Montreal, Regina to lead value gains in 2013

by Vernon Clement Jones08 Jan 2013

“Canada is a realm of sizable, fairly independent regional economies,” said Royal LePage President and CEO Phil Soper in releasing the report. “Some housing markets, such as those in Alberta and Saskatchewan, are poised to expand significantly in 2013.”

Actually, in terms of major Canadian markets, Saskatchewan’s capital city should trounce its Alberta counterpart, with average home prices about 4 per cent higher than where they stood at the end of 2012, according to the report. Calgary prices will also rise, but by a more meager 2.5 per cent. Edmonton should see an increase of 0.6 per cent.

The Regina gains – buoyed by low inventory and strong employment -- will likely be matched by those in Montreal, where “at the end of 2013, average house prices … are forecast to be 3.8 per cent higher than 2012.”

Montreal’s performance is largely owing to a market increasingly skewed to the higher end as first-time buyers struggle to meet new mortgage rule requirements.

Still, the price forecast for the Quebec city should well surpass the national average being floated by Royal LePage. It’s pegging that at 1.0 per cent higher than the 2012 figure and reflects the falling prices in Vancouver.

“We will see a decline in unit sales and a flattening of home prices in our largest urban markets of Vancouver and Toronto,” said Soper, “and that will have a significant dampening effect on reported national averages.”

But, investors are likely to see that as a short-term phenomenon and not the more permanent trend that would spur a wholesale move to Montreal and Regina markets.

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