Explore the Latest Real Estate Trends Across Canada

2016 Spring Market Trends Report

Vancouver and Toronto continued to see significant price appreciation in the first quarter of the year. Greater Vancouver’s average residential sale price in the first quarter of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015 rose 24 per cent, while single-family homes in the city of Vancouver crossed the $2 million threshold. In the Greater Toronto Area, the average residential sale price during the first quarter rose 14 per cent to $675,492.

The competition in both Vancouver and Toronto among buyers has discouraged sellers from listing their properties, thus further reducing inventory. While sellers know their homes would be quick to sell, many are reluctant to become buyers themselves and enter the highly competitive market. Also, some potential sellers are hesitant to list their homes believing that home prices could appreciate further. However, not all Canadians can wait out the housing market as many are relying on their homes as a source of retirement income.

According to a recent RE/MAX poll conducted by Leger, 56 per cent of Canadians 55-64 who are considering selling their homes are doing so to release equity for retirement. Outside of Vancouver and Toronto, surrounding regions continue to experience a spillover effect as buyers move farther out in search of affordable single-family homes. This has led to significant price appreciation in regions such as Victoria (+10%), Hamilton-Burlington (+10%) and Barrie (+14%). The population growth in these regions, driven by housing demand, is growing local economies as restaurants, shops and services expand.

In Canadian cities that have experienced an economic slowdown due to the low price of oil, two factors have been mitigating the short-term economic effects. Calgary, for example, has a diversified economy after years of population growth, while Edmonton and St. John’s are benefiting from numerous capital projects in the region including infrastructure investments and continued investments from the oil industry.

Other areas of the country have benefited from the return of workers who had left for employment opportunities in the West. Regions that for years have seen many of their young working population look to Alberta for employment have started to see that trend reverse. In Atlantic Canada, young people from outside the urban centres who would have moved west several years ago are now going to cities such as Halifax, which is having a positive effect on those economies.

This trend is notable in Southern Ontario, where manufacturing cities are able to provide good employment opportunities as a result of the low Canadian dollar. Windsor, which once had one of the highest unemployment rates in Canada, is now trending below the national average.

In Canadian housing markets where prices have softened, construction has also slowed to align with decreased demand. This is expected to stabilize prices as population growth catches up to inventory levels. Canada is on track to welcome approximately 300,000 new permanent residents this year: the highest number since 1913.

Victoria experienced a very active housing market at the start of 2016, with sales up 48 per cent between January and March compared with the same period in 2015…Read More

Demand was strong throughout Vancouver’s real estate market, from entry-level condos to $10 million luxury homes. Single-family homes continue to see the most activity…Read More

Fraser Valley’s proximity to metro Vancouver makes the region a popular spot for buyers looking for relatively affordable and spacious properties. An active first quarter saw sales rise…Read More

kelowna

Confidence in Kelowna’s housing market is strong following the first quarter of 2016 due to a stable provincial economy and continued low interest rates. Sales activity rose by nearly 20 per cent…Read More

edmonton

Edmonton’s housing market has slowed down slightly as a result of the downturn of Canada’s oil and gas sector. Sales were down nine per cent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2016…Read More

calgary

Calgary had a slow start to the spring real estate season as oil prices dipped in January, making buyers and sellers hesitant to enter the market. Once oil prices showed signs of beginning to recover, there was a corresponding uptick…Read More

saskatoon

After a slow fall and winter, housing market activity slowly began to return to normal during the first quarter of the year, buoyed by warmer weather and an early spring. As a result, sales were down six per cent…Read More

regina

While Regina usually experiences a pause in the market in advance of a provincial election, the market remained active leading up to the April election. After a period of slower activity…Read More

winnipeg

Winnipeg shifted to a balanced market during the first quarter of 2016 as a result of new inventory coming on the market. The additional inventory has spurred a rise in activity during the first quarter compared to 2015…Read More

windsor

A welcomed trend for the region is that younger workers are returning to the region from out west as the local economy is benefitting from a renewed consumer confidence and a falling unemployment rate…Read More

london

The spring market got off to a busy start in London-St. Thomas, and sales were up 10 per cent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2016. With inventory down from previous years and increased demand, multiple offers have become more common…Read More

sudbury

The average price for a detached home decreased from approximately $249,000 in the first quarter of 2015 to approximately $243,000 in 2016. This was due to higher demand from first-time buyers, resulting in more sales…Read More

kitchener waterloo

The real estate market has had an active start in the Kitchener-Waterloo region. Sales were up 23.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. The area is continuing to see a surge in buyers who are selling…Read More

Hamilton Burlington

Hamilton-Burlington has continued to see record activity, as buyers from the Greater Toronto Area look farther out to find affordable single-family homes. High demand has led to a year-round market in Hamilton…Read More

barrie

Affordability and lifestyle, alongside low interest rates, continue to fuel the real estate market in Barrie and its surrounding area. Sales activity in the region is up 27 per cent in the first quarter…Read More

greater toronto area

High demand and low inventory for single-family homes continued to be the dominant theme in Toronto’s housing market in the first quarter of the year. As city planning shifts toward density and away from urban sprawl, the supply of ground-oriented homes is increasingly limited…Read More

oakville

Oakville’s housing market was very active to start the year, with sales increasing by 11 per cent in the first quarter year-over-year. Single-family detached homes in the upscale town west of Toronto were in high demand, as move-up buyers…Read More

brampton

Brampton has historically been more affordable than other areas of Peel Region, but is starting to catch up as demand increases. Average price and sales activity increased year-over-year in the first quarter at a rate that outpaced the GTA average…Read More

Durham

There was high demand for affordable properties in the first quarter of the year, as prices throughout the GTA continued to increase. Most properties under $500,000 sold with multiple offers and many with significantly higher sales prices…Read More

kingston

Milder weather near the end of 2015 and start of 2016 contributed to increased activity in Kingston as sales were up 18 per cent by the end of the first quarter compared to the same period last year. This increase in activity…Read More

ottawa

Overall sales in the first quarter have remained stable in Canada’s capital city when compared to the same period in 2015. Condo sales rose 16 per cent year-over-year, while freehold sales have remained stable. The market is balanced…Read More

Saint John

Similar to last spring, all price ranges have been active in Saint John. There has been a 3.5 per cent increase in sales and this is attributed to some buyers looking to close sales before the land transfer tax increases…Read More

halifax dartmouth

After an exceptionally cold and snowy winter last year, the market was off to a much more active start in 2016. The spring market started earlier, and price and sales were up year-over-year in the first three months of 2016…Read More

charlottetown

Sales activity in Charlottetown was very brisk in the first quarter of 2016 increasing 69 per cent compared to the same period in 2015. This year’s mild winter has contributed to a surge in sales compared to heavy snowfall last year…Read More

St Johns

Taking advantage of continued historically low interest rates, first-time buyers fueled sales in the Greater St. Johns region in the first quarter of 2016. This buyer group makes up approximately 60 per cent of the regional housing market activity…Read More