By RACHELLE YOUNGLAI, The Globe and Mail, Dec. 10 2014 – A new report forecasts that housing prices will register modest gains in most Canadian cities next year, disappointing homeowners in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver that have been riding a property value surge.
According to Re/Max, the average selling price in Canada will rise 2.5 per cent from 2014 to $416,300, with more affordable areas such as Moncton and Windsor expected to see the biggest jump in prices.
However, slower growth is expected in some of the country’s hot spots.
“The drop-off is all relative,” said Gurinder Sandhu, executive vice-president with Re/Max. “It is still healthy growth.”
The average selling price of a house in the Toronto area is expected to rise 4 per cent to $589,100 from $566,400. This year, home values in the Greater Toronto Area jumped 8.3 per cent.
“After years of strong price appreciation … we feel that Toronto will not be able to replicate that high of an appreciation,” Mr. Sandhu said.
A similar story is playing out in Western Canada. The average selling price in the Vancouver area is forecast to rise 3 per cent to $863,600 from $838,400. That compares with a hefty 7.3-per-cent rise this year.
Likewise, the average selling price in Calgary is seen growing 3 per cent to $497,500 from $483,000. That compares with a 5.9-per-cent appreciation this year.
In contrast to the skyrocketing prices in Toronto and Vancouver, the average selling price in Moncton and Windsor was below $200,000 this year. Both areas are expected to see house prices increase by more than 5 per cent.
Re/Max said the appreciation in housing prices mirrors the “resilience” of the country’s economy, although economists are warning that the steep drop in oil prices will take a toll on business activity. The price of oil has plunged to a five-year low of $63 (U.S.) a barrel, down from more than $100 this summer, prompting Canadian energy producers to slash their budgets.
Calgary Realtors say their city is more than just oil and gas but that the real estate market is not as frantic.
“What we are noticing is that the intensity is off a little bit, but the interest is not,” said Lowell Martens, owner of Calgary-based Re/Max Real Estate (Mountain View). “Some of my agents are experiencing buyers that don’t seem to be in as big a rush as they were a little while ago. … I don’t think there is any fear out there that everything is going to hell in a handbasket.”