In Toronto, Ms. Sulman noted, “people are working in downtown towers again. Traffic’s gone back to being crazy. Streets are packed. All of those factors point to people coming back to the city.”

Inflated suburban real estate prices grew as much as 46% from 2019-21, while prices in urban cores increased only 19.5% on average in that time, according to a July report from the Bank of Canada.

Suburban markets have much further to fall as a result, said Brendon Ogmundson, chief economist at the British Columbia Real Estate Association in Vancouver.

“Three factors drove unprecedented demand in suburban markets during the pandemic: Free money, a shift in judi slot online terpercaya buyer preferences toward larger homes and remote work,” he said. “Now, interest rates are higher, and mortgage stress tests are more stringent. Larger homes are a lot more expensive.”

Also, work has become a hybrid model for a lot of people, Mr. Ogmundson said, meaning many will need a foothold where their office is located.

During the pandemic, Canadian real estate broke records at “an alarming rate,” some experts warned. In 2021, the Canadian MLS Home Price Index jumped a record 25.3% from 2020. In Toronto, the nation’s largest metropolitan area, average home prices soared 28.3% year over year in that time. The MLS benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver ended 2021 at C$1.23 million (US$890,672), a 17.3% increase over December 2020.

Now, those records are inverting. Canada’s Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price Index fell 3.1% from August to September, the largest monthly decline on record since the index began in 1999 and shattering the previous month’s record decline of 2.4%. The index tracks resales of single-family homes across eleven major Canadian regions.

Some downtown condo markets, however, remain untouched by the downturn, offering better price stability for buyers looking to purchase now.

Toronto condo prices remained steady in October over the previous month, with three-bedroom units even increasing 13% month over month, according to data site Zolo. In Montreal, the Quebec Association of Real Estate Brokers (QAREB) reported last month that condo prices increased 4% over September 2021.

In cities like Montreal, factors like immigration and energy costs are boosting the fortunes and viability of urban centers, according to Charles Brant, director of market analysis for QAREB.

“During the pandemic, energy costs were relatively low, so it wasn’t such a big deal if you had to take a car from a suburb or remote area to access services or get to your job,” he said. “It’s a different story now.”

Rediscovering life in death

“I was only five minutes away from the hotel to the house, but it was the longest run of my life. ” says suicide survivor Elaine Lek, her voice quivering as she recounts the fateful morning of 28 September 2018, when her eldest son Zen Dylan Koh took his life in his college dormitory in Melbourne, Australia.