RE/MAX forecasts 'moderate' 2013

After a robust run, Canada’s single-family market is finally headed for a slowdown in 2013, according to a new forecast, although pinning down demand for multi-unit properties may be more challenging.

The RE/MAX Housing Market Outlook 2013 argues “moderation, not correction” lies ahead for 2013, a reversal from the trend of boom and development that has developed over recent years.

Gurinder Sandhu, executive VP and regional director of RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada, said in the report that moderation, not a correction, lies ahead for 2013.

“Home sales have moderated, but remain within healthy levels,” he said. “Greater optimism is expected to return next year, as the economy marks further improvement. Canadians appear to be reigning in their spending, heeding cautionary statements by the country’s financial leaders. We believe that will only serve to shore up the already healthy framework of the Canadian housing market in 2013.”

In short, investors can expect much the same market for their single-family house and condo properties, although most analysts predict multifamily demand will continue to buck the slowing trend.

The report forecasts that 454,000 will exchange hands in 2013, falling one per cent from the performance in 2012. Average house prices are expected to increase marginally by one percent too, up to $366,500.

Many markets are expected to remain on par with 2012 statistics, with particular strength noted in the West.

The report projects sales will be the same in 65 per cent of markets, including Calgary and Regina. The latter has also been tapped to show the greatest price growth, 8 per cent, with several Ontario cities following closely behind, including Hamilton, Burlington and the GTA.

Price gains are predicted to be strongest in Halifax, St. John’s, Regina and Kingston, while metro markets such as Vancouver and Quebec will see considerable fall back.

In spite of the slowing pace, the 2013 forecast paints a decidedly stable, if not sensational, picture for the market.

“Despite all the negativity surrounding residential real estate, the sky is not falling,” said Sandhu.

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