Blog by Mark Longpre

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Canadian home prices remain in reach

OTTAWA - There's a $2-million gap between the most and least expensive housing markets in North America when it comes to "aspirational homes," according to a report released Wednesday by real estate firm Coldwell Banker.

It said the average price of a 2,200-square foot single-family home, with four bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms, tops out at $2.1 million US in the San Diego neighbourhood of La Jolla and hits bottom in Grayling, Mich., at $112,675 US.

In Canada, average prices for such homes range from $1.3 million in Vancouver to $158,667 in Charlottetown.

"Compared to many major markets throughout the world, Canadian real estate looks like a bargain," John Geha, president of Coldwell Banker Canada Operations ULC, said in a statement.

Vancouver was the 10th most expensive spot for this kind of housing in North America. But just a 20-minute drive out of central Vancouver, in Burnaby, B.C., the average price of a 2,200-square-foot home drops by about half, to $657,250.

No Canadian locales cracked North American top-10 list in terms of affordability, but it did include the "Motor City" border town of Detroit at $132,000 US. Just across the border in Windsor, Ont., the average price was about twice as much at $244,000.

In Alberta, Fort McMurray was the most expensive market for 2,200-square foot homes at $638,000, passing the province's biggest cities - Calgary at $525,525 and Edmonton at $432,250.

The most expensive market for the homes in question outside of North American was Singapore with an average price of $1.9 million US, while the least expensive was in Salinas, Ecuador, at $69,375 US.

Derek Abma, Financial Post