Canadian Housing Market Continues to Thrive into 2014

Remarkable, resilient, rejuvenated—few words better summarize the developments in Canadian housing markets in 2013.  From proverbial underdog to comeback kid, real estate once again out-performed expectations. 

Our RE/MAX Housing Market Outlook 2014 examined trends and developments in 25 major centres across the country.  Released on December 11th, the report found that the number of homes sold is expected to match or exceed 2012 levels in two-thirds of markets examined in 2013.  Nationally, home sales are expected to hit a five-year high of 466,000.  The price of an average Canadian home is forecast to climb to $380,000—setting a new record for price. 
Not bad for a market that started with a whimper as opposed to a bang.

Housing values have been incredibly stable this year, propped up by relatively balanced market conditions. Ontario-Atlantic Canada markets showed steady price appreciation throughout the year, with Hamilton-Burlington, Barrie and District, St. John’s and the Greater Toronto Area all reporting increases of five per cent or more in 2013.

While the national picture has been quite rosy in terms of sales activity, the regional performance has been spottier—particularly in Atlantic Canada.  East Coast sales have softened over last year’s level, but the region is poised for future growth.

Solid economic performance, low interest rates, and rising consumer confidence will all factor into next year’s outlook.   The momentum that emerged in most residential housing markets in the final half of 2013 is expected to spill over into 2014.   Sales and average price are on an upward trajectory, with the number of homes changing hands across Canada forecast to climb to 475,000, while average price is expected to edge higher, settling at $390,000 by year-end 2014.

Halifax-Dartmouth is expected to lead in terms of percentage increases in projected housing sales.   Hamilton-Burlington, Barrie and District, Kingston and Area, and Windsor-Essex are expected to round out the top five performances in Ontario-Atlantic Canada.  The Greater Toronto Area is expected to lead the country in terms of percentage increase in average price, followed by St. John’s, Hamilton-Burlington, Kingston and Area, and Windsor-Essex.

 

The framework is now in place to support steady and sustainable growth in Canadian housing markets over the next few years.  After several rounds of mortgage tightening, buyers are more realistic in their pursuits. Most are coming to the table better qualified than ever before.  Given underlying fundamentals, the future looks bright for residential real estate in Canada.

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