Buyers and sellers take note – Royal LePage has come out with their much-anticipated seasonal Market report, which breaks down the buying conditions in markets nationwide.
As the coldest winter in decades comes to an end, homebuyers are coming out of hibernation and the spring housing market is in full bloom. After a ho-hum start to the first quarter of 2014 (where few braved the winter cold to check out open houses), more homeowners are putting their homes on the market. With mortgage rates near record lows and inventory levels up, we could be returning to balanced market territory in many regions across Canada.
Two-Storey Homes Lead the Pack
Despite a sluggish start to 2014, most regions across Canada saw modest year-over-year price growth. The average price of a home rose between 2.5 per cent and 5.4 per cent, depending on the region and type of home.
Two-storey homes remained in highest demand through Q1, and will now cost buyers and average of $428,943 – up 5.4 per cent from last year.
Detached bungalows, which remain is short supply, rose in price by 4.4 per cent to $380,765.
Condos saw the least price growth, rising only 2.5 per cent to an average of $252,174.
The Perfect Conditions for a Strong Spring Market
With weather no longer a factor, Royal LePage says all signs point to a strong housing market in 2014. “We are finally seeing the arrival of housing inventory in seasonally appropriate quantities across the nation,” said Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage. “When combined with pent-up demand following a particularly long and harsh winter, the stage is set for a robust 2014 spring market.”
Buyer Strength Improving
While housing prices continue their steady upward price trajectory, economic conditions are better financially preparing buyers; GDP is predicted to grow 2.5 per cent this calendar year, and unemployment hovers at 6.9 per cent – a six-year low.
And these buyers are clamouring for detached housing, raising concerns for the condo market, despite overall rosy market predictions.
“Of the core housing types, the condominium segment remains the most vulnerable to short-term price softness in light of increased inventory, but the situation is limited to only a few cities,” said Soper.
What Are Buying Conditions Like In YOUR Market?
What will the ever-coveted two-storey home cost in your province? Let’s travel across the nation and break down the price increases region by region:
Atlantic Canada: The Maritime’s most popular city, Halifax, should continue to see steady price growth – that’s despite flattening sales and inventory levels. Two-storey homes posted the biggest gains, up a meager 1.9 per cent to $325,933. Meanwhile in Newfoundland, despite seeing the harshest of winters, St. John’s posted a healthy 4.0 increase, up to $408,333.
Quebec and Ontario: In Montreal detached homes should continue their rise. Two-storey homes were up 3.6 per cent to $406,179. Our nation’s capital Ottawa appears to be hardest hit by winter weather, with two-storey homes only up 2.0 to $398,500. In Toronto, detached homes remained in short supply, leading to many bidding wars. Prices were up a sharp 6.8 per cent to $716,698.
Prairie Provinces and B.C.: In Manitoba, Winnipeg led the charge, seeing gains of 5.1 to $325,072. In neighbouring Saskatchewan, prices growth in Regina was flat, with an increase of only 0.3 per cent to $379,000. In Alberta, Calgary and Edmonton saw strong price appreciation – prices were up 7.5 per cent to $472,644 in Calgary, and 5.5 per cent to $371,000 in Edmonton, respectively. Rounding out the pack, Canada’s priciest market Vancouver posted modest gains, with prices up 2.9 per cent to $1,148,473.