Healthy price increases expected for Canadian housing market

The highs and lows that have defined the Canadian housing market in recent years will be replaced by a more stable environment in 2020 according to a new report.

RE/MAX says that increased consumer confidence could be a key factor affecting the housing market next year, with more Canadians adapting to the mortgage stress tests and millennials reaching peak homebuying age.

The firm’s housing outlook calls for a 3.7% increase in the national average home price.

However, there will be stronger-than-average price growth in several markets including London (+10.7%), Windsor (+11%), Ottawa (+11.7%) and Niagara (+12.9%).

Market challenges

Several key markets will begin the year with the challenges of 2019 remaining.

In BC, weak sales volume in 2019 is forecasted to mean a whole-year 3% price drop compared with 2018.

In Alberta, Calgary should see more demand from people moving to the city from elsewhere in the province, although the market has elevated unemployment relative to elsewhere in Canada. Winnipeg should see continued demand with rising prices.

RE/MAX is forecasting a strong 2020 for Ontario with the economy, labour market, and improved affordability helping to boost sales. Toronto supply still lags demand and Ottawa and Windsor are set for further gains.

“Southern Ontario is witnessing some incredibly strong price appreciation, with many regions still seeing double-digit gains,” says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “Thanks to the region’s resilient economy, staggering population growth and relentless development, the 2020 market looks very optimistic.”  

Affordability will attract more buyers in Atlantic Canada with Halifax and Saint John among those seeing gains, although the report notes that the aging population of Saint John is expected to have an impact on the housing market at some point.

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