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 today 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,” says Michael Polzler, Executive Vice President, Regional Director,
RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “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,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “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.”
** Provided By: RE/MAX Ontario, December 7, 2010