Steady property sales and price market forecast for Canada this year

Taylor Scott International News

Residential real estate prices in Canada are expected to remain stable this year while sales will vary considerably on a regional basis, according to the latest forecast report from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). National sales are now projected to reach 475,700 units in 2015, representing an annual decline of 1.1% which would place annual activity slightly above but still broadly in line with its 10 year average. British Columbia is projected to post the largest annual increase in activity in 2015 at 4.9% followed closely by Nova Scotia at 3.7% Quebec at 2.5%, New Brunswick also at 2.5%, Ontario at 1% and Prince Edward Island at 1.4%. These numbers represent upward revisions to CREA’s previous forecast. Alberta is expected to post the largest annual decline in sales this year at 19.2% although the trend for activity is expected to begin recovering from a weak start to the year as consumer confidence recovers. Sales are also forecast to decline on an annual basis in Saskatchewan by 11.2% and in Manitoba by 1.3%. The national average home price is now forecast to rise by 2% to $416,200 in 2015. Only British Columbia at 3.4% and Ontario at 2.5% are forecast to see gains in excess of the national increase. Prices are projected to remain largely stable elsewhere, with increases or decreases of around 1% or less this year. The exception is Alberta, where average price is forecast to fall by 3.4%, reflecting a pullback in sales for luxury properties compared to homes in more affordable price segments. In 2016, national sales activity is forecast to reach 482,700 units, representing an annual increase of 1.7%. Much of the annual increase reflects an anticipated recovery for sales activity in Alberta and Saskatchewan in line with expected economic improvement in those provinces. Strengthening economic prospects are expected to result in improving sales activity in other provinces where sales have struggled, keeping prices more affordable amid ample supply. Meanwhile, anticipated mortgage rate increases are expected to keep activity in check in markets where homes are already less affordable and prices have continued rising. The national average price is forecast to rise by a further 1.9% to $424,100 in 2016. Given an ongoing shortage of supply for single family homes in and around the Greater Toronto Area, price growth in 2016 is forecast to be strongest in Ontario at 2.5% and Alberta at 2.4%. Gains of around 2% are forecast for British Columbia and Manitoba, and around 1% for Saskatchewan and Quebec. Average home price in the Atlantic region is forecast to hold steady in 2016. Continue reading →

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