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Soft Landing Still Likely for Canadian Condo Market

 Genworth Canada Releases Summer 2014 Metropolitan Condo Outlook  TORONTO, Aug. 13, 2014 /CNW/ - Population, economic and employment growth all  point to a stabilizing of the Canadian condominium market, according to the  latest Conference Board of Canada condo report commissioned by Genworth  Canada.  The Summer 2014 Metropolitan Condo Outlook forecasts that while  pockets of higher risk still exist in Toronto and Vancouver, a broad-based  downturn is unlikely.  "The report findings align with our view that the condo market is stabilizing  and that demographics and affordability continue to drive demand" said Stuart  Levings, Chief Operating Officer of Genworth Canada.  "As a result of our  prudent underwriting standards, our portfolio quality in this market remains  strong and we see value in partnering with our customers to meet the evolving  needs of young urbanites.  Despite modest price gains over the next two years in all eight cities studied  in the report, increases in average household incomes will help to keep  mortgage costs affordable.  Continued growth in immigration, affordability  pressures in major cities, and aging baby-boomers looking to downsize are all  factors that support continued demand for condominiums in urban centres.  "Our research has long shown that the strong underlying economic factors in  Canada would help most condominium markets achieve a 'soft landing'" said  Robin Wiebe, Senior Economist at the Centre for Municipal Studies at The  Conference Board of Canada and co-author of the report.  "Despite fluctuating  sales and listing trends, markets are expected to be balanced across the  country, with a slight lean towards the buyer in Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec  City."  To view infographic of national highlights click here. To view infographic of  regional highlights click here.  Regional Highlights        --  Québec City's stronger economy is expected to stabilize sales         of existing condominiums this year and then lift them in 2015,         while condominium starts are expected to fall for the second         straight year in 2014; lower inventories of unsold new units         should bring builders back to the market in 2015.     --  Montréal's condo unit resales are expected to decline in 2014,         before bouncing back in 2015, while rising inventories of         unsold new condos will slow the pace of construction     --  Ottawa's condo resales are expected to improve in 2015 and         continue rising for several years. Meanwhile condo starts will         be flat in 2015 and then rise gradually     --  Toronto's condominium market will cool slightly but avoid the         collapse many fear due to healthy population growth, a solid         economy and the desirability of downtown living     --  Calgary enjoys excellent condo affordability due to its healthy         average household income (the highest of all eight cities         studied) and relatively modest condo prices. The city's good         economy is boosting near-term resale volumes and price growth         while ongoing economic and income growth will maintain         Calgary's housing requirements over the following years.     --  Edmonton's strong economy lifted condo sales sharply in 2013         and will keep them growing modestly over the next few years.         While condominium starts are forecast to pull back in 2014,         following very large jumps in 2012 and 2013, they are expected         to grow moderately over the rest of the outlook     --  Vancouver's condominium market is recovering along with the         overall resale market, although slowing offshore demand         threatens to expose the area's poor housing affordability.         Condominium resales will grow modestly throughout the         medium-term, as will starts after they stabilize this year.     --  Victoria is expected to see both transactions and prices grow         in the resale market over the next few years after enduring         several years of decline; meanwhile, falling starts and         completions this year will begin trimming new-unit inventories,         setting the stage for modest starts growth.  Resale prices for condominiums are expected to rise in both 2014 and 2015 in  all eight cities studied. In both years, Calgary will see the largest growth  at 6.6 and 3.5 per cent, respectively, and Montreal the lowest at 1.0 and 1.7  per cent.  Median Resale Condo Price by City: Forecast      City            2013    2014f   2015f     ----            ----    -----   -----     Québec City $225,185 $227,466 $231,909                      2.0      1.0      2.0     Montréal    $264,478 $267,109 $271,769                     -1.0      1.0      1.7                     ----      ---      ---     Ottawa      $259,171 $263,811 $269,852                     -4.5      1.8      2.3     Toronto     $308,729 $316,744 $321,540                      1.1      2.6      1.5                      ---      ---      ---     Calgary     $254,633 $271,463 $280,975                      4.2      6.6      3.5     Edmonton    $217,288 $225,212 $232,619                      3.2      3.6      3.3                      ---      ---      ---     Vancouver   $367,688 $374,051 $383,434                      0.4      1.7      2.5     Victoria    $268,321 $279,027 $290,261                     -0.1      4.0      4.0                     ----      ---      ---     Italics indicate percentage      change from previous year.     Sources: The Conference Board      of Canada; CMHC     Housing Time Series Database;      Canadian Real Estate     Association; Québec Federation      of Real Estate Boards.     Average resale prices are used      for Québec City and     Montréal; median resale prices      are used for the rest of     the metropolitan areas. Resale      prices in Montréal and     Québec City cover all condo      styles, not just apartments.  The Metropolitan Condo Outlook is commissioned by Genworth Canada from the  Conference Board of Canada. The Report reviews a wide range of condominium  statistics and offers an in-depth analysis of the trends in the condominium  market for eight large Canadian metropolitan areas: Québec City, Montréal,  Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria. A copy of the  report is available at  http://genworth.ca/en/about-us/about-us-publications.aspx.  About Genworth Canada Genworth MI Canada Inc. (TSX: MIC) through its  subsidiary, Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Company Canada (Genworth  Canada), is the largest private residential mortgage insurer in Canada. The  Company provides mortgage default insurance to Canadian residential mortgage  lenders, making homeownership more accessible to first-time homebuyers.  Genworth Canada differentiates itself through customer service excellence,  innovative processing technology, and a robust risk management framework. For  almost two decades, Genworth Canada has supported the housing market by  providing thought leadership and a focus on the safety and soundness of the  mortgage finance system. As at June 30, 2014, Genworth Canada had $5.7 billion  total assets and $3.3 billion shareholders' equity. Find out more at  www.genworth.ca.    SOURCE  Genworth Canada  or to arrange interviews, please contact: Lisa Azzuolo, Director,  Communications, Genworth Canada, 905.287.5520 or Lisa.Azzuolo@genworth.com  To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL:  http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/August2014/13/c3832.html  CO: Genworth Canada ST: Ontario NI: ECO ECOSURV  
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