Canada's real-estate market poised for a robust spring and summer
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.
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.
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.
Source: Canada NewsWire