RE/MAX report finds Canada's real-estate market poised for robust spring and summer

 RE/MAX report finds Canada's real-estate market poised for robust spring and  summer  RE/MAX Spring Market Trends Report 2014 finds increased activity in local  housing markets across Western Canada as winter fades and temperatures rise  KELOWNA, BC, April 15, 2014 /CNW/ - Today RE/MAX released its Spring Market  Trends Report, showcasing key housing market trends in 24 residential real  estate markets across Canada.  An unusually harsh winter delayed the start of the spring real estate season  in many Canadian markets east of British Columbia, while low inventory was a  key theme in major urban centres across the county, leading to significant  price increases in markets where supply struggled to keep pace with demand.  Natural resources, manufacturing and major infrastructure projects continue to  drive economic confidence, creating a strong foundation for residential real  estate growth from coast to coast through the rest of the year.  The full RE/MAX Spring Market Trends Report, with market activity summaries  for 24 regions across the country, is available here: http://rem.ax/1kXvf7I  Western Canada and the Prairies  There was robust market activity across much of Western Canada during the  first quarter of 2014. In what was a tale of two winters, Vancouver and  Victoria saw year-over-year price gains during an unusually mild January and  February. At the same time, below average temperatures in cities such as  Edmonton, Calgary and Saskatoon were not enough to cool local market sales,  where house prices also continued to climb. And while Winnipeg and Regina did  experience market slowdowns, both regions show signs of increased activity as  warmer temperatures motivate both buyers and sellers to enter the market.  "Western Canada is poised for strong housing market activity during the  all-important spring and summer sales season," said Elton Ash, Regional  Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. "With Winnipeg's healthy  agricultural and manufacturing sectors, sturdy job markets in Regina,  Saskatoon and across Alberta, as well as the cultural and economic draw of  Victoria and the Greater Vancouver Area, our RE/MAX agents across the West  expect to be busy in the months ahead."  At the end of March, Vancouver's market had posted a 5.4 per cent  year-over-year average price increase, but with the cost of a typical single  family house reaching $1.36 million, many younger buyers have found themselves  priced out of the market. This low affordability has prompted some innovative  solutions, with 400-square-foot studios now selling in the $150,000 price  range, offering first time buyers a toe-hold into the market. These  entry-level condos have even led to the development of entire new lines of  multipurpose furniture designed specifically for efficient spaces.  Many potential homebuyers in Alberta have been be frustrated by low inventory.  This is particularly true in Calgary where a typical home spent less than 35  days on the market. Those looking to rent while waiting for the Calgary  housing market to balance out have also struggled with a rental vacancy rate  of one per cent. Desirable rental properties in Calgary's core are now  attracting multiple offers, creating additional frustrations for those waiting  to buy.  Across the Prairies, Saskatchewan showed strong housing market activity  throughout the first quarter. At an average price of $354,084, year-over-year  housing prices were up five per cent in Saskatoon as of the end of March.  Regina also posted gains, where the average sale price in the city rose 4.8  per cent to $328,781 over the same period. In Winnipeg arctic temperatures and  put a chill on the market with sales down over the first two months of the  year. However, after a dozen years of as a seller's market, Winnipeg is  expected to be more balanced in 2014 as new buyers are to drive sales of  condos and detached homes.  Ontario and Eastern Canada  Despite record-setting low temperatures this winter, housing market activity  in Ontario and Eastern Canada picked up in March and showed year-over-year  resilience in most regions during the first quarter of 2014. In urban centres  around the Golden Horseshoe, house prices continued to post gains while  inventory struggled to keep pace with demand. Across Eastern Canada, price  increases were also seen in regions with strong local economies driven by the  resource sector and major infrastructure development.  "The unusually cold winter led to a slow start in early 2014, but Ontario and  Atlantic Canada are now seeing significant housing market activity and are  poised for robust spring and summer seasons," said Gurinder Sandhu, Executive  Vice President, Regional Director & Chief Financial Officer RE/MAX INTEGRA  Ontario-Atlantic Canada Division. "We expect an extended spring market this  year as sellers who waited for warmer temperatures are now listing their  properties in greater numbers, which will help meet the pent up demand of  those who have been looking to buy since early 2014."  Potential homebuyers in the Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton and Burlington  continue to face low inventory and increasing prices. In Toronto the average  residential sale prices jumped almost 8 per cent year-over-year in March, as  the city saw inventory continue to decline. As of the end of March the average  price for a detached home in the GTA was $718,400, while the average condo was  a more affordable $347,200.  Similar to the situation in Calgary, Toronto is also experiencing low rental  vacancies, adding to frustrations of those debating whether to buy or rent.  With a vacancy rate below two per cent, desirable rental properties in the  city's downtown core are now attracting multiple offers.  From Ottawa and Kingston to London and Windsor, the harsh winter slowed  year-over year real estate activity in January and February across much of  Ontario. In Windsor, which suffered heaviest snowfall since 1908, first  quarter unit sales declined 15 per cent year-over-year. However, this trend is  now reversing itself; March showed strong signs of recovery as unit sales were  down just one per cent compared to the previous year. This trend played out  across the province, as increased sales in March made up for sluggish activity  seen in January and February.  The harsh winter conditions also delayed early 2014 activity across some  markets in Atlantic Canada. In St. John's, despite strong consumer confidence  and a growing local economy, real estate sales decreased 9 per cent  year-over-year in February. Activity picked up in March, and by the end of the  month average year-over-year prices had increased by 5 per cent to $308,851.  Looking at the year ahead, a number of factors are expected to contribute to  strong markets across the region. Halifax looks set for a 2014 recovery driven  by the local shipbuilding industry and an influx of young people attracted to  the urban lifestyle and affordability of small suites in the city's core. In  Newfoundland, natural resources and capital spending projects should continue  to fuel the region's economy and housing market. Foreign buyers in PEI,  particularly those from Asia, are expected to fuel sales in the upper-end of  the island's real estate. Finally, in New Brunswick, Saint John buyers  continue to wait on announcements about pipeline and oil refinery developments  that could have a transformative impact on their market.  About the RE/MAX Network  RE/MAX was founded in 1973 by Dave and Gail Liniger, with an innovative,  entrepreneurial culture affording its agents and franchisees the flexibility  to operate their businesses with great independence. Over 93,000 agents  provide RE/MAX a global reach -- operating in more than 95 countries. RE/MAX  is Canada's leading real estate organization with more than 19,000 Sales  Associates and over 750 independently-owned and operated offices nationwide.  RE/MAX, LLC, one of the world's leading franchisors of real estate brokerage  services, is a subsidiary of RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:RMAX). For more  information about RE/MAX, to search home listings and/or find an agent in your  community, please visit www.remax.ca.  About Integra Enterprises and RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada  RE/MAX INTEGRA is privately owned by Canadian entrepreneurs and represents  nearly a third of all RE/MAX agents worldwide. The Ontario-Atlantic Canada  region is driving towards 10,000 quality agents.  The US regions--New England  and the Mid West (which is made up of Minnesota, Wisconsin and  Indiana)--account for over 6,000 agents, and Europe and the Middle East  account for more than 12,000 agents.  Forward Looking Statements  This report includes "forward looking statements" within the meaning of the  "safe harbor" provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation  Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of  words such as "anticipate", "believe", "intend", "expect", "estimate", "plan",  "outlook", "poised," "should" and "project" and other similar words and  expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not  statements of historical matters. Forward looking statements should not be  read as a guarantee of future performance or results, and will not necessarily  be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which such performance or  results will be achieved. Forward looking statements are based on information  available at the time those statements are made and/or management's good faith  belief as of that time with respect to future events, and are subject to risks  and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ  materially from those expressed in or suggested by the forward looking  statements. Such risks include, without limitation, those described in the  sections "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial  Condition and Results of Operation in RE/MAX Holdings Inc.'s registration  statement on Form S-1 filed with the United States Securities and Exchange  Commission ("SEC") and (1) changes in business and economic activity in  general, (2) changes in the real estate market, including changes due to  interest rates and availability of financing, and (3) changes in laws and  regulations that may affect our business or the real estate market. Readers  are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which  speak only as of the date on which they are made. Except as required by law,  RE/MAX Holdings Inc. does not intend, and undertakes no duty, to update this  information to reflect future events or circumstances. Investors are referred  to in RE/MAX Holding Inc.'s registration statement on Form S-1 and subsequent  reports filed with the SEC.  Data Source:  Historical data is sourced from Local Real Estate Boards.  Estimates and forecasts are based on the opinion of independent RE/MAX  broker/owners and affiliates.    SOURCE  RE/MAX of Western Canada  Elaine Langhout, RE/MAX of Western Canada, 250-860-3628; Sarah Louise  Gardiner, FleishmanHillard, sarah.gardiner@fleishman.ca, 416-333-0938  To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL:  http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/April2014/15/c2125.html  CO: RE/MAX of Western Canada ST: British Columbia NI: REL ECOSURV