By: ROYAL LEPAGE
TORONTO, October 10, 2013 – According to the Royal LePage House Price Survey released today, the average price of a home in Canada increased between 1.2 per cent and 4.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2013.
The survey showed a year-over-year average price increase of 3.7 per cent to $418,686 for standard two-storey homes, while detached bungalows rose 4.1 per cent to $381,811. During the same period, the average price for standard condominiums saw a more moderate increase, rising 1.2 per cent to $246,530. Sales volumes surged in a number of regions, as Canadians re-entered the housing market after sitting on the sidelines for more than a year – marking the end of the most significant housing market correction since the 2008-2009 global recession.
“Canada experienced a significant housing market correction over the last four quarters that most in the nation missed entirely,” said Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage. “Many regions experienced dramatic slowdowns in the number of homes trading hands, but news of double-digit unit sales declines went largely unnoticed, over-shadowed by a macabre fascination with the prospect of a U.S.-style home price collapse, which of course never transpired. Our over-heated real estate market of 2011 and early 2012 drove some to the sidelines. Home price appreciation ground to a halt for a year – a necessary breather and predictable market response.”
According to the Royal LePage survey, St. John’s, Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Calgary led the country in home price increases, while Vancouver posted year-over-year price gains across all three housing categories.
“Our housing market turned a corner in the third quarter. Buyers returned to the streets in droves, resulting in a sharp increase in home sales. In many cities, there simply weren’t enough properties on the market to satisfy demand, which put upward pressure on prices for the first time in 2013,” continued Soper. “We expect this positive momentum to continue through the all-important spring market of 2014, buoyed by a combination of pent-up demand, increasing consumer confidence and continued low interest rates.”
Last month, a number of prominent financial institutions upgraded their projections on Canada’s future gross domestic product (GDP) growth. TD Bank raised its outlook for Canadian GDP growth for the third quarter to an annual rate of 2.3 per cent, while maintaining its forecast that full-year growth will be 1.7 per cent in 2013 and 2.4 per cent in 2014. RBC posted slightly higher GDP growth numbers for this year and next of 1.8 and 2.8 per cent, respectively. In the same month Statistics Canada reported that Canada’s economy created 59,000 jobs in August, approximately triple what most economists had forecast.
“Job growth begets consumer confidence. An emboldened citizen is more likely to enter into a major financial transaction. Following almost six years of turbulent times, economic fundamentals are pointing to an era of renewed prosperity. The American economy is on an upward trajectory and businesses in Canada and around the world are finally loosening purse strings and investing in people for growth. This is vitally important for an exporting nation like ours. And as goes the Canadian economy, so goes the residential real estate sector,” explained Soper.
“Emerging headwinds for Canada’s real estate market include the demographic trend of simply having fewer people of home-buying age than in the 2000s, but this will be offset by immigration and social change. Baby Boomers are living longer than their parents, extending that generations period of active real estate participation. At the other end of the scale, single people, and in particular single women, are buying homes earlier and at a faster rate than ever before.”
Soper concluded, “while interest rates must of course rise from current historical lows, we anticipate the change to be modest in the medium term. As the country emerges from this extended correctional cycle, we believe the real estate market stimulus previously provided by low interest rates will be replaced by a strengthening labour market and true economic recovery.”