See how much Metro Vancouver house prices could rise by in 2015

December 16th, 2014

Vancouver housing prices: There’s no ‘bubble,’ say realtors predicting modest increases in 2015

Housing prices in the Lower Mainland are predicted to rise a modest three per cent in 2015, while Canada’s highest prices, in Vancouver, will be sustained by demand from Mainland Chinese buyers.

That’s the view from RE/MAX’s 2015 national housing outlook, in a relatively optimistic report that suggests Greater Vancouver real estate is well supported by a variety of supply and demand factors.

RE/MAX’s report diverges strongly from a new Bank of Canada report that warns parts of Canada’s housing market are overvalued by 30 per cent.

RE/MAX’s report says average residential prices in Greater Vancouver increased from $781,517 in 2013 to $838,400, and are projected to rise to $863,600 in 2015.
Price gains in Vancouver will continue to be driven by hot demand and limited supply for detached homes in west-side neighbourhoods, RE/MAX predicts, while buyers who hoped to break into Vancouver’s market on the east side and lost multiple bid battles may drop out of the market in 2015.

Frustrated buyers won’t limit the market, though, because “the pipeline of demand for the region will continue to grow,” according to RE/MAX.

“Offshore buyer demand from Mainland China continued throughout the year,” the report says. “Demand for westside homes will continue to be driven by offshore buyers who can afford to pay the two million dollar-plus price tag.”

Cory Raven, managing broker at RE/MAX Select Realty in Vancouver, say agents report that “the mindset” of Mainland Chinese buyers focuses on “parking wealth” in Vancouver, rather than seeking price appreciation. That means a significant group of buyers in Vancouver is content to buy higher and higher, agents believe.

“Assuming that tap stays open, the higher end of the market will (continue to see aggressive gains),” Raven says.

There has been speculation that the flood of cash pouring from China into Vancouver real estate will be limited with the ending this year of a federal immigrant investor program. The South China Morning Post has reported a replacement program will be much smaller in scope, and will subject applicants to rigorous audits. But Raven says the perception among realtors is “the tap” will stay open.

“Many realtors have told me that the way business is done (in China) is very different, and the wealthy can always find a way to get their money out.”

Meanwhile, in a new report, the Bank of Canada studied worrying debt loads carried by homeowners across Canada, and calculated that some markets are at risk of correction, with homes overvalued by up to 30 per cent.

But Helmut Pastrick, chief economist of Central 1 credit union, says he believes the Bank of Canada’s data and study method is “constrained” and does not account for unique supply and demand factors in Vancouver’s housing market.

Pastrick says limited land supply in Vancouver is the main factor justifying high housing prices, and demand from Chinese buyers impacts Vancouver’s west side, and West Vancouver. But even if the flow of investment from offshore were to end, according to Pastrick, there would not be a significant drop in Greater Vancouver home prices.

Pastrick says he sees RE/MAX’s prediction of a three-per-cent rise in home prices across the region as reasonable.

“This market is not booming, but it is pretty solid,” he said. “It certainly is not a bubble.”

Pastrick says while U.S. officials appear ready to raise historically low interest rates within half a year, the Bank of Canada probably will not raise rates until late 2015 or longer.

While the Bank of Canada warns that high home prices and heavily indebted households raise risks of a housing correction, Pastrick believes the only real risk is an economic recession.

A drastic fall in oil prices that caught almost all economists by surprise will impact Alberta and other areas of Canada, but actually could support provincial economies such as B.C. that are net importers of oil, Pastrick believes. At this point, he sees no recession risk for B.C. on the horizon.

Source: Sam Cooper, The Province

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New York and Sydney to head 2015 luxury property price rises

December 12th, 2014

Only New York and Sydney are expected to see prime property price rises next year, with values stable in London, but demand weakening

New York, USA, is expected to be the top-performing prime city for real estate in 2015, with Sydney, Australia, the only other destination in the Prime Global Cities Forecast to see price rises.

Luxury prices across Manhattan are expected to rise 5%-10% in 2015, boosted by strengthening foreign interest from Chinese, British, Russian and Latin American buyers and an improving economy, says Knight Frank in its Quarter 4, 2014 Prime Global Cities Forecast.

Sydney is also on the radar of foreign buyers and limited luxury supply could see prices rise by up to 5% in 2015, Knight Frank predicts.

With uncertainty surrounding the UK 2015 General Election, London is forecast to see volume weaken in 2015 with prices staying stable.

Knight Frank Partner, Kate Everett-Allen says, “The biggest faller is likely to be Dubai, where luxury prices could fall by 5-10% in 2015, Knight Frank predicts, with a growing appetite from Indian purchasers cushioning the market a little.

Of the eight cities in the report, luxury real estate price gains are expected only in New York and Sydney, with stable values in London and falls in Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong, Geneva and Dubai.

New wealth, investment in infrastructure and a continuation of the safe haven trend are likely to all help drive growth, but a slowing global economy along with major tax changes are major risks for the world luxury residential markets in 2015.

“Luxury residential markets face a diverse range of challenges and opportunities in 2015. Now that stimulus measures have all but disappeared in the US and the UK all eyes are on Europe and Japan and the extent to which they could halt the tentative global recovery, explains Ms Everett-Allen.

“Since 2009, a number of the key housing markets worldwide have been supported by government stimulus measures. The slow withdrawal of such initiatives in markets such as the UK and the US, along with the potential relaxation of cooling measures in Hong Kong and Singapore, could mean that 2015 sees a more level playing field for the world’s top luxury housing markets.”

In Sydney, rising business confidence and an increasing sense of political stability is helping to attract interest from overseas. The weak Australian dollar is adding to this momentum and also reviving interest from Australian ex-pats, says the report.

Source: Adrian Bishop, Editor, OPP Connect

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Vancouver is back to bidding wars and camping out

December 11th, 2014

Realtors say homebuyers are forgoing inspections and subject clauses in order to make offers more attractive.

A low inventory of single-family detached homes for sale in Metro Vancouver has buyers engaging in multiple bidding wars or camping out to get a shot at the few homes when they come on the market.

The demand is so high that many buyers are paying more than the original asking price and, in some cases, aren’t bothering with inspections or subjects on the property before signing on the dotted line, said Cory Raven, managing partner at ReMax Select Realty.

This is because they’re afraid someone else will beat them to the punch if they wait or take their time, he said.

“It’s very typical for someone to enter the market once, twice or three times expecting to buy a house and going into the bidding war and losing.” Raven said.

“It really has changed the dynamic of the good old days when you see a place, put in an offer and wait a couple of weeks … people are going into a 40-year-old house with no inspections.”

Such tactics are not surprising in the most expensive region in Canada for residential real estate in 2014. The average residential sale price for a single-family home in Metro Vancouver this year was about $838,400, up from $781,517 a year earlier, according to the ReMax 2015 housing market outlook.

And the situation isn’t expected to improve much for buyers looking for deals in 2015, with home prices forecast to rise by at least three per cent across Metro Vancouver — similar to what was experienced this year. Healthy gains are also anticipated in Kelowna, which is expected to see a seven-per-cent increase, and Victoria, slated for a four-per-cent rise in house prices.

The market is so hot that sales of single-family houses are still being listed across Metro Vancouver into mid-December, when they would have usually stopped by now before resuming in the new year, said Brian Lamb, of Royal LePage Realty Coquitlam.

“It’s bizarre,” Lamb said. “It can only go up in the first quarter of 2015. I think we’re going to have an incredible first half.”

The ReMax report suggests young families and older homeowners wishing to downsize are expected to drive demand, while interest from Mainland China also continues to influence the Greater Vancouver market.

“The supply side has definitely been affected,” Raven said. “A lot of people who are housing rich don’t know what to do with the equity except to keep it.”

David Lamb, of Sutton Group West Coast Realty, agreed many older people are hanging on to their homes, which is having an impact on inventory. He recently had eight offers on a home in Windsor Park on the North Shore, while a property east of Seymour raked in $40,000 more than the asking price, which was round the mid-$800,000s.

“Earlier this year we had a guy who lost out four times and finally found a house,” David Lamb said. “It’s emotional, it’s tough. When there’s a lot of competition, there’s always somebody who will pay more.”

It’s not just older homes that are facing the crunch. Lamb said foreign investors are willing to pay more for a home in Metro Vancouver, particularly in the Tri-Cities and Burnaby, where they tend to knock down existing homes to build their own.

He cited the Rivers Run development as an example of foreign investment interests: in the first two phases 24 homes sold within hours, while the remaining 14 homes were snagged within an hour by buyers who camped overnight to get them.

ReMax expects there will be upward pressure on detached house prices in Vancouver’s west side due to high demand and low inventory, but said the condo and townhouse markets will likely sustain a more balanced market.

However, even those markets aren’t immune from buyers’ frenzy. ReMax realtor Mary Cleaver said a four-bedroom townhouse listed on Vancouver’s Carolina Street had seven offers and was sold within the week, with no subjects and at $50,000 more than the asking price. “It is unique for that to happen,” she said.

Condos in East Vancouver were in high demand near the end of 2014, according to the report, which suggested well-priced homes often sold within one to two weeks, whereas the average market time for condos was 45 days. “The condo market has been healthy but nowhere near the bidding wars and housing (price) gains,” Raven said.

But both Lamb and Raven said some people are starting to get buyers’ fatigue and bowing out of the bidding wars. Two Sundays ago, Lamb said, 28 people had come through an open house, but several parties decided not to bother in the bidding. “We had people who won’t get tied up in this flurry,” he said.

However, ReMax noted as those potential buyers move to the sidelines and wait for the market to stabilize, the demand in the region will continue to grow.

Source: Kelly Sinoski, Vancouver Sun

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When will the Bank of Canada raise interest rates?

December 10th, 2014

Is 2015 the year the Bank of Canada finally raises interest rates?

After 18 months on the job, Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz has yet to wield the primary tool at his disposal: the key interest rate.

When Poloz took the bank’s reins in June 2013, he inherited an overnight rate set nearly three years earlier by his predecessor Mark Carney. That rate has yet to budge from one per cent, idling for one of the longest stretches in Bank of Canada history.

Bill Robson, the president of the C.D. Howe Institute think-tank, believes it will happen sometime in 2015 thanks to an increasingly positive economic outlook, including an improving U.S. economy and a pickup in Canadian exports.

Once the bank’s overnight rate starts to creep up, Canadian businesses will see their borrowing rates rise as will consumers who take out car loans and mortgages.

Ian Lee, a professor at the Sprott School of Business at Ottawa’s Carleton University, predicts businesses will feel the sting of higher rates right away, but he expects the effect on households to be much more muted.

Many consumers, he added, will avoid a sudden jolt because of fixed-rate loans and mortgages.

On top of that, Lee said the rate would likely inch up a quarter-percentage point at a time, making the coming increases easier to manage than the towering Canadian levels of the early 1980s.

Lee said the rate hikes in the early 80s killed the real-estate market, but didn’t create a housing meltdown and the number of foreclosures barely increased.

On the flip side, higher rates would help pension funds reap a bigger return on their investments, Lee added.

McGill University economics professor Christopher Ragan said, fundamentally, rising rates are a good thing.

“It is signalling a stronger economy,” he said.

The Bank of Canada said last week the country had showed signs of a “broadening recovery” and the output gap appeared to be smaller than it had projected just six weeks earlier. The output gap represents the divide between where the economy stands at a given time and where it would be when performing at its full potential.

However, the bank’s statement offset the positives by pointing to potential threats: weakening oil prices that drive down inflation and the significant risks of high household debt accumulated during years of low borrowing rates.

The basic logic behind low rates is to encourage people to gather debt when the economy is weak, said Ragan, who has worked at the Bank of Canada.

Robson belongs to the camp that expects Canada’s strengthening economy to force Poloz to move the rate in the middle of 2015, while Lee predicts the rapidly shrinking output gap will spur an increase as early as this spring.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development recently predicted the Bank of Canada would start pushing the rate up in late May due to advancing inflation, a key driver of interest rates.

At the other end of the spectrum, economists like David Madani of Capital Economics expect Poloz to stand pat for a while, even after the U.S. Federal Reserve starts hiking its own key rate.

He predicts the forces pushing Canadian inflation upwards to remain fairly subdued in 2015, which he says will keep the central bank in a “holding pattern” for the whole year.

Robson said it would even be OK if Poloz raised rates and then edged them back down, if necessary.

“Everybody knows that the central bank has trouble reading the economy just as everyone else does,” he said.

Source: Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press

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Benchmark price for detached homes in Greater Vancouver nears $1-million

December 2nd, 2014

Strong Vancouver home sales push prices to an all-time high.

The benchmark price for a typical detached home – a gauge that omits the most expensive properties – is approaching $1-million in Greater Vancouver.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver uses the resale home price index (HPI), which strips out the priciest properties, because it asserts that calculation serves as a better barometer of trends than average prices.

On Tuesday, the board reported that the HPI for single-family detached houses reached a record-high $997,800 last month, up 7.9 per cent from November, 2013.

The HPI for detached homes on Vancouver’s west side hit $2,323,300 last month, up 10.9 per cent from November, 2013, while the index for Vancouver’s east side reached $957,300, up 11.9 per cent from a year earlier. Both of those prices also set records.

The average price for detached homes sold in the region has risen 1.2 per cent over the past year to $1,274,904.

Over all, the HPI for detached houses, townhouses and condos rose to $637,300 last month in Greater Vancouver, up 5.7 per cent from a year earlier.

Greater Vancouver had 2,516 housing sales last month, up 8.4 per cent from November, 2013, and 6.9 per cent higher than the 10-year average for that month. “It’s been a more active fall than we typically see,” board president Ray Harris said in a statement.

In the Fraser Valley, which includes the sprawling and less expensive Vancouver suburb of Surrey, there were 1,136 residential sales on the Multiple Listing Service in November, up 15.2 per cent from 986 properties sold in the same month last year.

November’s HPI for Fraser Valley detached homes climbed to $575,400, up 4.6 per cent year-over-year.

Source: Brent Jang, The Globe and Mail

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Canada’s housing market on solid foundation heading into 2015

December 1st, 2014

National home sales activity edged higher on a month-over-month basis in October 2014.

One measure which suggests that housing demand is relatively strong heading into 2015 is the number-of-months’ supply of homes for sale in Canada, which declined from 5.9 to 5.8 in October, its lowest level since April of 2012.

Also, year-over-year house prices in the Teranet/National Bank House Price Index (+5.4% Oct) and the Canadian Real Estate Assn House Price Index (+5.5% Oct) have trended gradually higher since the beginning of 2014. However, the rates of increase in both indexes early in the final quarter of 2014 are nowhere near the levels they reached in 2006 of 14.1%, and 13.0% respectively and early in 2010 (12.7% and 12.5%).

Turning to the supply of dwellings, housing starts in Canada have remained quite stable. Indeed, over the past two years, starts have averaged 190,000 units seasonally adjusted at annual rates (SAAR) which is at or very close to the estimated rate of household formation. Further, despite the steady uptrend in existing home sales and the above noted gradual increase in house prices, housing starts trended lower since mid year.

Another indicator of housing market health is the percentage of mortgages that are more than ninety days in arrears. In line with the very gradual decline in the number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries and the unemployment rate since the beginning of the year, the percentage of mortgages more than ninety days in arrears has trended down from 0.32% in January to 0.29% in August, its lowest value since September of 2007.

Further according to the most recent Annual State of the Residential Mortgage Market in Canada published by the Canadian Assn of Accredited Mortgage Professionals, approximately 77% of the 1.35 million homeowners who renewed their mortgates in 2014 saw a 0.8% drop in their mortgage rate. This decline in mortage rates over the past year suggests that the majority of mortgage holders renewing over the next twelve months will also see a reduction in rates.

Looking forward, the fundamental drivers of housing demand in Canada appear more positive now than they have been for several quarters. First, over the past two months, Canada has added 117,000 jobs, the vast majority of which (96,000) are full time. Second, according to a recent study by CIBC, immigration has made a much stronger contribution to growth of Canada’s prime 25-44 age group than was previously estimated. Indeed, over the past five years, growth of this age group, the major driver of employment and household formation, has accelerated from -0.8% y/y in 2009 to +1.1% in 2014.

This rate is well above the average growth of the OECD and 75% faster than in the United States. Third, in addition to giving a boost to consumer spending, lower energy prices should, by increasing discretionary income, make home ownership more affordable. Finally, interest rates are likely to remain low well into the middle of the year and while they may edge higher in the second half of 2015, they are unlikely to chill housing demand significantly. Given these positive fundamentals, we expect housing starts to total in the range of 185,000 to 195,000 in 2015 compared to an estimated 190,000 in 2014.

Source: John Clinkard, Daily Commercial News

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Home ownership is becoming more affordable in Canada, says RBC

November 27th, 2014

Home ownership in Canada actually became more affordable in the Q3 2014

Even though real estate prices have been rising faster than inflation and are going through the roof in some parts of Canada, home ownership actually became more affordable in the third quarter, according to a quarterly survey by RBC Economics.

The bank credits rising household incomes, low interest rates and lower utility costs in some markets for making it a bit easier to own a home.

During the July-to-September period, RBC’s housing affordability measure at the national level fell 0.2 percentage points to 47.8 per cent for two-storey homes. It also fell for condos – down 0.3 percentage points to 27.1 per cent.

“A trend that jumped out in the latest data was a further broad improvement in affordability of condos where a strong majority of markets across Canada saw the measure for the segment fall,” said RBC chief economist Craig Wright in a release.

“Condos no doubt continue to be the more affordable ownership option in every market.”

The affordability measure for detached bungalows was the outlier; it rose a tenth of a percentage point to 42.6 per cent.

An affordability reading of 50 means that ownership costs, which include mortgage costs, property taxes and utility costs, would require 50 per cent of a household’s monthly gross income.

The latest data from the Canadian Real Estate Association shows that the national average home resale price rose 7.1 per cent on a year-over-year basis in October.

The MLS home price index, which many observers consider a better indicator of home price trends, rose 5.5 per cent over the same period.

Some markets, notably Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary, have seen real estate prices rise much faster than the national average. The bank notes that it is the robust activity in these three markets that has been largely responsible for eight monthly increases in resales in the last nine months.

Affordability remains a big stretch in Vancouver and Toronto. The cost of a benchmark detached bungalow in Vancouver, for instance, requires 83.6 per cent of a typical household’s pretax income to carry. In Toronto, it takes 56.3 per cent.

RBC says a drop in fixed mortgage rates earlier this year helped to drive the current strength in the housing market. But it doesn’t expect that situation to last.

“A combination of gradually increasing interest rates and higher prices will likely reverse the improvement in housing affordability that took place in the past year and weigh more and more heavily on homebuyer demand in Canada,” said Wright.

“We expect the next stage of the housing cycle to be a transition toward lower resales and slower price increases.”

RBC said it expects the Bank of Canada to raise its key overnight lending rates in the middle of next year, but says longer-term rates will rise “well before that.”

Source: CBC News

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See what BCREA is forecasting for home sales in Greater Vancouver

November 26th, 2014

BCREA forecasts a 16.6% jump in Greater Vancouver home sales.

The total number of home sales in Greater Vancouver is expected to hit 33,800 units by the end of 2014, the British Columbia Real Estate Association announced November 18 in its housing forecast.

This is 16.6% higher than the number of units sold in 2013 (28,985).

The association anticipates that unit sales will see a modest increase of 0.6% in 2015, bringing total sales to 34,000 in that year.

The average home price in Greater Vancouver is forecast to be $814,000 in 2014 – up 5.2% compared with $767,765 in 2013. The BCREA anticipates a slight increase of 0.1% in 2015 to $815,000.

Across B.C., home sales will reach 83,940 units by the end of this year. This is more than 15% higher than the number of units sold in 2013. It is also almost 5% higher than the number of 2014 sales forecast by the association in July, which, at 80,100 units, would be the first time since 2009 that sales were expected to exceed 80,000 units.

In 2015, strengthening economic conditions will push sales upward, but this will be offset in part by increasing interest rates, forecasts the BCREA.

“Consumer demand has ratcheted up this year and is expected to remain at a more elevated level through 2015,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist.

“While historically low mortgage rates support demand, the housing market is also being underpinned by a more robust economy and associated job growth, strong net migration and consumer confidence.”

The average home sale price across the province will be 568,800 in 2014, forecasts the association. This is 6% higher than the average of $537,414 in 2013. Prices in 2015 are expected to grow a further 0.8% to an average of $574,300.

The average number of units sold provincially over the past 15 years was 80,400. In 2005, sales hit a record 106,300 units.

Source: Emma Crawford Hampel, Business in Vancouver

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Greg Klump says Canada’s housing bubble is bunk!

November 24th, 2014

Klump said rumours of the great Canadian housing bubble are greatly exaggerated.

Rumours of the great Canadian housing bubble are greatly exaggerated, says Greg Klump, chief economist for the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

While Canadian housing prices have increased an average 6.9 per cent so far this year (the highest in a decade), the more accurate housing price index (HPI) has increased 5.2 per cent for the first 10 months of 2014, which is the best in three years, according to CREA.

Moreover, if you take Toronto, Vancouver and to a lesser extent Calgary out of the picture, the average price increase would be several percentage points lower, while other market measures, like sales-to-listings ratios and month’s supply of homes for sale, are close to their 10-year averages.

“The problem with housing market bubble stories is that they fail to recognize fundamental housing market dynamics,” Klump told the Association of Regina Realtors in Regina Thursday. “For a big price correction to take place, we need a big and lasting run up in supply … or a big and lasting drop in demand … or some combination of the two.”

Since neither a recession (which would result in massive layoffs) nor a big spike in interest rates (which would drive up debt-servicing costs) is on the horizon, Klump said: “I just don’t see that happening.”

Still even reputable agencies like Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp have expressed concern about Canadian housing prices, which have continued to outstrip U.S. home prices in 2013, even when inflation and exchange rates are taken into account. “This Canadian ‘premium’ could be cause for concern because it may indicate that house prices in Canada are overvalued,” CMHC said in its annual Canadian Housing Observer released Thursday.

Following his presentation, Klump said CMHC’s concern is that “average house price growth is being stretched” by increasing average prices in two of Canada’s most active markets, Vancouver and Toronto.

“What’s going on in Vancouver and Toronto reflects a couple of things,” Klump said. “No. 1, you’ve got some very high-priced homes making up a greater proportion of the sales, pulling up the average price in those markets and for Canada as well.”

For example, Toronto saw a nine per cent year-overyear increase in average home prices in October, versus the 5.5 per cent increase in HPI nationally.

In addition, those price increases are largely in the central Toronto area, where “densification” initiatives (i.e., condo construction) have driven up the price of single-detached homes.

“It’s a function of the market because you don’t have enough supply to catch up with the demand,” Klump said.

“In Vancouver, you’re capped by geography. There’s no place to go. So there’s a lot of expensive homes being sold and an ongoing shortage of affordable homes.”

Source: Bruce Johnstone, The StarPhoenix

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Canadian property sales set to jump 4% this year

November 22nd, 2014

Canadian property sales are due to rise almost 4% this year.

That’s the news from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). The data reflect sales that are stronger than expected, with recent months showing higher performance than experts foresaw. Nevertheless, sales activity is expected to reach a peak in the third quarter as the impact of a deferred spring fades and price increases push down sales by reducing affordability and pricing potential purchasers out of the market.

The increase will see 2014 slightly outperform the 10-year average, while remaining broadly in line with it. In other words, this is a slight improvement on an already healthy business as usual, not a deviation from normality. There have been periods of monthly volatility since the depths of the 2008-9 recession, but annual activity has remained fairly stable. This stability contrasts favourably with the sharp growth seen just prior to the 2008 crash: Canada is undergoing a prolonged period of stable growth, not the run-up to a bubble.

Broken down by region, British Columbia is by far the biggest winner, expected to post an 11.9% year-on-year increase in activity, with Alberta running in second place and expected to show a 7.7% rise. Demand in both provinces is running at multi-year highs, as the desirability of residence in Vancouver or Edmonton combats the downward push of rising prices on demand.

Other regions are not posting such success stories, though. In Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick, activity is expected to remain in line with 2013 levels and sales will increase in the range between 1% and 2% – lower in Ontario and New Brunswick than in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

And some provinces are not sharing in the sales boom at all. In Nova Scotia and in Newfoundland and Labrador, sales are down by 3.9% and 5.2% respectively, providing a rural mirror to the urban boom that pushed up the national statistics.

The national average price has largely followed predictions since the spring, and is currently forecast to rise by 5.9% to $405,000 by the end of 2014, again with rises concentrated in British Columbia and Alberta. Ontario is expected to experience a similar rise, while Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador are expected to see rises of only about 1%. Quebec isn’t expected to manage more than half that, while prices in New Brunswick are forecast to flatline, and in Nova Scotia CREA expects them to fall by as much as 2%.

Longer range forecasts see prices rising more slowly next year, up by 2% in Alberta and Newfoundland and by more modest amounts elsewhere, in line with the trend of both price and sales growth being concentrated on Canada’s prosperous West Coast.

Although the rises are expected to be transitory, sales have yet to show signs of cooling. Activity has strengthened over the summer, rather than relapsing as expected following a spring boom thought to be attributable to Canada’s unusually bad winter. The large urban markets that originally drove the spring rebound continue to dominate, while rural markets have continued their slide.

Source: Les Calvert of www.property-abroad.com

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