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RE/MAX Real Estate Outlook

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RE/MAX Real Estate Outlook 2011

RE/MAX Outlook 2011 Text


Residential values expected to climb
further in 2011 as housing sales
stabilize in most major centres, says RE/MAX
Although improved economic fundamentals will have a positive impact on Canadian housing markets moving forward, the forecast for residential real estate sales remains static in most major centres in 2011, according to a report released by RE/MAX.
The RE/MAX Housing Market Outlook 2011, examining trends and developments in 26 major centres across the country, found that home-buying activity in 2010 fell short of 2009 levels. Housing values, however, continued to climb, with virtually all areas reporting an upswing in average price, ranging from just under one per cent to 15 per cent this year. Lower inventory levels in many markets offset the effects of diminished demand, propping-up price in almost every instance. Kitchener-Waterloo, Quebec City, and St. John’s saw the greatest increases in average price this year, while Eastern Canadian markets including Hamilton-Burlington, Sudbury, Windsor, Moncton and Prince Edward Island were the only markets that bucked the downward trending in home sales in 2010.
By year-end, approximately 441,000 homes are expected to change hands nationally, a five per cent decline from the 465,251 sales reported in 2009. Housing values are forecast to continue to climb, up an estimated seven per cent to $340,000, compared with $320,333 one year earlier.
In terms of resale housing activity, what many are talking about as the new normal is actually a return to the traditional real estate cycle. The past decade was truly unprecedented—never before have we experienced a run up that was as strong or lasted as long.   As we have digressed from the typical pattern, people have forgotten what the usual healthy cycle looks like, but all the hallmarks are there. Ample inventory levels, steady demand, and moderate growth, both in terms of sales and prices, will characterize the market in 2011. While the pace may appear lackluster in comparison to what we’ve grown accustomed to, it underscores the principles of real estate 101: The market is cyclical. All boats rise and fall with the tide.
Greater stability is expected to characterize the markets in 2011, with Canadian housing sales predicted to mirror 2010 levels at 441,000 next year, while average price is forecast to escalate three per cent to $350,000 by year-end 2011.
Looking forward, we see steady improvement in provincial and local economies—which will bode well for housing markets across the board. The relentless drive in the market reminiscent of years past will be gone and instead, we can expect to see more normal, balanced market conditions, with buyers maintaining a slight edge.
Markets in British Columbia are forecast to lead the country in terms of percentage increases in sales activity next year, with Greater Vancouver expected to climb 10 per cent, followed by Victoria at eight per cent and Kelowna at six per cent.   After a prolonged period of economic hardship, Windsor is once again on track for growth, with residential home sales predicted to climb five per cent.                                                                         
Almost all markets are reporting an anticipated increase in housing values next year, with St. John’s in Newfoundland-Labrador in front with an estimated eight per cent hike in average price in 2011. The value of homes in Greater Vancouver, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, London-St. Thomas, Ottawa, Sudbury and Greater Montreal is also predicted to climb five per cent.
Low interest rates and improving consumer confidence levels should stimulate home-buying activity at all price points next year. Overall gains will be more muted—a welcome reprieve for purchasers. 2011 will be a year that will see more widespread recovery across a broader array of economic sectors, setting the stage for a better 2012.”
In the meantime, a number of factors will continue to support sustained sales and price growth in the months and years ahead:
  •  Land scarcity, intensification, urban renewal, infill and renovation will continue to drive up values—regardless of supply and demand—in major metropolitan areas. The Canadian housing stock is ever-evolving, particularly in the central core of each city. With average price pushing closer to or well past the $300,000 mark in the vast majority of major centres, and affordability of single-family homes diminishing, the demand for attainable product will rise in tandem, bolstering the growing condominium segment in the years ahead. 
  • The upper-end of the market continues to be a strong indication of the overall health of Canada’s housing sector. Typically the first segment to soften in a downturn, luxury homes posted record sales activity in 2010, and demand is expected to remain solid in 2011. Strong sales in the high-end will continue to prop up average prices. 
  • Immigration will remain a serious force stimulating demand, particularly given the penchant for homeownership among today’s new Canadians. While the formation of new households used to take an average of five years, a growing number of newcomers arrive skilled, financially secure, and ready to make their home-buying moves. It is estimated that Canada will average 250,000 new immigrants annually.  
  •  In the year ahead, federal, provincial and local stimulus in the form of continued infrastructure spending and capital projects will be a considerable boon to economic stability and employment, providing consumers the confidence to move forward with real estate purchases. 
  •  Volatility in the money markets will continue to drive buyers to the tangibility of homeownership, both as a reliable long-term investment and a form of shelter, particularly given low vacancy rates and a lack of new rental construction in a number of major centres.   

RE/MAX Real Estate Outlook 2010 Video

Real Estate Outlook 2010-Text

Mississauga, ON (December 3, 2009) -- In the midst of one of the most tumultuous economic periods in recent history, residential real estate has proven to be a safe harbour, with sales and average price expected to post gains in most major Canadian cities in 2009, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.

The RE/MAX Housing Market Outlook for 2010 examined residential real estate trends in 23 markets.  The report found that sales are forecast to recover in almost all major centres by year-end 2009, led by an anticipated 45 per cent increase in Greater Vancouver. Two markets --Ottawa and Quebec City -- are expected to hit historic highs in the number of homes sold.  Average price should post new records in 65 per cent of markets surveyed this year.   As economic performance ramps up across the country, so too will residential real estate.  Eighty-three per cent of markets (19/23) are expecting sales to increase over 2009 levels while housing values are forecast to escalate in 91 per cent (21/23) of Canadian centres in 2010.  The remaining markets will match 2009 levels.
Approximately 465,000 homes are expected to change hands nationally in 2009, a seven per cent increase over one year ago.  Canadian housing values are forecast to close the year at $318,000, up five per cent from $303,594 in 2008. By year-end 2010, the number of homes sold is predicted to climb another two per cent to 475,000 units.  The average price of a home is also expected to experience an uptick, rising two per cent to $325,000 – the highest level in Canadian history.

“2009 was without question the year of the house,” says Michael Polzler, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada.  “Real estate not only defied industry and analysts’ predictions in 2009  -- it’s performance went well beyond the realm of expectation by boosting consumer confidence levels and ultimately kick starting the national economic engine.  While low interest rates were a principle factor driving home buying activity, no one can discount the value that Canadians place in owning a home.”

The upswing in residential housing values speaks volumes.  By year-end 2009, average price is expected to increase in 15 of the 23 markets surveyed, led by St. John’s, NF (15 per cent); Quebec City, QC (eight per cent); Regina, SK (seven per cent); Saint John, NB (six per cent); and Winnipeg, MB, Ottawa, ON, and Greater Toronto, ON (five per cent). Other noteworthy developments include shattered price benchmarks in Greater Vancouver at $600,000; Toronto at $400,000; Ottawa at $300,000; and Quebec City and St. John’s at $200,000.   St. John’s will once again lead the country in terms of percentage increase in average price in 2010 with a projected upswing of 11 per cent.  Quebec City and Regina are expected to experience escalation of six per cent, while Calgary, Kelowna, and Victoria are forecast to climb five per cent next year.  Victoria, Kelowna, Edmonton and Calgary – all down marginally in 2009 – are all positioned for growth in 2010.

“Some of the greatest percentage gains were reported in Western Canadian markets in 2009– demonstrating the higher the peak, the lower the valley,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western, Canada.  “That said, the recession barely registered on year-over-year activity in most major centres.  The economic fundamentals in place going forward ideally position the ten provinces, and the sector overall, for further growth.”

The major frontrunners in terms of unit sales appreciation in 2010, are all located in Western Canada, including Kelowna with an anticipated upswing of 10 per cent in housing sales; Calgary with an expected increase of eight per cent: and Victoria, which rounds out the top three with a seven per cent hike forecast for unit sales. 

“Canadians continue to demonstrate their commitment to homeownership – regardless of the economic climate,” says Sylvain Dansereau, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Quebec.  “No where in Canada is that more evident than in Quebec. The province, with one of highest percentage of renters in the country, is well-poised for an escalation in homeownership levels as renters enter the market en masse to take advantage of ideal market conditions. Prices remain well under the national average, making ownership more attainable and leaving more room for appreciation that’s been long overdue.”

A number of factors will help prop up activity going forward, including improved economic conditions, continued low interest rates, rising consumer confidence and solid capital spending which will buoy employment.  Inventory will once again assume the wildcard role, with any decline placing upward pressure on prices.  Multiple offers will remain the exception in most markets, more commonplace on quality entry-level product which remains in tight supply. 

RE/MAX is Canada’s leading real estate organization with over 17,000 sales associates situated throughout its more than 677 independently-owned and operated offices across the country.  The RE/MAX franchise network, now in its 36th year, is a global real estate system operating in more than 70 countries.  Over 6,700 independently-owned offices engage nearly 100,000 member sales associates who lead the industry in professional designations, experience and production while providing real estate services in residential, commercial, referral, and asset management.  

Article Compliments of RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada Inc.

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Real Estate Outlook 2009

Threat of global recession to hinder home sales in major Canadian housing markets in 2008 and 2009, says RE/MAX Recovery linked to economic stability next year.

Mississauga, ON (December 3, 2008) Global economic uncertainty weighed heavily on residential real estate activity in most major Canadian centres during the latter half of 2008. Although the forecast for 2009 promises more of the same, most markets are expected to weather the storm, says RE/MAX.

The RE/MAX Housing Market Outlook for 2009 examined residential real estate trends in 22 markets across the country and found that average price held up remarkably well in 2008, despite 13 centres reporting double digit declines in home sales. Solid gains earlier in the year likely served to prop up housing values at year-end. The prognosis for housing activity in the first six to nine months of 2009 is somewhat static, given continued volatility in financial markets and the threat of recession, but as stability returns to the financial sector, housing markets are expected to recover.

Nationally, 440,000 homes are expected to change hands in 2008, down 15 per cent from record 2007 levels. Canadian housing values are expected to hover at $300,000, a nominal three per cent decline from last year’s historic peak. By year-end 2009, unit sales should match 2008 levels, while average price is forecast to fall another two per cent to $293,000.

“Housing market performance will clearly be contingent on economic performance at a local, provincial, and national level in 2009,” says Michael Polzler, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX Ontario Atlantic Canada. “Issues affecting the overall economy are impacting housing markets across the country and the situation is not expected to be remedied until consumer confidence is restored. That said, we could see a bounce back as early as spring - if inventory levels remain stable, pent up demand kicks into gear, and lower interest rates stimulate home buying activity.”

Major markets are evenly split in terms of housing performance in 2009, with 11 centres forecast to match or exceed 2008 home sales and 11 expected to slide from 2008 levels. The highest percentage increase in unit sales is anticipated in Saskatoon, where the number of homes sold is forecast to climb three per cent in 2009. Housing values are expected to hold the line in 2009, with St. John’s, Montreal, Kingston, London, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and Regina posting modest gains in average price in 2009.

“Canada’s real estate environment is considerably more complex than it has been in recent years,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “The landscape is definitely changing. with most markets shifting into either balanced or buyer’s territory. The shut out is over. Sellers no longer rule the roost. Opportunities exist for purchasers like never before, including lower interest rates, greater inventory levels, the luxury of time to make decisions, and the upper hand at the negotiating table.  Motivated vendors will need to take note of the new mindset and set their prices accordingly.”  Canadian sellers are slowly adjusting to new realities.  For most markets, 2008 started in balanced territory and moved into buyer’s market conditions during the latter half of 2008.

The year ahead will prove challenging, especially for vendors.  “While the economy will dictate real estate performance next year, it’s important to remember that demand still exists in the marketplace,” says Sylvain Dansereau, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Quebec. “In the midst of stock market turmoil, sold signs continue to appear on lawns across the country. With affordable lending rates and increased selection, first time and move up buyers with good credit may choose to play their investment strategy safe and purchase a home. The comfort of a tangible investment like real estate goes a long way in tough times.”

RE/MAX is Canada's leading real estate organization with over 18,000 sales associates situated throughout its more than 670 independently owned and operated offices across the country.

Compliments of RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada Inc.

Real Estate Outlook For 2008

Slow and steady growth forecast for residential real estate in major Canadian markets in 2008, says RE/MAX.

Performance will moderate in most major Canadian centres in 2008, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.

The RE/MAX Housing Market Outlook 2008 examined residential real estate trends in 18 markets across the country. The report found that while economic prospects will continue to improve next year, few major markets are expected to exceed record sales levels set in 2007. Winnipeg, Hamilton-Burlington, Kitchener-Waterloo, London-St. Thomas, Ottawa, Sudbury, Saint John, Halifax-Dartmouth, and St. John’s are all predicted to buck the trend in 2008, with appreciation ranging from one to seven per cent.

Average price is forecast to increase in 78 per cent of markets surveyed next year, with the lowest price increase expected in Edmonton and the highest in St. John’s.

Nationally, the number of homes sold is expected to break through the half-million threshold in 2007, climbing 13 per cent to an estimated 545,400 units, up from 483,770 units one year ago. Average price is projected to appreciate nine per cent to $303,000, up about $25,000 over 2006 levels. In 2008, home sales are expected to retreat to 500,000 units while Canadian housing values are forecast to continue their ascent, rising six per cent to $321,000.

“Western markets were first out of the gate in 2007, but those in the East followed suit,” says Michael Polzler, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “By yearend, some of the most impressive gains in home sales will be realized in Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

Solid economic fundamentals, including billions of dollars in capital projects, a positive unemployment outlook, and solid consumer confidence levels will propel markets forward. A slow and steady growth  trajectory, minus the peaks and valleys experienced in 2007, is forecast for next year.”

Major market frontrunners for price appreciation in 2008 include St. John’s (12 per cent), Regina and  Kelowna – Central Okanagan (nine per cent), Hamilton-Burlington and Saint John (eight per cent) and Greater Vancouver (seven per cent). 

Leading the country in sales growth next year will be Kitchener-Waterloo (seven per cent), followed by Hamilton-Burlington, London-St. Thomas, Sudbury and Halifax- Dartmouth, each forecasting a five per cent gain.

RE/MAX Outlook 2008:

Higher mortgage rates and increased inventory levels failed to materialize in most major centres, making 2007 a record year for real estate activity in Canada. By year-end, housing values across the country are expected to shatter existing records. Serious double-digit increases in average price are forecasted for Saskatoon (49), Edmonton (31.5), Regina (21), Calgary (20), Sudbury (20), Kelowna (19.5) Saint John (17), St. John’s (12), and Greater Vancouver (10).

Saskatchewan dominated real estate news in 2007, reporting some of the highest percentage increases in unit sales. The number of homes sold in Regina by year-end is expected to top 35 per cent, bringing sales to an estimated 4,000 units. Neighbouring Saskatoon is forecast to climb 28 per cent to 4,400 units in 2007. Other centres expected to post double-digit gains in activity include Saint John (19 per cent)

Kitchener-Waterloo (13 per cent), Halifax-Dartmouth (12 per cent), St. John’s (11 per cent), and Toronto (10 per cent).

“Clearly, economic prosperity has translated into increased housing sales and upward pressure on prices across the board,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada.

“The country’s economic engine fired on all cylinders throughout the year, despite dire conditions south of the border. As in 2007, inventory will be the major wildcard next year—the ultimate variable most expected to influence housing market conditions and performance. A return to tight market conditions could mean all bets are off as buyers are forced to compete, creating increased market pressure.”

RE/MAX is Canada's leading real estate organization with over 17,500 sales associates situated throughout its more than 640 independently owned and operated offices across the country.


                 Real Estate Outlook For 2007

Home buyers across the country will breathe a sigh of relief in 2007, thanks to a nationwide influx of new listings that is expected to slow price appreciation in major Canadian centres, says RE/MAX   

The RE/MAX Housing Market Outlook 2007 found that while the number of homes listed for sale is set to climb, demand will remain strong in the 17 markets surveyed, including Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton-Burlington, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, Charlottetown, Saint John and St. John’s.   

With few exceptions, projections for sales volume in 2007 match or fall short of peak performance reported in 2005 and 2006, with more balanced conditions – characterized by healthy inventory levels and less urgency in the market  expected to emerge   

Nationally, 462,000 properties are forecast to change hands this year, making 2007 the third best year on record.  After four years of double-digit gains, average price is predicted to climb a modest 5% to $290,000 by year-end 2007, up from $275,000 one year ago.  All but three of the markets surveyed (Kitchener-Waterloo, St. John’s, and Charlottetown) are predicting further escalation in housing values, ranging from three to 10 per cent, in 2007.   

Strong economic fundamentals continue to fuel healthy residential real estate activity in markets across the country, despite what is happening south of the border. “We are heading into another year of economic growth. Consumer confidence levels are strong. Unemployment levels are forecast to remain low.

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