In the RE/MAX National Spring 2016 Trends Report, it’s the best of times and the worst of times for real-estate in communities across Canada. High demand and low supply continue to characterize Vancouver’s and Toronto’s housing markets throughout 2015 as competition from Buyers over the limited inventory of single family homes pushes prices higher.
The average residential sale price increased 17 per cent in Greater Vancouver and 10 per cent in the Greater Toronto Area, to approximately $947,350 and $622,150, respectively. As demand shows no signs of waning, these markets are expected to continue to see price appreciation in 2016, of seven per cent in Greater Vancouver and five per cent in the Greater Toronto Area. In these competitive markets, sellers want to ensure they maximize the value of their homes, while buyers look for guidance during the fast-paced bidding process. In a recent Leger survey conducted for RE/MAX, 70 per cent of homeowners agreed REALTORs® provide value when buying or selling a home. Regions outside of Canada’s highest-priced cities reported a spillover effect from the price increases in Greater Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area continuing a trend that RE/MAX reported this spring.
There were significant year-over-year price increases in Victoria (13%), Fraser Valley (10%), Hamilton-Burlington (12%) and Barrie (8%). New Canadians and foreign investors continued to be an important demographic of buyers in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Attracted to Canada’s stable economy and low Canadian dollar, this trend is expected to continue through 2016. In Alberta, a year after the sudden drop in oil prices, housing markets in Calgary and Edmonton showed slower activity but haven’t experienced significant price adjustments. The average residential sale price in Calgary saw a five per cent decrease, due primarily to a larger proportion of sales at the lower end of the market. In Edmonton, the average price increased by two per cent despite more inventory on the market. An ongoing $5 billion development project in downtown Edmonton has stimulated the local economy and helped to keep employment levels up, mitigating the impact of oil industry layoffs.
As buyers in these markets continue to feel uncertain, the average sale price is expected to decrease in 2016, by 3.5 per cent in Edmonton and four per cent in Calgary. Outside of B.C. and Southern Ontario, high inventory continued to be a significant factor affecting the markets in many cities, including Saskatoon, Regina, Montreal, Quebec City, Halifax and St. John’s. This is primarily due to a period of increased construction. Though new construction slowed down in most of these cities, it will take some time for the market to absorb the product.
RE/MAX 2016 average residential sale price expectation for Canada is an increase of 2.5 per cent as Canadians continue to see home ownership as an important milestone as well as a good investment.