HOUSING MARKET OUTLOOK REPORT

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1 2015 HOUSING MARKET OUTLOOK REPORT

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS 3 CANADIAN OVERVIEW 5 INFOGRAPHIC 6 BRITISH COLUMBIA 6 VICTORIA 7 GREATER VANCOUVER AREA 8 ABBOTSFORD 9 CHILLIWACK 10 KELOWNA 11 ALBERTA 11 CALGARY 12 EDMONTON 13 SASKATCHEWAN 13 SASKATOON 14 REGINA 29 QUEBEC 29 MONTREAL 30 QUEBEC CITY 31 NEW BRUNSWICK 31 FREDERICTON 32 SAINT JOHN 33 MONCTON 34 NOVA SCOTIA 35 PEI 34 HALIFAX-DARTMOUTH 35 CHARLOTTETOWN 36 NEWFOUNDLAND 36 ST. JOHN S 37 CONTACT LIST 15 MANITOBA 15 WINNIPEG 16 ONTARIO 16 WINDSOR-ESSEX 17 LONDON-ST. THOMAS 18 SUDBURY 19 KITCHENER-WATERLOO 20 HAMILTON-BURLINGTON 21 BARRIE 22 ST. CATHARINES 23 GREATER TORONTO AREA 24 MISSISSAUGA 24 OAKVILLE 25 BRAMPTON 26 DURHAM 27 KINGSTON 28 REMAX.ca

3 CANADIAN OVERVIEW Most regions posted modest gains in average residential sale price, despite increased inventory in many of Canada s housing markets. Residential property markets in Toronto, Vancouver and their surrounding areas, as well as Calgary and Edmonton continued to see prices and sales rise. The greater areas of Vancouver and Toronto saw inventory of singlefamily houses remain at a record low, while demand continued to climb. Prices in these markets are expected to continue to increase in 2015, by approximately three per cent in the Greater Vancouver Area and four per cent in the Greater Toronto Area. Healthy gains are also anticipated in Kelowna (7%), Victoria (4%), Windsor (5%) and Moncton (6%). Outside of B.C., Alberta and some areas of Southern Ontario, higher inventory levels was a significant trend characterizing much of the Canadian housing market in In some markets, the long, cold winter and late start to the spring season created a build-up of listings on the market, which continued to have an impact throughout the year, but also resulted in higher than usual activity in the fall as buyers came back to the market. In many cities in Canada, notably St. John s, Quebec City, Ottawa and Halifax, increased construction over the past several years contributed to an increase of inventory. However, with construction of new buildings winding down, inventory levels are expected to balance within the next couple of years without having a notable impact on property prices. With an increased supply of inventory on the market going into the new year, the average sale price is expected to remain stable or rise modestly in most cities in Montreal (1%), Quebec City (1.5%), Ottawa (1.6%) and Sudbury (1.6%) are expecting a modest rise in average residential sale price, while little change in prices is expected in Winnipeg, Saskatoon and St. John s. Condominiums continued to grow 2015 Housing Market Outlook Report 3

4 share of the market in many regions. In Toronto and Vancouver, higher prices and limited inventory for single-family homes mean that condominiums are becoming a practical choice for many young buyers looking to enter the market. In Montreal, Kingston, Burlington, and Victoria, condos are increasingly attracting Baby Boomers looking for affordability and amenities within walking distance. Many first-time buyers continued to feel the impact of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation s tightened lending criteria, which were revised in. The new mortgage lending regulations have delayed the entry of first-time buyers into the market in many regions, thus slowing down the rest of the market. Regina and Saskatoon were exceptions; well-paying jobs and a good availability of affordable options meant that young buyers were typically able to qualify for a mortgage for their choice of home in these markets. The new mortgage rules will likely have less of an effect in the coming year as buyers adapt to the new regulations and make the necessary changes to meet the criteria. The historically low interest rates of the past several years have helped sustain demand, and have mitigated the impact of the tightened lending criteria. The Bank of Canada has hinted at a rate increase in late 2015, and some experts have speculated that the increase could come as early as May. An interest rate hike could potentially result in a spike in buying activity, as buyers rush to secure their mortgage before the increase comes into effect. Overall, a rate increase is not anticipated to have a dramatic effect on the real estate market, as it would likely be minor and rates would continue to be low. The economic outlook for Canada in 2015 is stable. The Bank of Canada has projected GDP to grow by approximately 2.5 per cent, a rate that is roughly on par with 2014 s growth. Small increases in employment rates and wages are anticipated as well. Canada expects to welcome between 260,000 and 285,000 new permanent residents in 2015, which should positively impact the residential real estate market. $363,346 $363,740 (Canada) $382,513 $406,145 $416,300 *August Year-to-Date **Forecast - Source: Historical values are sourced from CREA or Local Board statistics. Estimates and forecasts are based on the opinion of independent RE/MAX broker/owners and affiliates Housing Market Outlook Report 4

5 RE/MAX HOUSING MARKET OUTLOOK Most regions across Canada posted modest gains in average residential sale price in Prices are expected to remain stable, despite an increase in inventory. After a harsh winter and late spring, market activity picked up in the late summer and fall. WESTERN CANADA High demand created a seller s market in B.C. and Alberta, while the market was more balanced in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. EASTERN CANADA Higher inventory created a buyer s market in many regions. Toronto was the exception with low inventory and high demand. ECONOMIC OUTLOOK Low interest rates, GDP growth and immigration continue to drive demand. The Bank of Canada has projected GDP to grow by approximately 2.5 per cent, a rate that is roughly on par with 2014 s growth. Canada expects to welcome between 260,000 to 285,000 new permanent residents in PROJECTIONS FOR 2015 Increase in average residential sale price EDMONTON VANCOUVER

6 BRITISH COLUMBIA VICTORIA Considered to be one of Canada s most desirable cities to live in, Victoria s real estate market remained strong throughout the year. It mirrored the market, with a modest increase in activity. The rise in activity was attributed to the harsh winter in Alberta, causing some residents to reconsider their locale and make the move to Victoria. Another contributing factor was the prolonged stability of interest rates. The average residential sale price in Victoria increased 3.6 per cent from, rising to an estimated $493,800 from last year s $476,568. Inventory of available properties for sale decreased nine per cent to 3,927 in October of 2014 from 4,322 in October of. The total number of sales at the end of October jumped to 5,844 an 11 per cent increase from s total of 5,231. Interest rates are anticipated to be the predominant factor in the 2015 housing market, coupled with the lack of available affordable housing. The market should largely resemble 2014 in regards to price appreciation. It is also expected to remain balanced, not favouring the buyer or the seller. Demand from first-time buyers should play a significant role in Victoria s real estate market in These buyers often enter the market by purchasing a condominium. There is currently a good selection of condominiums, as well as new projects under development, creating enough product to fulfill high demand. Victoria sees a large number of Albertans choosing to relocate to the city, and this may be enhanced by the recent troubles in Alberta, such as the floods. Victoria s market should see an increase in demand as a result. With its well established tourism industry and thriving technology sector, the economic outlook for Victoria is healthy. The region is expecting a four per cent increase in the average residential sale price as well as a 10 to 12 per cent increase in unit sales. As weather conditions across North America are proving increasingly unpredictable, Victoria stands out as an attractive city to live in. (Victoria) $498,300 $484,164 $476,568 $493,800 $513, Housing Market Outlook Report 6

7 GREATER VANCOUVER AREA Greater Vancouver maintained its status as the most expensive region in Canada for residential real estate in The average residential sale price was approximately $838,400 in 2014, an increase from $781,517 the previous year. Off-shore buyer demand from Mainland China continued throughout the year. Activity for detached houses was strong. Some properties are still attracting multiple offers and selling for above the list price, which is a sign of continued buyer demand. Towards the end of 2014, condos in East Vancouver were showing typical healthy activity. Well-priced homes often sold within one to two weeks, whereas the average market time for condos was 45 days. In 2015, RE/MAX expects that there will continue to be upward pressure on detached house prices in the Westside due to high demand and low inventory. However, the condo and townhouse markets will likely sustain a more balanced market. For detached homes, unit sales from August to October were down three per cent from the same three-month period last year due to lack of inventory. Condo unit sales were up 19 per cent for the same period, and townhouse unit sales were up 17 per cent. BRITISH COLUMBIA It is projected in Greater Vancouver, the number of unit sales should remain largely the same, while house prices will see an increase of around three per cent. After losing multiple offer bids for detached houses in East Vancouver, buyers may become more hesitant to continue their pursuit of buying a detached home in However, as those potential buyers move to the sidelines and wait for the market to stabilize, the pipeline of demand for the region will continue to grow. Long-time homeowners of detached homes in the Westside will continue to sell their homes as they look to downsize into retirement, whereas homeowners who entered the market more recently may wish to sell to take advantage of 2015 Housing Market Outlook Report 7

8 the substantial increases in their home s value. On average, price appreciation has increased 48.3 per cent over the past five years. Across Vancouver, young families and equity downsizers will drive demand. Buyers who cannot afford detached Westside homes will take advantage of the relative affordability of townhouse living. Demand for Westside homes will continue to be driven by off-shore buyers who can afford to pay the two million dollar-plus price tag. Continued economic strength, consumer confidence and off-shore buyers will continue to drive demand for the Westside upper-end housing market in Upscale condo units are selling briskly in the downtown core, and new luxury homes are being built on small and medium sized lots in the Westside by those who want the location, but not an older home. Interest rates have not shown any sign of change, and this stability creates optimism for East Vancouver s housing market in Year-over-year, demand for housing in Vancouver continues to grow. There has been no substantial pullback to that demand as Vancouver is recognized locally and internationally as a very desirable place to live. Affordability remains an issue for many who simply cannot afford even a condo on the Westside or downtown. ABBOTSFORD Abbotsford s residential market activity remains stable across all segments. Yearover-year unit sales have increased by seven per cent since, rising to 1,798 sales from 1,684. The average price for a residential unit in Abbotsford climbed five per cent to approximately $388,500 in Based on year-end estimates, the average residential sale price is projected to increase by 0.5 per cent in Abbotsford. The flux of interest rates and ripple effect from off-shore buyers in larger markets like Vancouver and Surrey may affect Abbotsford s sales and price activity. New infrastructure built to connect Abbotsford to other cities such as Surrey, Langley and Richmond should continue to increase sales. This includes the South Surrey Perimeter highway connecting to Richmond and additional highway $779,730 $730,063 (Greater Vancouver Area) $781,517 * $838,400 $863, Housing Market Outlook Report 8

9 lanes going to Langley. As buyers age, they see greater opportunity to stretch their dollar and settle in Abbotsford. The average sale price for detached houses this year is approximately $451,900 with minimal price increases expected next year. In 2015, inventory levels are expected to decrease with days on the market to follow suit. In October 2014, there were approximately 9,000 listings, indicating Abbotsford s market is moving towards a favourable predicament for sellers. Without significant development planned across all segments, the oversupply of inventory is catching up to the demand. Townhouses are preferred over condominiums as families and first-time home buyers command the lion s share of the market. The second largest group is owners who have a dual income and no children. Women are also more active in the residential housing market than men. Upper-end housing plays a small role in Abbotsford s market. Detached houses with acreage represented approximately four per cent of all sales this year. Sales are projected to be stable in While buyers flock towards newer condos, older apartments tend to sit on the market for longer. As the availability of newer condos decreases, sales activity in older apartments should see a boost. Additionally, older apartments should gain a pricing advantage as many sellers have received their depreciation reports and are actively renovating to remain competitive. CHILLIWACK The average residential sale price in Chilliwack rose to an estimated $307,000 in 2014, an increase of three per cent over the previous year. Unit sales increased 15 per cent, to 2,395 sales in 2014 from 2,074 in, with September and October seeing a lot of activity. Chilliwack s housing market is expected to continue to grow in Sales are anticipated to increase six to 10 per cent, and the average price is expected to rise three to four per cent to $317,750. As the market started to heat up towards the end of summer, days on the market decreased and the market is moving from a balanced to a seller s market. There was an adequate availability of all property types in 2014, including a selection of condominium inventory in particular. The condo market is expected to remain flat in the coming year, with no change in average price anticipated. In the upperend of the market, price appreciation of four to five per cent is expected for the coming year, and sales are anticipated to remain on par with As an increased number of first-time buyers enter into the market, moveup buyers are able to realize the sale of their home and move to the next level. Another trend noted in the Chilliwack market comes from Vancouver homeowners who are retiring and selling their properties. The additional equity after purchasing a place in Chilliwack provides a comfortable retirement fund. Many of the first-time buyers work in trades and fly in and out of northern British Columbia. A growing sense of consumer confidence is fuelled by buyers financial security and a strong economy. Consumer confidence, strength of the economy and new construction in areas like south Chilliwack, prompt optimism for the residential real estate market in Developments in Garrison Crossing, previously an army base, are adding a mix of inventory including rental space, row houses, condominiums and townhouses. The award-winning designs and walkability of the community continued to draw the attention of first-time home buyers and move-up buyers alike Housing Market Outlook Report 9

10 BRITISH COLUMBIA KELOWNA Kelowna s current housing activity remains strong. The 2014 average residential sale price is estimated to be $428,000, a rise of eight per cent over the previous year. The 2014 housing market was exceptionally active with an increase of 23 per cent year-over-year in unit sales. The region is projected to continue on this upward trend. Due to reduced inventory, the average residential sale price is expected to increase by seven per cent in While sales have increased, inventory has not maintained pace, with active listings down 16 per cent compared to last year. This lack of supply has resulted in multiple offers, as buyers compete for attractive, well-priced properties inventory levels are expected to remain on par with 2014, which should result in upward pricing pressure as buyers continue to compete for well-appointed residences in desirable neighbourhoods. The days on market decreased by approximately 16 per cent in 2014, and they are expected to decrease five to 10 per cent in Given this fall s year-over-year real estate board data for unit sales and average price, it is anticipated that unit sales should increase 10 per cent in Move-up buyers drove demand in 2014, and they are expected to do so in First-time home buyers may also continue to be a key factor in demand, as they take advantage of low interest rates. The upper-end of the market has shown steady signs of recovery since. To date, the market has seen 132 unit sales, and it is predicted that there should be increased unit sales of 10 per cent in Condominiums make up a significant portion of Kelowna s real estate market, comprising 34 per cent of sales. In 2014, apartment unit sales have increased approximately 35 per cent, followed by townhouse sales at approximately 30 per cent. Kelowna s market is anticipated to see steady growth and price appreciation in this particular domain in Low inventory should continue to have a significant impact on Kelowna s real estate market well into 2015, as well as low interest rates. Low interest rates fuel the increase of unit sales as well as price, enabling buyers to afford more expensive listings. Sales activity has continued to be strong this fall, and it is projected to carry forward in the next year. There is considerable optimism in Kelowna s 2015 real estate market, as consumer confidence continues to rebound as a result of low interest rates, steady job growth, and a strong prairie resource market. (Kelowna) $458,000 $404,756 $400,027 $397,000 $428, Housing Market Outlook Report 10

11 ALBERTA CALGARY Calgary s housing market had another year of healthy price appreciation as the average residential sale price has grown and is expected to finish off 2014 with an approximate six per cent gain to $483,000 from $456,000 in. House price increases have been attributed to good employment in the energy sector driving migration to the city. A city-wide Civic Census showed that in April 2014, Calgary saw the migration of approximately 28,000 people to the area in the past 12 months, an increase of about 1,800 compared to the previous year. Migration has significantly impacted the real estate market fueling Calgary s consistent strong performance over the past few years. However, in the fall of 2014, the housing market started to show a shift from a seller s market to a more balanced market, likely due to a decrease in oil prices. The price adjustment in the energy industry should likely have an impact on the 2015 Calgary housing market. While it is still expected to see a slight increase in price, it is anticipated to be less active as potential buyers wait to see if lower oil prices result in more favourable house prices. However, RE/MAX expects 2015 to be a balanced market, creating a more level playing field for buyers and sellers. A combination of oil prices and dollar value should have the greatest impact on Calgary s housing market in One advantage is that most oil industry corporations are being paid in the American dollar, thereby lessening the current effect of the low Canadian dollar. Calgary is projected to see a four per cent increase in unit sales and a more modest three per cent increase in average residential sale price increasing to $497,500. Buyers who are looking to move up are likely to drive demand in Calgary s real estate market in Also, the low vacancy rate for rentals has made potential tenants look at purchasing sooner than they anticipated. Condominiums and townhouses are expected to represent a growing share of the active marketplace, as long as they are priced competitively. With increasing house prices, condominiums and townhouses are an affordable way to purchase real estate in the city. The city s growth is prompting optimism for its housing market in Today, the population is close to 1,195,000, and growing. There is a mild concern as to how the city will keep up with such growth, as new infrastructure will be required. Despite this need, it is anticipated that Calgary s real estate market should continue to flourish throughout $402,851 $412,315 (Calgary) $456,000 $483,000 $497, Housing Market Outlook Report 11

12 EDMONTON Demand for residential real estate in Edmonton shows no signs of slowing down. Low unemployment levels, strong economic performance in the oil and gas sector and Canada s westward migration contributed to an upswing in the number of homes sold. Average prices increased for all product types, with the average residential sale price sitting at approximately $374,000, up $23,000 from last year. 38-storey high-rise condominium, Pearl Tower, is anticipating occupancy at the end of Condominiums represent a growing share of the marketplace in all price ranges as construction continues in the downtown core with 18 cranes and eight projects underway. In particular, in the luxury market, pent houses in the Pearl Tower sold between $1-2.5 million. ALBERTA Alberta leads the way in inter-provincial migration with an estimated 30,000 people settling in the Greater Edmonton Area in the past year alone. Demand from new residents increased sales by 10 per cent in the region. The growth is anticipated to be sustained over the next few years as $5.2 billion in construction projects, such as Rogers Place, Stantec, Royal Alberta Museum, and Delta Hotels and Resorts, are currently under construction in the downtown core. Sellers dominate in homes priced below $400,000, which accounts for 65 per cent of the market. Multiple offers are common in the lower end of the market and pushed some first-time buyers to consider properties in the move-up market, where there is more inventory. This competition has also caused a tremendous resurgence in the condominium market. The closure of City Centre Airport last year created development opportunities as previous height restrictions due to air traffic safety have been lifted. The first Edmonton s luxury market has been setting new sales records over the last three years. At the end of the third quarter of 2014, Realtors Association of Edmonton reported a 29 per cent increase in sales over $1 million compared to last year. The Symphony Tower, located in River Valley, is slated for construction for early 2015 with four units already sold for more than $1.5 million each. Record sales of multi-million dollar listings are expected to continue into The outlook in Edmonton is optimistic with the inter-provincial migration decreasing the average age of residents. This younger demographic with wellpaying employment is attracting more mixed-use community developments with residential, retail and commercial components. As affordability has reduced in the region over the past few years, prices are projected to climb four per cent, while inventory levels are expected to be similar to the past two years, trending slightly downwards. $325,395 $334,318 (Edmonton) $351,000 $374,000 $389, Housing Market Outlook Report 12

13 SASKATCHEWAN SASKATOON The housing market in Saskatoon continued to be balanced in 2014, and is expected to see little change in the coming year. The average residential sale price in 2014 was approximately $333,900, a slight 1.3 per cent decrease from $338,309 in. Total sales increased modestly year-over-year, from 2,756 sales in to 2,965 in This housing market is expected to continue to be balanced in 2015 with no anticipated change in average residential sale price. Inventory was higher than normal by approximately 15 to 18 per cent, which affected both price and days on market, though only slightly. A high level of inventory is expected to continue to have an impact on the market in 2015, though should affect days on market more than price. In 2014, residential properties typically stayed on the market for 45 to 60 days, and this is projected to increase by 15 to 20 days in An oversupply may put downward pressure on prices; however, with Saskatoon s healthy economy, steady demand and an anticipated slowdown in new builds, any impact on price is expected to be minor. The higher than normal level of inventory had the greatest impact on the upperend market in The ample supply meant that buyers were in no hurry. While there were potential buyers who were interested in moving up and could afford to do so, the lack of urgency many buyers felt meant that these sales took longer than usual. Saskatoon is also a traditionally conservative market, where buyers are careful with their money and take their time when making a purchase. Activity in the lower end of the housing market remained brisk. Unlike other Canadian markets, the first-time buyer market in Saskatoon has not felt much of an impact from CMHC s tighter restrictions on mortgage lending. Firsttime buyers in Saskatoon are generally able to meet the lending criteria and secure a mortgage to purchase their home. Many first-time buyers in 2014 were single professionals purchasing a new condo in one of Saskatoon s up-andcoming neighbourhoods. The Saskatoon economy is robust and is projected to continue to grow in the coming year. Its three main industries, farming, mining, and oil and gas, are steady and continue to employ many residents in well-paying jobs. Unemployment is low, and the population is growing as workers from other parts of the country are moving to Saskatoon to fill newly-created jobs. (Saskatoon) $309,823 $331,867 $338,309 $333,900 $333, Housing Market Outlook Report 13

14 REGINA SASKATCHEWAN The average residential sale price in Regina increased four per cent over the previous year to approximately $333,200, despite a higher than normal number of listings for most of the year. The year started slowly, with the cold weather delaying the normally busy spring market. This created a build-up of listings, which had a psychological impact on the market. Though demand remained strong, there was no pressure on buyers. Summer and early fall were slower than usual, and up until October 1, the market was substantially down compared to. A fast-paced October nearly caught 2014 up to the previous year s sales, and the year is expected to finish on par with. High inventory was the most significant factor impacting the market in 2014, and although inventory is expected to remain high in 2015, a slowdown in new development projects should help stabilize the market. Regina is expected to shift from a buyer s market to a balanced market by the end of next year. The upper-end market was balanced in 2014, and no change to this market segment is expected for next year. Regina s upper-end market is made up primarily of resale properties, and includes large bungalows, two-storey houses and two-storey splits. This market has grown over the past several years as Reginans, traditionally conservative with their savings, have become more comfortable with the idea of spending more on their homes. As the economy in Saskatchewan has picked up and new jobs have been created, Regina is seeing people who grew up in the city moving back home from Calgary or Edmonton. This is encouraging the older generation to stay in the city after retirement in order to be near their children and grandchildren. Many of these retirees are choosing to sell their house and downsize to a condo in Regina and a second home somewhere warm, such as Arizona. Unlike in many other markets, firsttime homebuyers in Regina haven t been affected by tightened mortgage lending criteria. Well-paying jobs and a good availability of affordable homes mean that young couples and singles are generally able to qualify for a mortgage for the home of their choice. The overall outlook for Regina next year is positive. The economy is strong and stable, and though lower oil prices do have an impact, the economy is fairly diversified, with gold, potash and manufacturing playing an important role. Two large construction projects, a new football stadium and a wastewater treatment plant, are expected to bring new jobs to the city. $276,469 $301,332 (Regina) $320,385 $333,200 $346, Housing Market Outlook Report 14

15 MANITOBA WINNIPEG Winnipeg began 2014 as a seller s market, but by the fall, an influx of inventory had shifted it to a balanced market. Towards the end of 2014, there was an abundance of choice for buyers. If the trend continues, Winnipeg will likely be a buyer s market in Despite an increase in inventory, the average sale price for both detached houses and condominium units rose modestly. The average sale price for a detached house rose to approximately $290,490 in 2014 from $282,894 in, while the average sale price of condo units rose to approximately $236,639 from $227,511. Prices are expected to remain flat in 2015; high inventory should keep prices stable, but likely will not reduce prices. Much of the of inventory on the market in 2014 were condos. Most of these are new builds that are either still under construction or were recently completed. However, some of these listings are for units in older developments, coming on the market as their owners, having downsized to a condo from a house a decade ago, are moving into retirement communities. In September, the average number of days on the market for condo units was 40, up from 30 the previous year. The CMHC s stricter lending criteria have had an impact on the first-time buyer s market in Winnipeg. Manitoba s land transfer tax, whose rates were set in the 1990s and haven t been adjusted for today s house prices, is a significant burden for these buyers as well. These two financial hurdles have made it difficult for first-time buyers to enter Winnipeg s housing market in the past few years, and this is not expected to change in Despite the challenges, two key groups of first-time buyers are driving the market in Winnipeg. One of these is new immigrants, who tend to prioritize home ownership when choosing how to invest their savings. The other group is young, two-income couples from Winnipeg who work in service industries. With the federal government s plan to bring more immigrants to Winnipeg next year, the market should remain robust and sales are expected to increase. The outlook for Winnipeg is generally positive. Its well-diversified economy is steady and no significant changes are expected in the coming year. The return of its NHL team and the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights show that Winnipeg is becoming a destination city. (Winnipeg) $241,409 $255,058 $274,373 $285,800 $285, Housing Market Outlook Report 15

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