Potential sellers in both Vancouver and Toronto hesitant to enter competitive market as buyers, further restricting inventory

  • Millennials, especially in Ontario and BC, are counting on their parents’ help to purchase their homes
  • Diversified economies and capital projects mitigate short-term effects of low price of oil in Calgary, Edmonton and St. John’s
  • Migration from oil-producing regions spurs market activity, most notably in Southern Ontario

Toronto and Kelowna, April 21, 2016// 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.

“The ripple effect on the housing markets outside of Toronto and Vancouver is quite significant when you look at the Canadian housing market overall,” said Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “As a result, when you remove Toronto and Vancouver from the equation, the national average house price still rose approximately 10 per cent in the last year.”

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. The population growth in these regions, driven by housing demand, is growing local economies as restaurants, shops and services expand.

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.

Effects of low oil on Alberta, Southern Ontario, Atlantic Canada

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 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 regions have benefited from the return of workers who had left for employment opportunities in Canada’s oil.

“Regions that for years have seen many of their young working population look to Alberta for employment opportunities have started to see that trend reverse,” said Gurinder Sandhu, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX INTEGRA Ontario-Atlantic Canada Region. “In Atlantic Canada, for example, young people from outside the urban centres who would have moved west several years ago are now going to cities like Halifax, which is having a positive effect on those economies.”

This 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.

Millennials across the country look to parents for help

Across Canada, parents are increasingly helping their children enter the real estate market. In cities where prices have appreciated, parents who own property have financially benefited and are in a position to help. In other cities where prices have softened, financing has become more difficult to secure and first-time buyers are also relying on their parents. This is consistent with the recent RE/MAX poll that shows 37 per cent of Canadians 18-34 who are considering buying a home expect help with their downpayment from a family member, co-buyer or friend. Of those who are expecting help, 60 per cent anticipate it will come from their parents. Despite additional challenges facing first-time buyers, millennials across Canada are optimistic about both home ownership and job prospects; 78.5 per cent of Canadians 18-34 agree that owning a home they love is attainable.

For the full 2016 RE/MAX Spring Market Trends report, click here.

Data Table

Market Average Residential Sale Price YOY%
  Jan.-March 2015 Jan.-March 2016 2016/2015
Victoria $495,137 $543,564 10%
Greater Vancouver $893,180 1,103,586 24%
Fraser Valley $549,065 $719,992 31%
Kelowna $413,978 $447,308 8%
Edmonton $367,648 $364,334 -1%
Calgary $466,451 $467,748 0%
Regina $308,355 $311,952 1%
Saskatoon $351,866 $347,387 -1%
Winnipeg $273,906 $300,011 10%
London-St. Thomas $255,786 $271,920 6%
Kitchener-Waterloo $349,482 $371,733 6%
Hamilton-Burlington $443,803 486,008 10%
Greater Toronto Area $594,827 675,492 14%
Ottawa $357,006 $361,623 1%
Greater Sudbury $249,180 $243,396 -2%
Barrie & District $352,124 $401,801 14%
Windsor-Essex $189,433 $211,211 11%
Kingston & Area $295,576 $286,967 -3%
Saint John $167,925 $163,218 -3%
Halifax-Dartmouth $277,565 $289,425 4%
Charlottetown $210,318 $223,321 6%
Greater St. John’s Area $293,740 $282,054 -4%

Key Findings from 2016 RE/MAX Spring Market Trends Omnibus Survey

Nearly 80% of Canadians agree that owning a home they love is attainable:

  • BC: 64.9%
  • AB: 87.8%
  • SK/MB: 83.2%
  • ON: 77.0%
  • QC: 82.3%
  • Atlantic: 89.3%

Consumer confidence is high among Canadians 18-34:

  • 78.5% agree owning a home they love is attainable
  • 81.6% agree finding a good job in their field is attainable
  • 68.2 agree saving for a downpayment is a priority

The survey also found that across age groups, 79.9% of Canadians agree that saving for retirement is a priority, while 48.2% agree that saving for a downpayment is a priority.

To coordinate interviews, please contact:

Western Canada

Wade Paterson

  • 250-860-3628

Kristen Learned

Ontario and Atlantic Canada

Shelby Schneider

  • 905-542-2400

Rachael Factor

About the RE/MAX Network:

RE/MAX was founded in 1973 by Dave and Gail Liniger, with an innovative, entrepreneurial culture affording its agents and franchisees the flexibility to operate their businesses with great independence.

Over 100,000 agents provide RE/MAX a global reach of nearly 100 countries.

RE/MAX, LLC, one of the world’s leading franchisors of real estate brokerage services, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RMCO, LLC, which is controlled and managed by RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:RMAX).

With a passion for the communities in which its agents live and work, RE/MAX is proud to have raised more than $150 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® and other charities.

For more information about RE/MAX, to search home listings or find an agent in your community, please visit www.remax.ca.

About RE/MAX INTEGRA and RE/MAX INTEGRA, Ontario-Atlantic Canada      

RE/MAX INTEGRA, founded in 1980, is a privately held company by Canadian entrepreneurs. With regional headquarters in Toronto, Boston, Minneapolis, Zug, and Vienna, RE/MAX INTEGRA represents nearly a third of all RE/MAX Sales Associates worldwide. The company was founded on the premise of providing outstanding service and support both at the regional level and to the end consumer.

The Ontario-Atlantic Canada region, has surpassed 10,000 quality Associates; The US regions — New England and the Midwest (including the following states: Minnesota, Wisconsin and Indiana) – account for more than 6,500 Associates with over 2,600 and 3,800 Associates respectively; and the European region leads with more than 16,000 Associates. For more information about RE/MAX INTEGRA, visit www.remaxintegra.com.

About Leger

Leger is the largest Canadian-owned full-service market research firm. An online survey of 1516 Canadians was conducted between Monday, March 28 and Thursday, March, 31, 2016, using LegerWeb. Leger’s online panel has more than 475,000 members nationally – with between 10,000 and 20,000 new members added each month, and has a retention rate of 90%. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend,” “expect,” “estimate,” “plan,” “outlook,” “project” and other similar words and expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends that are not statements of historical matters. These forward-looking statements include statements regarding the future performance of the housing market, the Company’s financial and operational outlook, the Company’s belief that business fundamentals remain strong, as well as other statements regarding the Company’s strategic and operational plans. Forward-looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which such performance or results will be achieved. Forward looking statements are based on information available at the time those statements are made and/or management’s good faith belief as of that time with respect to future events, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in or suggested by the forward looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, (1) changes in business and economic activity in general, (2) changes in the real estate market, including changes due to interest rates and availability of financing, (3) the Company’s ability to attract and retain quality franchisees, (4) the Company’s franchisees’ ability to recruit and retain agents, (5) changes in laws and regulations that may affect the Company’s business or the real estate market, (6) failure to maintain, protect and enhance the RE/MAX brand (7) fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, as well as those risks and uncertainties described in the sections entitled “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation” in the most recent Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and similar disclosures in subsequent reports filed with the SEC, which are available on the investor relations page of the Company’s website at www.remax.com and on the SEC website at www.sec.gov.  Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. Except as required by law, the Company does not intend, and undertakes no duty, to update this information to reflect future events or circumstances.