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Major brokerage expects home prices to rise

A graph showing the growth of house prices.

Forget the naysayers — home prices are expected to rise or remain stable in most Canadian markets this year, according to an in-depth report released by RE/MAX.
 
“With an increased supply of inventory on the market going into the New Year, the average sale price is expected to remain stable or rise modestly in most cities in 2015,” stated its 2015 Housing Market Outlook Report.

“Montreal (1%), Quebec City (1.5%), Ottawa (1.6%) and (1.6%) are expecting a modest rise in average residential sale price, while little change in prices is expected in Winnipeg, Saskatoon and .”
 
Condominium purchases are expected to account for a large portion of transactions in many major cities this year, as higher prices and limited single-family inventory forces buyers – especially first-timers – to look to high-rise units.
 
And while buyers in 2014 still felt the effects of 2012’s tightened lending guidelines, the organization believes mortgage borrowers will have largely adapted by the end of the year.
 
“Many first-time buyers continued to feel the impact of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s tightened lending criteria, which were revised in 2012,” the report stated.

“The new mortgage lending regulations have delayed the entry of first-time buyers into the market in many regions, thus slowing down the rest of the market.
 
“The new mortgage rules will likely have less of an effect in the coming year as buyers adapt to the new regulations and make the necessary changes to meet the criteria.”
 
The housing market is also expected to be bolstered by a strong national economic outlook, as well as continued immigration. Canada expects to welcome between 260,000 and 285,000 new permanent residents this year.

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