3% year-over-year increase. A benchmark price is a specific measure used by the Canadian Real Estate Association. It’s based on a sale price that is predicted in a certain area for a general property. It’s determined by the Housing Price Index (HPI), which is designed to smooth out the outliers in the marketplace and create a more reliable, consistent and timely way of gauging changes in home prices in a given area. The MLS HPI tracks price levels at a point in time relative to price levels in a base, or reference period.

The average sale price is found by taking the total dollar sales volume and then dividing this number by the total number of sales. While this number does give a real-world snapshot of actual sales activity, it can be biased by outliers. For instance, if a lot of lower-priced properties or a few very high priced homes sell within a short period of time, these sales can pull the average down or up, even if the activity is an anomaly in that specific market.

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