Residential real estate markets across Canada
post solid gains over past decade, says RE/MAX
Pent-up demand, population growth, tight inventory levels, and the longest economic expansion since World War II collectively fueled one of the best decades on record for residential real estate in Canada, according to a report released by RE/MAX.
RE/MAX Decade in Review 1997 - 2007 found that major housing centres across the country experienced strong consecutive growth between 1997 and 2007. Average price spiraled upward while unit sales climbed in tandem as more and more Canadians bought into homeownership. Nationally, average price almost doubled in the 10-year period, rising from $154,606 in 1997 to $307,265 in 2007, for a 7.1 per cent annually compounded rate of return. Home sales across the country increased just over 57 per cent from 331,092 units in 1997 to more than half a million sales last year. Edmonton led the country in terms of percentage increase in average price. The city saw a 203 per cent upswing in housing values - or an 11.7 per cent increase annually - with average price rising from $111,587 a decade ago to $338,636 in 2007. Prince Edward Island experienced the highest percentage increase in unit sales, with the number of homes sold up 119 per cent in the 10-year period.
Immigration and in-migration have played a serious role in jumpstarting residential housing markets, particularly in British Columbia, Alberta, and to some extent, Saskatchewan over the past decade. At first, there was an influx of American buyers, especially in Canada’s coastal regions and recreational hot spots, as our southern neighbours took advantage of the almighty US greenback. Then the European and Middle Eastern purchasers flooded the market, buying up real estate considered ‘cheap’ by international standards. In recent years, there have been a growing number of purchasers from Mainland China. From a global perspective, there’s no question that Canadian real estate brings good value to the table.
Percentage increases in home sales varied across the country, with Prince Edward Island experiencing the greatest upswing over the past decade, followed by St. John’s at 106 per cent, Kelowna at 84 per cent, and Saint John at 77 per cent. Most markets (12 of the 19 surveyed) reported increases between 40 and 60 per cent. Average price has also seen substantial escalation over the 10-year period, with posted gains ranging from a low of 54.4 per cent in London-St.Thomas to a high of 203 per cent in Edmonton. Appreciation in Western Canadian markets surpassed all others between 1997 and 2007, with Calgary ranking second in terms of price appreciation at 189 per cent, Kelowna at 179 per cent, Saskatoon at 137 per cent, Winnipeg at 118 per cent, Victoria at 114 per cent and Greater Vancouver at 99 per cent.
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