RE/MAX report finds Canada's real-estate market poised for robust spring and
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
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, email@example.com, 416-333-0938
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CO: RE/MAX of Western Canada
ST: British Columbia
NI: REL ECOSURV
-0- Apr/15/2014 11:00 GMT
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