HIGH DEMAND AND LOW SUPPLY CONTINUED TO CHARACTERIZE VANCOUVER’S AND TORONTO’S HOUSING MARKETS THROUGHOUT 2016 AS COMPETITION FROM BUYERS FOR LIMITED INVENTORY OF SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES PUSHED PRICES HIGHER.
The average residential sale price increased 13 per cent in Greater Vancouver to approximately $1,020,300 and rose 17 per cent in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to an estimated $725,857. Although demand remains high in both urban centres, limited inventory in the freehold market, the new 15 per cent foreign-buyer tax in Vancouver and the recent tightening of mortgage rules by the federal government are expected to soften market activity in the short term. In 2017, RE/MAX estimates average residential sale price will increase by two and eight per cent in Greater Vancouver and the GTA respectively.
Regional markets in close proximity to Canada’s highest-price cities continued to experience steady interest from local move-up buyers and buyers from these cities (“move-over” buyers) who are looking to find a balance between affordability and square footage. This year there were considerable year-over-year average price increases in Barrie (16 per cent), Hamilton-Burlington (20 per cent), the Fraser Valley (20 per cent) and Kelowna (14 per cent).
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Regulation changes at both the provincial and federal level towards the end of 2016 are already starting to impact activity in certain markets. The 15 per cent foreign-buyer tax is expected to slow this trend somewhat, as price appreciation declines in Vancouver have resulted in some potential sellers staying in the Lower Mainland. The ripple effect of the foreign-buyer tax can also be felt in the upper end of the GTA and Montreal markets as some foreign investors are expected to look for properties in these regions rather than Vancouver. Measures taken by the federal government to tighten mortgage insurance criteria for new home buyers is expected to temper local rst-time buyer activity across the country in the short term, but is not expected to have a long-term impact in most regions.
Home ownership remains a priority for Canadians, with 53 per cent of respondents in a recent RE/MAX survey conducted by Leger expressing intent to purchase a home and 47 per cent expressing intent to do so in the next five to 10 years. Nearly one in three (30 per cent) Canadians plan to use the purchase of a home as an investment strategy to help fund their retirement, and 42 per cent of millennial respondents view it as a retirement funding strategy. A proportion of Canadians would also consider unconventional home financing options to realize their dream of ownership such as: purchasing a home with a family member (33 per cent); renting a room on a vacation rental site like Airbnb (15 per cent); renting out a room in their home (22 per cent); or even purchasing a home with a roommate (9 per cent).
The housing markets in Calgary and Edmonton remained relatively stable, with moderate declines in the number of sales and average residential sale price as a result of the prolonged recovery of the oil sector over the past two years. The average residential sale price in Edmonton decreased slightly, by two per cent year-over-year in 2016, while Calgary’s average residential sale price decreased by four per cent. Buyer activity is expected to pick up slightly in the second half of 2017 if employment opportunities in the oil sector continue to gradually come back to the province.
High inventory continues to be a factor in many regions including Regina, Montreal, Saint John and St. John’s, offering a good selection of product to first-time and move-up buyers in these cities. Local infrastructure projects and initiatives, such as preparations for Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations in 2017, are anticipated to provide a boost to these economies and their real estate markets next year.
The RE/MAX 2017 average residential sale price expectation for Canada is an increase of two per cent as Canadians continue to see home ownership as an important milestone as well as a good investment.
LOCATED ON BEAUTIFUL VANCOUVER ISLAND, VICTORIA EXPERIENCED AN ACTIVE MARKET IN 2016 AND REMAINS A POPULAR DESTINATION FOR HOME BUYERS.
Market conditions have continued to favour sellers with any listings under $650,000 receiving multiple offers. There is approximately three months of inventory on the market across all property types. Number of sales for all residential properties between January and October grew by 18 per cent, up from 8,206 in 2015 to 9,719 in 2016 Sales were brisk across all property types and the average residential sale price rose from $518,153 to $580,961 in Victoria in 2016, a 12 per cent increase.
AVERAGE RESIDENTIAL SALE PRICES IN THE GREATER VANCOUVER AREA ROSE SLIGHTLY TO $1,020,300, UP FROM $902,801 IN 2015.
The housing market softened in 2016 due to the compounding effect of two factors: a stabilization of prices following a peak in April 2016 and the immediate impact of the 15 per cent foreign-buyer tax. Local buyers did remain active in the lower end of the market however, as the impact of these factors was felt more strongly in the upper end of the condo and detached markets.
Toward the end of 2016 and going into first half of 2017, some buyers– typically those searching in the lower end of the market – are expected to feel the impact of the recent tightening of mortgage lending rules by the federal government.
THE FRASER VALLEY CONTINUED TO SEE STRONG ACTIVITY FOR ALL RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY TYPES IN 2016.
Total sales for single-family detached homes grew by eight per cent, while condo sales saw an increase of 22 per cent. Low inventory and high demand contributed to the average sale price in the region rising 20 per cent, from $577,507 in 2015 to $690,000 in 2016. Move-up buyers, typically families looking for detached homes, continue to drive demand in the Fraser Valley.
KELOWNA’S HOUSING MARKET WAS ACTIVE THROUGH THE FIRST 10 MONTHS OF THE YEAR DUE TO LOW INTEREST RATES AND A STRONG LOCAL ECONOMY.
The average residential sale price rose 14 per cent year-over-year, to approximately $493,887, up from $435,074 in 2015. The number of sales in the region increased as well, rising from 3,869 between January and October 2015 to 4,360 during the same period in 2016.
CALGARY’S MARKET CONTINUES TO ADJUST TO LOW OIL PRICES AND THE PROLONGED DOWNTURN OF THE PROVINCIAL ECONOMY.
The average residential sale price in 2016 decreased slightly to $402,335 down four per cent year-over-year compared to 2015. Total sales between January and October were 15,642 in 2016, a decrease of seven per cent compared to the same period in 2015. A relatively low inventory of single-family detached homes has helped demand for properties between $300,000 and $500,000 stay fairly strong and helped prevent the average residential sale price in Calgary from declining too considerably.
IN SPITE OF UNCERTAIN EMPLOYMENT CONDITIONS DUE TO THE PROLONGED DOWNTURN OF THE OIL SECTOR, THE HOUSING MARKET IN EDMONTON REMAINED STABLE IN 2016.
The average residential sale price decreased slightly year-over-year from $372,511 to $364,000 and average days on market increased from 56 days to 61 days in 2016. Layoffs this past year in the oil sector are expected to continue to impact Edmonton’s housing market through the first quarter of 2017.
SASKATOON’S HOUSING MARKET IS CURRENTLY BALANCED, WITH NEW INVENTORY THAT CAME ON TO THE MARKET IN RECENT YEARS GRADUALLY BEING ABSORBED.
The average residential sale price was stable in 2016, declining slightly from $355,653 to $351,032 year-over-year. Activity between January and October declined by approximately six per cent in 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. Move-up buyers continue to drive demand in the city, usually looking for single-family detached homes in the $400,000 to $500,000 range.
REGINA’S RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE MARKET WAS STABLE IN 2016, WITH BOTH THE AVERAGE RESIDENTIAL SALE PRICE AND NUMBER OF SALES REMAINING SIMILAR TO LEVELS SEEN IN 2015.
The number of sales rose slightly, from 2,426 in 2015, to 2,514 in 2016, while the average residential sale price declined slightly from $319,857 to $318,785 year-over-year. The market is expected to remain stable in 2017.
WINNIPEG’S HOUSING MARKET WAS BALANCED IN 2016 AND IS EXPECTED TO SHIFT SLIGHTLY TO A BUYER’S MARKET IN 2017 AS NEW DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS GRADUALLY COME ON TO THE MARKET.
The average residential sale price rose three per cent year-over-year in 2016, from $281,022 to $288,500. Sales increased by six per cent between January and October in 2016 compared to 2015. Single-family detached homes between $200,000 and $350,000 are in highest demand in Winnipeg.
ACTIVITY WAS BRISK IN WINDSOR-ESSEX’S REAL ESTATE MARKET IN 2016.
Most listings received multiple offers and many properties sold for over the asking price, keeping the region in a seller’s market. Consumer confidence in Windsor continues to rise due to the city’s positive economic outlook. Move-up buyers drive demand, motivated by the growth of the auto industry and a number of infrastructure projects currently underway in the city. The average residential sale price rose to approximately $226,468 in 2016, up from $201,115 in 2015. U
SUDBURY’S HOUSING MARKET REMAINED BALANCED IN 2016.
The average residential sale price rose two and a half per cent to $256,801, up from $250,593 in 2015. Sales activity was also stable, with 2,356 sales between January and October of 2016, compared to 2,300 during the same period last year. In the heart of northern Ontario, Sudbury offers plenty of big city services, a stable economy and close proximity to nature, making it an attractive relocation community for retirees looking to downsize.
THE KITCHENER-WATERLOO HOUSING MARKET SAW SIGNIFICANT GROWTH IN 2016.
The average residential sale price rose approximately 10 per cent to $382,697 up from $348,220 in 2015. Many residential listings received multiple offers, with preemptive offers being a common occurrence. Greater Toronto Area buyers continue to drive demand in Kitchener-Waterloo as they seek out affordable housing options along the GO Train line.
THE HAMILTON-BURLINGTON RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE MARKET CONTINUED TO SEE SUBSTANTIAL GROWTH IN 2016.
The average residential sale price in Hamilton-Burlington increased by 20 per cent in 2016 to $535,520, up from $446,961 in 2015. Low inventory in both Hamilton and Burlington led to a slight softening in sales volume in 2016.
BARRIE REMAINED A SELLER’S MARKET IN 2016 AND CONTINUED TO SEE HIGH DEMAND AND LOW INVENTORY LEVELS.
The average sale price for properties in Barrie an estimated $409,356 in 2016, up from $351,554 in 2015. Sales were up as well, rising to 2,593 between January and October in 2016, compared to 2,405 during the same period in 2015.
THE HOUSING MARKET IN THE GREATER TORONTO AREA CONTINUED TO SEE SIGNIFICANT ACTIVITY IN 2016.
The average residential sale price in the GTA rose 17 per cent to $725,857, up from $622,217 in 2015. Move-up buyers continue to drive demand in the market for single-family detached homes valued up to $1.5 million in Toronto and $1 million in the surrounding GTA and this trend is expected to continue into 2017.
MISSISSAUGA remained in a seller’s market throughout 2016, with the average residential sale price at $625,538; up 14 per cent from 2015.
BRAMPTON’S real estate market remained busy in 2016. The average residential sale price is estimated at $582,295, up from $488,486 in 2015.
OAKVILLE’S housing market continued to be characterized by a mix of low inventory and high demand in 2016 as the average residential sale price increased approximately 24 per cent in 2016 over the previous year to approximately $1,044,536 up from $837,410 in 2015.
DURHAM REGION’S housing market saw substantial growth in 2016. The average residential sale price rose nearly 20 per cent year-over-year to $527,285, up from $442,332 in 2015.
LOW INTEREST RATES CONTRIBUTED TO A BRISK REAL ESTATE MARKET IN KINGSTON IN 2016, WITH RESIDENTIAL SALES UP 12.5 PER CENT YEAR-OVER-YEAR COMPARED TO 2015.
The city moved from a buyer’s to a balanced market as increased activity and limited new product contributed to decreased inventory across the market. The average residential sale price in Kingston rose nearly three per cent in 2016 to $305,600, up from $298,000 in 2015.
THE HOUSING MARKET IN CANADA’S CAPITAL REMAINED STABLE IN 2016 WITH MODEST INCREASES IN BOTH THE NUMBER OF SALES AND THE AVERAGE RESIDENTIAL SALE PRICE.
The average residential sale price grew one per cent year-over-year, from $367,632 to $370,940. The number of sales between January and October rose to 13,834 in 2016 compared to 12,964 during the same period in 2015.
MONTREAL’S HOUSING MARKET WAS STABLE IN 2016, WITH THE AVERAGE RESIDENTIAL SALE PRICE INCREASING MODERATELY BY THREE PER CENT YEAR-OVER-YEAR FROM $337,263 IN 2015 TO $347,321 IN 2016.
Sales volume in the region decreased slightly, with the number of sales shifting from 37,890 in 2015 to 34,465 in 2016. Demand remains high for single-family detached homes around $350,000, with multiple offers on listings commonplace.
QUEBEC CITY CONTINUED TO BE A BUYER’S MARKET IN 2016 AS PROPERTIES TYPICALLY SOLD JUST BELOW OR AT THEIR LISTING PRICE.
Multiple offers for both detached homes and condos were fairly rare. High inventory levels have characterized the Quebec City market in recent years and provided buyers a wide selection of properties to choose from, while sellers expect that their home may take several months to sell.
SAINT JOHN’S HOUSING MARKET WAS BRISK IN 2016, WITH SALES OF ALL RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES UP 9% YEAR-OVER-YEAR BETWEEN JANUARY AND OCTOBER.
The average residential sale price increased a little over one per cent from $175,152 in 2015 to $177,567 in 2016. Currently Saint John buyers have a wide array of options, with 16 months of inventory currently on the market.
THE RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE MARKET IN NOVA SCOTIA’S CAPITAL WAS STRONG IN 2016.
Activity in Halifax was up seven per cent year-over-year in 2016, with total unit sales rising from 4,215 in 2015 to 4,522. The average residential sale price increased to $287,916, up from $278,117 in 2015. Continued population growth in the city contributed to increased consumer confidence in Halifax in 2016.
CHARLOTTETOWN’S HOUSING MARKET WAS ACTIVE IN 2016, PARTICULARLY FOR PROPERTIES IN THE GREATER CHARLOTTETOWN AREA.
The number of sales between January and October rose by 27 per cent in 2016 compared to 2015, while the average sale price rose from $219,460 to $231,010 year-over-year. The market is expected to remain balanced in 2017, with good product available for single-family detached homes, which remain the most sought after properties in the city.
THE DOWNTURN IN NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR’S COMMODITY SECTOR IN RECENT YEARS HAS CONTINUED TO IMPACT ST. JOHN’S HOUSING MARKET, WITH THE AVERAGE RESIDENTIAL SALE PRICE DOWN SIX PER CENT YEAR-OVER-YEAR IN 2016.
Activity has also softened slightly, with the number of sales declining to 2,752 in 2016 to 2,808 in 2015. The market is expected to remain a buyer’s market in 2017, with good selection of product and approximately nine months of inventory on the market.