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September 23, 2016 in Buying Toronto Real Estate, Canadian Real Estate Market, For Sale By Owner, Location, location, location, New in New Homes, Pay what you want listings, Real Estate Investments, Save on Comission Fees, Selling Toronto Real Estate, Sold Watch, Toronto MLS Listings, Toronto MLS Sales, Toronto Neighbourhoods, Toronto Real Estate Trends, Toronto Real Estate Update, What's next (in real estate) | Permalink

Canadian home sales up in September

According to statistics[1] released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national resale housing activity picked up in September 2011.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) national sales activity came in 11 per cent above levels in September 2010. As was the case over the summer, the year-over-year increase reflects weakened activity one year ago.

A total of 361,749 homes have traded hands via Canadian MLS® Systems to date this year. This is 1.2 per cent above levels for the same period in 2010, and in line with the ten-year average.

“The Canadian housing market remains a bright spot against a backdrop of mixed headline news about the global economy,” said Gary Morse, CREA President. “Low mortgage rates continue to draw buyers to the housing market, while recently tightened mortgage regulations are working as intended. That said, housing market trends often diverge from national trends due to local factors, so buyers and sellers should talk to a local REALTOR® to understand housing market trends at play where they live.”

The number of newly listed homes nationally was little changed from each of the previous two months. New listings were up from the previous month in a number of major markets including Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Oakville and Vancouver, offset by fewer new listings in other markets including Edmonton and the Fraser Valley.

The monthly rise in sales resulted in a tighter national housing market that remains firmly planted in balanced territory. The national sales-to-new listings ratio, a measure of market balance, stood at 52.8 per cent in September, up from 51.6 per cent in August.

Based on a sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40 to 60 percent, nearly two-thirds of all local markets in Canada were in balanced market territory in September, with an even split of buyer’s and seller’s markets among the remainder.

The number of months of inventory stood at 6.1 months at the end of September on a national basis, little changed from the end of August (6.2 months). It represents the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity, and is another measure of balance between housing supply and demand. Months of inventory have held steady at about six months since April.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in September 2011 stood at just under $352,600, remaining below record level heights reached earlier this year. While up 6.5 per cent from September 2010, the year-over-year increase is the smallest since January.

“Canada’s housing market remains stable amid continuing financial market volatility, contributing to Canadians’ confidence in the economy and providing support for Canadian economic growth,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Interest rates are expected to remain low for longer, and evidence suggests that recent changes to mortgage regulations are preventing the kind of excesses they were designed to avert. Both of these developments are good news for the housing market.”

October 17, 2011 in Canadian Real Estate Market | Permalink | Comments (28) | TrackBack

Canadian home sales stable in July

According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national resale housing activity was stable on a month-to-month basis in July following an uptick in June.

National home sales activity held steady in July 2011 compared to the previous month, with just over half of local markets posting month-over-month gains. Major markets that saw gains compared to June include Edmonton, Montreal, as well as Newfoundland and Labrador. Activity also held steady in Toronto, while Vancouver recorded a small decline.

“The continued stability in national sales activity shows that homebuyers remain confident about the soundness of investing in a home,” said Gary Morse, CREA’s President. “Mortgage interest rates are low and keeping home affordability within reach, making it an excellent time for buyers to take advantage of very favourable financing. Prices and affordability evolve differently among local markets, so buyers and sellers should consult their local REALTOR® to better understand how the outlook for housing supply, demand, and prices is shaping up in their housing market.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity came in 12.3 per cent above national levels reported one year earlier. This increase reflects weakened activity in July 2010, when levels for the month reached their lowest point since 2002.

A total of 284,537 homes have traded hands via Canadian MLS® Systems so far this year. This stands just 1.6 per cent below levels in the first seven months of last year, and continues to run in line with the ten-year average.

The number of newly listed homes edged up by less than one per cent from June to July. New listings were down in 60 per cent of local markets, but increased in many large urban centres including Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Ottawa.

The national housing market remains firmly planted in balanced territory. The national sales-to-new listings ratio, a measure of market balance, stood at 51.8 per cent in July, which is little changed from 52.3 per cent in June.

Based on a sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40 to 60 percent, about three in every five local markets in Canada were balanced in July. Half of the remaining markets may be classified as sellers’ markets, with a sales-to-new listings ratio of above 60 per cent.

The number of months of inventory stood at 6.1 months at the end of July on a national basis, which is little changed from the end of June (6.0 months). The number of months of inventory represents the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity, and is another measure of the balance between housing supply and demand.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in July 2011 stood at $361,181, which is the lowest level since January. While up 9.3 per cent from its year-ago level, the increase reflects a short-lived decline in the average price following the introduction of the HST in B.C. and Ontario, and tighter mortgage regulations earlier in 2010.

“Earlier this year, the national average price was being skewed upward by sales in some expensive Vancouver neighbourhoods, but this factor is now diminishing,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Upward skewing of the national average price is also shrinking due to overall sales trends in Vancouver, and most recently in Toronto. Their market shares as a percentage of provincial and national sales activity are declining from the elevated levels seen in the first half of the year.”

“Changes in the national average home price are open to being misinterpreted,” added Klump. “They often signify changes in the mix of sales activity across and within local markets, rather than a rising or falling price trend for typical homes in a specific market.”

“The national share of sales activity in some of Canada’s more expensive urban centres may retreat further from elevated levels recorded earlier this year, resulting in an easing trend for the national average home price,” he added. “Even so, the stability of Canada’s housing market will likely continue to stand in stark contrast to further expected volatility in financial markets.”

For more information see CREA report »

August 16, 2011 in Canadian Real Estate Market | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Home values continue to rise

The current Royal LePage House Price Survey shows the average price of a home in Canada increased between 3.5 and 4.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2011, compared to the previous year, as markets continued their post-recession recovery. While the rate of year-over-year price appreciation slowed slightly in the first quarter, home values continued the upward climb, which first began late in the second quarter of 2009.

Low interest rates and a recovering economy continued to fuel activity in Canada’s housing markets over the past year, which has led to country-wide increases in average home prices. In the first quarter of 2011, the national average price of a detached bungalow rose 4.3 per cent year-over-year to $341,355, while standard two-storey homes rose 3.5 per cent to $379,388 and standard condominiums rose 4 per cent to $237,919.

“The rate at which Canadian homes are appreciating may well have peaked for the next year or so,” said Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage Real Estate Services. “We expect house prices will continue to creep up, but most of the excess demand created by the initial drop in interest rates has been satisfied, and affordability continues to erode slowly, allowing the listings supply to catch up. In most markets, lower single digit percentage increases are more likely for the balance of the year.”

In the first quarter of 2011, certain markets such as Vancouver, Montreal and Halifax continued to experience significant price gains compared to the same period a year earlier, largely due to favourable regional demographic shifts and healthy local economies.

“Canada’s real estate market has maintained momentum coming out of 2010, indicating that the post-recession recovery is continuing,” Soper added. “While low interest rates continue to drive demand, the tepid pace at which employment levels are improving is tempering the rate of home price appreciation in many Canadian cities. The exception to this trend can be seen in markets like Vancouver, where foreign buyers, particularly from China, are driving demand in select mid-to-high priced markets, and driving up the regional average reported home prices at a surprising pace. In Montreal and Halifax, demand from first-time buyers and purchasers of luxury homes are creating significant year-over-year gains in home values.”

Among the best performing markets in the first quarter of 2011, Vancouver’s standard two-storey homes increased 9.7 per cent year-over-year to $1,083,750. Detached bungalows in Montreal rose 7.6 per cent year-over-year to $276,343 and standard condominiums in Halifax rose 13.1% year-over-year to $191,500.

Meanwhile, year-over-year price appreciation softened in St. John’s where the market is cooling down after an extended period of double digit price increases. In Saint John, detached bungalows dropped 6.3 per cent year-over-year to $178,000. While the medium-term prospects for the housing market in Alberta’s major cities remains very positive, the city of Calgary in particular is still adjusting to the rapid pace at which home prices appreciated in the middle of the past decade. The average price of a standard two-storey Calgary home was down 2.1 per cent year-over-year to $423,122.

Regional Market Summaries

Toronto’s detached bungalows and standard condominiums made healthy gains increasing 4.5 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively. Demand for detached bungalows was driven by first-time buyers concerned with potentially rising interest rates and developers who are rebuilding or renovating the homes into larger units.

Halifax witnessed the largest year-over-year price gains in Atlantic Canada, and some of the highest gains nationally, including the largest increase in standard condominiums rising 13.1 per cent.

Montreal continued to post strong gains as standard condominiums posted a year-over-year increase of 8.7 per cent, while detached bungalows rose 7.6 per cent.

Ottawa’s first-time buyers continue to drive the housing market as the region saw year-over-year price appreciation ranging between 5.2 to 5.9 per cent across all housing types surveyed this quarter.

Winnipeg’s standard two-storey homes posted strong year-over-year gains rising 7.1 per cent to an average price of $297,125, second only to Vancouver in growth and tied with Halifax for this housing type.

While Saskatoon’s housing market posted modest changes, the three housing types surveyed in Regina made healthy year-over-year gains ranging from 3.2 per cent to 5.4 per cent.

Edmonton’s housing market stabilized with year-over-year price changes ranging from minus 1.8 per cent to increases of 2.3 per cent. Calgary’s house prices saw modest year-over-year depreciation across all three housing types surveyed as a result of an increase in inventory. This coupled with low interest rates has presented attractive opportunities for potential buyers.

Driven by low interest rates, single family homes in Vancouver again dominated house price gains as two-storey houses rose year-over-year by 9.7 per cent. Although inventory is down slightly from last year, listings are keeping pace with demand.

Royal LePage’s quarterly House Price Survey shows the annual change of prices for key housing segments in select national markets. See summary of Canadian markets »

April 14, 2011 in Canadian Real Estate Market | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Home sales hit nine month high

Vancouver and Toronto lead increase in January as national average reaches $343,675.

Home sales in Canada increased 4.5 per cent in January over the previous month, their highest seasonally adjusted point since last April. The Canadian Real Estate Association said Tuesday the Vancouver and Toronto markets led the way, but there were gains in more than half of all local markets during the month.

"We anticipated the recent announcement of tighter mortgage regulations, which will come into effect this March, would pull forward sales activity into the first quarter of 2011, particularly in some of Canada’s more expensive housing markets,” CREA chief economist Gregory Klump said.

“The sharp rise in sales activity in Toronto following the announcement provides early evidence confirming this."

Klump was referring to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's announcement in January that Ottawa will no longer insure mortgages of longer than 30 years.

National sales activity has improved steadily since last summer, and now stands almost 25 per cent above the low point reached in July 2010, CREA said.

The national average price for homes sold in January was $343,675. While little changed compared to the previous three months, much like the total sales numbers, the price figure is 4.5 per cent higher than the average price level in January 2010.

New listings of homes for sale normally post their biggest month-over-month increase in January, and January 2011 was no exception.

New listings more than doubled in January compared to the previous month, the largest such gain since 2007.

February 15, 2011 in Canadian Real Estate Market | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

London home sales in 2010

The London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR) reports that at year end the London area market had managed to outstrip 2009 by a modest 0.7% in terms of sales. A total of 8,128 homes exchanged hands in 2010 -- 6,587 detached homes (up 0.4%) and 1,541 condos (up 2.1%), put sales for 2010 on par with those of 2002 and 2003. "Both of those years were banner years for real estate," says Richard Thyssen, LSTAR president. "Our Census Metropolitan Area took a hit with the Great Recession, but we bounced back. Holding our own over the past year is evidence that the sort of market stabilization that both the Canadian Real Estate Association and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation forecast in the autumn of 2010 is, indeed, taking place."

A total of 381 homes exchanged hands in December -- 301 detached homes and 80 condos, down 14.7% and 5.9% respectively from December 2009. However, to put these figures into perspective, December 2009 had the distinction of being the best December on record with 438 sales. "We were just coming out of the downturn," explains Thyssen. "There was a lot of pent up demand that got met in December 2009, which accounts for the unusually high volume of sales." The average number of sales during December over the past decade stands at 379.

The average price for a home in the London area in 2010 rose 6.3% for detached homes to stand at $240,147, 7.9% for condos to stand at $171,098 , and 6.4% for total residential to stand at $227.056. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. However, LSTAR cautions that, while average sale price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, it should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value.

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association's MLS Survey the average in sales price in comparative markets were:

London and St. Thomas -- $227,056
Vancouver -- $679,381
Victoria -- $485,459
Toronto --$427,269
Calgary -- $401,080
Edmonton -- $325,060
Ottawa -- $324,841
Hamilton -- $ 316,556
Durham -- $296,395
Kitchener-Waterloo -- $275,879
St. Catharines -- $250,390

The best-selling house style in LSTAR's jurisdiction for 2010 was the two-storey, followed by the bungalow, the ranch and the townhouse condo. Home sales in London's sister city of St. Thomas numbered 662 for the year, 5.7% down from 2009. The average price for a home in St. Thomas at the end of 2010 was $182,719 which is relatively unchanged from 2009.

January 4, 2011 in Canadian Real Estate Market | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack

Home resales improve in October

Canada's resale housing activity rose for the third consecutive month in October 2010, according to statistics released by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Seasonally adjusted national home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards climbed 4.6 per cent in October 2010. The monthly rise in activity builds on similar increases in August and September. As a result, activity now stands 13.3 per cent above July levels, when it reached this year’s low point.

Three-quarters of local markets posted monthly increases in seasonally adjusted activity in October, led by Toronto and Vancouver. As further evidence that the market is returning to normal, sales activity in October stood halfway between the recessionary low reached in December 2008, and the record level activity posted in December 2009.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) national sales activity in October 2010 was 21.6 per below levels for October 2009, when activity set a new record for the month.

National sales activity rebounded last year without a single monthly decline and hit record levels in the second half of 2009. As a result, large declines in activity compared to year-ago levels are masking recent monthly gains in national sales activity. Record level activity late last year is expected to continue stretching year-ago comparisons over the rest of 2010.

The number of new residential listings on Canadian MLS® Systems edged up 1.3 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis in October. New listings remain 14 per cent below the recent peak reached in April 2010.

National sales activity and new listings have swung widely but synchronously, which has kept the market in balanced territory since the spring. Over half of all local markets in Canada are balanced, with an almost equal proportion of the remainder in buyers’ or sellers’ market territory.

The national average price trend remains stable, in keeping with a balanced market. The national average price trend has remained fairly steady for more than a year, but only recently is this being reflected in year-over-year comparisons. The national average price for homes sold in October 2010 was $343,747, up less than a percentage point compared to one year ago. October marks the fourth consecutive month in which the average home price has remained roughly even with year-ago levels.

The number of months of inventory represents the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity, and measures the balance between housing supply and demand. The seasonally adjusted number of months of inventory stood at 6.2 months at the end of October on a national basis. This is down from 6.5 months in September. The number of months of inventory now stands a full month below where it was in July.

“The continuation of low interest rates is supporting sales activity, which has been improving over the past few months in a number of major markets including Vancouver,” said Georges Pahud, CREA’s President. “National housing market trends are improving, but local market trends can differ significantly, so home buyers and sellers should consult their REALTOR® to understand how their housing market is evolving.”

“National sales activity is now running almost halfway between the highs and lows posted between late 2008 and late 2009,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “This suggests that the Canadian housing market may be starting to normalize. After the wild rollercoaster ride that many housing markets have been on, normal and stable market conditions are something that many buyers and sellers will likely welcome.”

November 15, 2010 in Canadian Real Estate Market | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Home ownership gets more expensive

Canadians will find it more expensive to own a home this year and in 2011, as higher interest rates are expected to chip away at affordability even as the rise in home prices begins to subside, two of Canada's major banks predicted Tuesday. A report by RBC Economics Research released Tuesday said affordability would deteriorate throughout 2010 and 2011 as rising interest rates increase mortgage and other loan payments.

"Some erosion in affordability is going to come from higher interest rates... (meanwhile) prices continue to rise. Combine the two and I think the second quarter you should expect some further deterioration in affordability," said RBC senior economist Robert Hogue.

Canada's hot housing market is coming back into balance between supply and demand following a seller-friendly period in which buyers competed for — and drove up the prices of — the few houses for sale during the first stages of economic recovery.

As demand cools and supplies increase, the pace of price increases will slow, but won't fall fast enough to offset rising interest and mortgage rates, Hogue said.

"I'd be hard-pressed to see any kind of the recent pace in price increases being maintained, but it might not be an outright decline any time very soon," he added.

The RBC report found home ownership costs in Canada rose across all housing segments in the first three months of 2010 — the third quarter of increases in a row.

With the exception of Alberta, home affordability measures deteriorated across all provinces with significant declines in affordability in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Housing affordability declined more moderately in Quebec, Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

Meanwhile, a new report from the Canadian Real Estate Association found that Canadian home prices are unlikely to undergo the type of sharp correction seen south of the border, where prices plummeted and foreclosures ensued.

The CREA report says the current period of high home prices is a natural part of the demand-driven market cycle.

"The Canadian housing market is now widely thought to be at, or very near, the top of a cycle, and the ratio of home prices to incomes is currently high," said its chief economist Gregory Klump.

The CREA report said the income-to-house price ratio will soon revert to its long-term average as it always does as part of a normal housing market cycle.

"History suggests, however, that it will not do so by means of a significant correction in home prices. The more likely scenario is that home prices will stabilize, giving incomes a chance to catch up again," Klump said.

Unlike their U.S. counterparts, Canadian mortgage holders have borrowed conservatively and are accelerating mortgage repayment, which will give options to those who may face financial difficulties when they renew their mortgage at a higher rate, the report said.

A report on housing affordability by CIBC World Markets on Tuesday suggested about 1.5 million, or 17 per cent, of houses in Canada, are currently overvalued.

CIBC senior economist Benjamin estimated that, on average, Canadian home prices are now around 14 per cent over their "fair" value, adding there would likely be a five to ten per cent price correction in the next few years.

"This pace of appreciation has been quicker than justified by housing market fundamentals such as income, rent or demographic changes," Tal wrote in the report.

"While the booming housing market is starting to come back to earth, the fact that prices are overvalued today does not necessarily mean that they will crash tomorrow," he added.

Tal's report found the average price of a house has risen by nearly 23 per cent since reaching recent cyclical lows in January 2009. And the erosion of affordability — as interest rates rise faster than prices drop — could cause problems for the most vulnerable segment of the population, he said.

CIBC's new home ownership affordability index found that home ownership is increasingly difficult for families with household incomes less than $50,000, who on average spend close to 60 per cent of their gross income on mortgage payments, property taxes and electricity costs.

The report found that Canadians today spend 15.6 per cent of their average gross personal income on mortgage payments, which is about the same as 10 years ago. When adding in electricity bills and property taxes, it rises to about 22 per cent of gross income.

Tal predicted that in the second quarter of the year, affordability will continue to deteriorate, even as prices level off. He added that home prices will fall in the second half of the year and in to 2011, which will improve affordability.

"I don't think affordability will be a major issue over the next two years. I think it will be relatively stable with interest rates rising, but prices actually going down a little bit," he said.

May 26, 2010 in Canadian Real Estate Market | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Home resales cool, listings climb

Residential sales slipped 2.6 percent from March.

Canadian home resales slowed in April from the previous month while new listings climbed, suggesting the country's real estate market could soon start to cool after a year of surging prices. Even so, sales of existing homes still showed a big jump from the same month last year, according data on Monday from the Canadian Real Estate Association, with prices rising at a double-digit pace year over year.

Residential housing has become an important driver of the Canadian economy, even during the recession, spurred partly by low interest rates. It also gave rise to a fiery debate on whether the housing sector was forming a bubble, a charge that policymakers swiftly downplay.

All told, 42,078 homes changed hands in April, up 20.1 percent from the same month last year. But sales slipped 2.6 percent from March, the third decline in four months, and have fallen 6.8 percent from the peak reached in December.

The cooler pace of activity is in line with a long-held view by many economists, who see the market slowing after the spring as more homes are put up for sale and interest rates begin to rise.

Some homeowners may also move sooner in order to avoid extra costs associated with new, harmonized sales tax (HST) regimes, set to begin July 1 in Ontario and British Columbia, and this could add to a front-loaded year of sales and pricing activity.

"Prices may see one last uptick in the next few months, but are expected to simmer down notably in the second half," said Doug Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets.

"Indeed, outright price declines are certainly a very real possibility in Ontario and B.C. amid much more moderate activity after the HST kicks in."

CREA said a slowing market in British Columbia was responsible for more than half the decline for the year. Ontario and Quebec, two of the country's larger markets, remained close to record levels in April.

The number of new listings rose to 99,901, surpassing the previous April record, set in 2008, by 0.6 percent. The average national price rose 12.2 percent to C$344,968 ($331,700). The rising supply of homes for sale could dampen prices in the months ahead. Sales may also cool as higher mortgage rates and rising prices chip away at demand, and overall housing investment falls into line with the broader economic recovery.

"The pace of moderation is expected to be measured and orderly," said Millan Mulraine, a senior strategist at TD Securities.

Source: Canadian Real Estate Association

May 18, 2010 in Canadian Real Estate Market | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Luxury home market rebounds

Luxury home sales soared in the first quarter of 2010 as affluent purchasers moved to take advantage of favourable market conditions across the country, according to by RE/MAX.

The RE/MAX Upper End 2010 Report, highlighting sales and trends in 13 major Canadian centres and five sub-markets, found that improved economic performance, increased personal wealth, immigration and foreign investment all contributed to a serious upswing in sales. Virtually all areas experienced double and triple-digit increases between January and March of this year over 2009 figures for the same period. Nine out of the 13 markets examined (69 per cent) shattered existing records – setting new all-time highs for first quarter activity in the upper end.

“Real estate continues to resonate with purchasers at every price point,” says Michael Polzler, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “With the top end of the market shifting into high gear, every segment of the residential real estate sector is now operating in tandem. Despite the upward momentum, there are still deals to be had – especially at the higher price points—a fact that is motivating buyers to act.”

While comparisons are being made to one of the worst first quarters on record – it’s important to note that the bounce back in many areas – including Greater Vancouver, Victoria, Winnipeg, London-St. Thomas, Greater Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal (Island), Halifax-Dartmouth, and St. John’s -- exceeds record levels reported in years past. Leading in terms of percentage increase in sales is Kelowna (700 per cent), Montreal (Island) (300 per cent), Victoria (275 per cent), Greater Toronto (263 per cent), Greater Vancouver (184 per cent), Hamilton-Burlington (169 per cent), Edmonton (164 per cent), London-St. Thomas (125 per cent), and Ottawa (121 per cent).

“Recovery in the upper end has been nothing short of remarkable,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “This segment of the market was hardest hit when the recession took hold—yet its comeback has been fast and furious. There is no doubt that mindset has changed and confidence has returned. One only has to look at the percentage increases to see the current upward trajectory.”

Economic performance has been a major driver, boosting consumer confidence levels across the board. The tangibility of bricks and mortar has also played a role in record activity – a development that began in 2008 as affluent purchasers reduced their exposure to equities and shifted their earnings into real estate holdings. Recovering stock markets – and portfolios – in the months ahead will further contribute to housing market activity.

“Luxury sales as a percentage of the market have been steadily increasing in recent years – with the exception of 2009,” says Sylvain Dansereau, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Quebec. “With the return to economic growth, it’s expected that the number of high net worth individuals will begin to rebound, following two years of consecutive decline. This will continue to help prop up Canada’s luxury market going forward.”

Immigration and foreign investment have also had an impact on the luxury segment – and in some markets, seriously bolstered sales. Middle Eastern buyers, Mainland China investors, and Europeans—to a lesser extent—are represented in virtually every market across the country. Canada’s sound banking system, political stability, and strong dollar are attracting foreign investment – and that is spilling over into high end residential real estate.

Most active in 2010 were business executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals. Location was first and foremost among upper-end buyers, followed by a preference for newer homes or those that are turn-key (completely renovated). With the exception of Toronto, buyers could be relatively particular and take their time in making decisions as balanced conditions characterized markets across the board. Given adequate supply, prices are likely to hold steady or experience modest increases in the majority of markets in 2010.

Canada’s most expensive luxury markets are shared equally among East and West, with Greater Vancouver topping the entry-level price point for high-end homes at $2 million, followed by $1.5 million in Greater Toronto and Montreal (Island). Upper-end value markets were most abundant in Atlantic Canada and smaller centres in Ontario, where luxury home prices started at $400,000 in St. John’s, $450,000 in Halifax-Dartmouth, $500,000 in London St. Thomas, and $750,000 in Ottawa and Hamilton-Burlington. Winnipeg and Edmonton represented good value in the West at $500,000 and $850,000 respectively.

Greater Vancouver holds the title for the most expensive home sold through MLS in the first quarter. The property—an 11,600 sq. ft. home on ¾ of an acre on the city’s Westside, changed hands for $10.06 million. Other noteworthy sales include: $7.25 million in the Greater Toronto suburb of Mississauga, $6.25 million in Toronto’s central core, $5.75 million in Calgary, $5.5 million in Montreal (Island), and $5.3 million in White Rock/South Surrey. The priciest MLS listings could be found in West Vancouver ($29.9 million), Greater Toronto ($23 million in Bridle Path), Vancouver Westside’s Shaughnessy area ($22 million) and Victoria ($19 million).

See the RE/MAX Upper End 2010 Report »

April 26, 2010 in Canadian Real Estate Market | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack


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