What follows is a media release issued by RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic on December 3rd saying that housing performance is expected to accelerate in 2010, as economic stability returns to Canadian markets. You can read the detailed report here. Back in January as the year opened, who would have thought we’d have such positive things to say about the 2009 real estate market?
Mississauga, ON (December 3, 2009) – In the midst of one of the most tumultuous economic periods in recent history, residential real estate has proven to be a safe harbour, with sales and average price expected to post gains in most major Canadian cities in 2009, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.
The RE/MAX Housing Market Outlook for 2010 examined residential real estate trends in 23 markets. The report found that sales are forecast to recover in almost all major centres by year-end 2009, led by an anticipated 45 per cent increase in Greater Vancouver. Two markets — Ottawa and Quebec City — are expected to hit historic highs in the number of homes sold. Average price should post new records in 65 per cent of markets surveyed this year. As economic performance ramps up across the country, so too will residential real estate. Eighty-three per cent of markets (19/23) are expecting sales to increase over 2009 levels while housing values are forecast to escalate in 91 per cent (21/23) of Canadian centres in 2010. The remaining markets will match 2009 levels.
Approximately 465,000 homes are expected to change hands nationally in 2009, a seven per cent increase over one year ago. Canadian housing values are forecast to close the year at $318,000, up five per cent from $303,594 in 2008. By year-end 2010, the number of homes sold is predicted to climb another two per cent to 475,000 units. The average price of a home is also expected to experience an uptick, rising two per cent to $325,000 – the highest level in Canadian history.
“2009 was without question the year of the house,” says Michael Polzler, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “Real estate not only defied industry and analysts’ predictions in 2009 — it’s performance went well beyond the realm of expectation by boosting consumer confidence levels and ultimately kick starting the national economic engine. While low interest rates were a principle factor driving home buying activity, no one can discount the value that Canadians place in owning a home.”
I love to hear that kind of optimism and, I suspect the outlook is quite correct for the first half of 2010. What I don’t see is a caution about the second half of next year when interest rates are almost sure to climb and, the new HST is likely to be introduced. These are sure to have significant impact on the market for at least two quarters and potentially a little longer as consumers adjust. While I think we’ll see sales soften in 2010 Q3/Q4, I don’t think we’ll see any dramatic impact on real estate sale prices.