Despite signs of housing starts losing steam, Canada’s home sales remain stronger compared to last year and the early months of 2019.
“This continues to reflect strong demographic demand, both from international inflows and new households created within Canada,” Bank of Montreal senior economist Robert Kavcic told The Canadian Press.
“There’s a lot of homebuilding activity going on across the vast majority of Canada.”
The number of transactions is expected to continue growing, amid significant boosts from lower rates and a growing consumer population.
The Canadian Real Estate Association recently adjusted its 2019 resale forecast up to 482,000 units, around 5% higher from 2018.
“Canada’s housing sector is back on the front foot with resales picking up as the year progresses and homebuilding activity clearly displaying some momentum,” RBC senior economist Josh Nye stated.
“Ontario, the Prairies and Atlantic Canada are on the rebound while the trend in BC and Quebec remains strong despite slower starts in the last month or two.”
The pace of Canadian housing starts in September was markedly lower on a month-over-month basis, according to data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
The seasonally adjusted
Multi-family housing has pushed the Winnipeg housing sector towards a very strong summer, according to the city’s real estate association.
August data from WinnipegREALTORS® showed that the month’s sales grew by 13% annually, up to 1,439 transactions.This figure was 9% higher than the five-year average for that month.
Condos represented much of this market dynamism, with the asset class enjoying a 37% annual increase in sales and ending up 19% higher than the five-year average for August.In contrast, single-detached units saw a mere 4% year-over-year uptick.
“It is not often, if at all, when we see condominium sales outperform single family to the degree they did this month,” WinnipegREALTORS® president Ken Clark said.
Sales volume for the month amounted to a total of $411 million, which was 10% greater annually and the first time that Winnipeg’s August dollar volume exceeded $400 million.
On a year-to-date basis, the total sales figure of 9,702 was 5% higher than that seen during the January-August period last year.Meanwhile, dollar volume of $2.91 billion during the same time frame was up 6% from 2018.
As for inventory, the city saw more than 6,000 listings in August, which
With much-boosted supply offsetting intensified demand, Vancouver’s housing market is steadily moving towards better balance, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.
A total of 4,866 homes were newly listed in September, amounting to a 29.9% increase compared to August, and a 7.8% year-over-year drop.
Sales transactions swelled by 46.3% annually last month, with a total of 2,333 homes sold.This was just 1.7% lower than the 10-year average for September, and a massive increase from the 1,595 deals closed during the same time last year.
At the same time, overall prices veered lower.The composite benchmark price across all housing types in Metro Vancouver declined by 7.3% annually and 0.3% monthly in September (to $990,600).
Single detached homes saw their benchmark price drop by 8.6% year-over-year, while condos had a 6.5% decrease.Attached home prices went down 7.2%.
Over the past few months, Vancouver prices have experienced decreases, while much of Canada has gone up.
The Teranet – National Bank of Canada House Price Index released last month showed that Vancouver’s average housing price (across all asset classes) fell by 6.63% year-over-year in August, bringing composite prices down by 6.96% from the
Toronto’s benchmark home price is edging steadily towards its historic high reached in 2017, according to the latest figures from the city’s real estate board.
Ever-stronger demand along with supply scarcity has led to a 5.2% increase in the city’s benchmark housing price in September, up to approximately $805,500.This reading was just around $10,000 lower than the record peak observed by TREB.
Market strength has been largely driven by lower interest rates and immigration-driven population growth, TREB added.
Meanwhile, the average home price grew by 5.8% to $843,115 – indeed, the highest seen so far this year.
Active listings fell by 14% annually to 17,254 units, while sales accelerated by 22% during the same time frame to 7,825 transactions.Detached homes drove much of the dynamism, with a 29% increase in sales.
However, while Toronto’s homes have remained at exorbitant prices over the past few years, tens of thousands of these dwellings remain unoccupied.
A recent report by Point2 Homes found that approximately 1.34 million homes across Canada lie vacant or merely hold temporary occupants.
The 2016 figure, the most recently available batch, represented 8.7% of the units available in the national
Earlier this week, Altus Group and the Canadian Real Estate Association confirmed a renewed partnership that would expand CREA’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Home Price Index on a national level.
The stronger, wider-ranging agreement would boost the coverage of the MLS® Home Price Index from the current 18 real estate boards to all of CREA’s 90 real estate boards and associations across Canada.
“This is a reflection of the success we’ve achieved in our partnership to date, and the combination of machine learning and AVM technology delivers a powerful tool at a scale that brings greater value to everyone across the industry,” Altus managing director of data solutions Richard Simon stated.
The expansion would incorporate the work of CREA’s more than 130,000 members nationwide.
“Having greater access and visibility to data is critical in today’s competitive market and a national MLS® Home Price Index will better equip REALTORS® to address the needs of consumers across all markets,” CREA chief economist Gregory Klump noted.
CREA CEO Michael Bourque added that this alliance will provide consistent and reliable data on both the local and national levels.
“We’re excited to announce that for the first-time
Landlord ownership is steadily increasing in BC and Ontario, according to Statistics Canada.
The agency reported that as of 2018, the number of multiple-property owners in BC was over 268,600.Vancouver accounted for 53.6% (143,910 owners) of this demographic.
In Ontario, there were 835,175 of these kinds of owners last year, with around 43% (359,475 owners) in Toronto alone.
The two provinces, which host the two hottest residential real estate markets nationwide, have an abundance of housing investors.Taking advantage of these cities’ desirability, many of these owners have chosen to rent out these properties.
“The number of small landlords shouldn’t surprise many.Canada’s addiction to cheap financing makes condo development more favourable,” Better Dwelling stated in its analysis of the StatsCan data.
The implications on future supply cannot be understated.In recent years, new developments have tended towards high-end offerings that solely serve the needs of wealthy domestic and foreign investors.
Realosophy Realty president John Pasalis has argued that the growing prevalence of investment-use condos is a major factor in sky-high housing prices, further adding fire to the market’s long-running home affordability crisis.
“Five years down the road, do we really need
The somewhat languid pace of Montreal’s luxury market so far this year might change in the very near future, according to a report by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada released last week.
Overall high-end sales during the first half of September accelerated by 38% year-over-year, paving the way for improved long-term strength.
“The City of Montreal’s top-tier real estate market is set to maintain healthy activity into the fall,” the report explained.
“Steady absorption of resale inventory from luxury condominium developments completed in recent years sustained Montreal’s luxury condominium market over the summer months, foreshadowing solid fall performance,” Sotheby’s added.“Montreal remains well-positioned to set new records in 2019.”
This is in contrast to the almost flat 1% annual increase over the summer, a pace that generally veered close to last year’s levels.
Activity in the attached home sector is also expected to help market performance.This segment enjoyed an 11% annual increase with 41 units sold in July and August this year, compared to the 37 sold during the same time frame in 2018.
Sotheby’s attributed the slow pace during summer to a lack of available high-end residential assets.
“While consumer demand remains
Over the past few months, the decline in residential pre-sales in Vancouver was much larger than anticipated, according to a new analysis of data from MLA Canada by real estate information portal Better Dwelling.
The figures showed that of the new releases in Greater Vancouver last August, only 102 pre-sales have been sold – a substantial 77.8% annual decline.
This came with a similarly dramatic 75.6% drop in new listings for pre-sales, down to 254 units.
Significant deceleration was brought about by slow absorption rates, which led to developers deferring the release of new supply.
These factors fed into Vancouver’s lower housing starts trend in August, which came amid a series of late or cancelled developments.
“Compared to the same month last year, both multi-unit and single-detached home starts declined by over 17% in the CMA,” CMHC stated in its report covering August.
Overall, however, “year-to-date starts in the CMA remained fairly stable due to a decline in singles starts which was offset by an increase in the multi-units segment.”
Total housing sales in August was 2,231 transactions, which was 15.7% greater on a year-over-year basis.
“In recent months,
The latest project announced by Devimco Immobilier, the Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ, and Fiera Real Estate is shaping up to be Montreal’s largest mixed-used residential complex so far.
Late last week, the $700-million-plus Maestria development has broken ground on the site of the former Spectrum de Montréal.
The project, which will be comprised of two towers 57 and 61 storeys high, will be offering a total of nearly 1,750 residential units ranging from 300 to 2,200 square feet.
Designed by with architectural firm Lemay, Maestria will also be furnished with an abundance of green spaces intended to promote urban biodiversity, as well as a public plaza accessible to all residents.
An aerial walkway connecting the two buildings will be located at the 26th and 27th floors, which is expected to be the highest ever in a residential project in Quebec.
The towers are planned to incorporate office units, along with restaurants, entertainment venues, and neighbourhood shops and services.
Hunger for the spaces has been intense, with 75% of the first tower’s units having been sold just a few months after the project’s announcement in November 2018.Sales for the second tower have
Private buyers remain the most active contingent in BC’s commercial market, according to the Mid-Year 2019 Investment Review (British Columbia) report by Avison Young.
This sector accounted for 82.5% of the deals completed during the first half of 2019.A total of 85 commercial deals closed in the province during the first six months of the year, with a total value of more than $2.74 billion.
Private buyers’ share of overall value shrunk to a record-low 29%, however.This was significantly below the 60.6% ratio seen in 2018.
“Prior to 2017, the last time private buyers were responsible for less than 50% of overall dollar volume was in 2012 when they accounted for 72% of total purchases, but just 38% of the $2.35B invested that year,” Avison Young stated.
Institutional investors reigned supreme.While these were involved in just 8% of completed deals, the cohort’s impact was undeniable as they accounted for 66% of dollar volume during that period, with more than $1.8 billion.
Much of this stemmed from the sheer size of the properties involved.
“Of the seven institutional acquisitions in the first half of 2019, four involved significant downtown and suburban
The pace of growth of Montreal’s residential property values has swelled by more than double since 2017, according to figures released earlier this month by the municipal government.
Greater Montreal home values increased by an average of 13.7% from 2017, considerably larger than the 5.9% registered during the previous municipal roll roughly two years ago.
During this period, single-family detached homes saw a 20% increase in value, ending up at an average of $600,000.Meanwhile, condo values grew by 8.7%, up to an average of $365,000.
“The market has just completely exploded over the past few years since 2017,” residential broker Rebecca Sohmer told CTV News.
Condos have been especially noteworthy, with demand dramatically intensifying and median prices increasing twice as fast as the rate seen in single detached housing.
A late August report by Royal LePage stated that from January to July of this year, the median price of the Greater Montreal area’s condos spiked up by 10.3% annually, up to $286 per square foot (psf).To compare, single-detached homes saw 5.2% growth during the same time frame.
In the City of Montreal, the condo median price grew by 7.9% year-over-year
Proximity to universities is an often overlooked fundamental that enhances property values, but there’s another reason student housing should be a staple of every portfolio.
“There’s massive media coverage of the student housing crisis and research shows it isn’t getting any better.There’s colossal demand for student housing,” said Jennifer Hunt, vice president of research at the Real Estate Investment Network.“Millennials make up the largest demographic in Canada, superseding baby boomers, but at the crux of the demand [during 2011-2012 and 2015-2016] is domestic student enrollment, which increased 2%, and international students, which rose 52%.”
REIN’s inaugural University Effect:A Report for Rental Housing Providers determined that a house’s price will increase 1% for every kilometer closer to a university it is because of high demand for student housing within 400 metres of the institution.Given the dearth of student housing provided by the university—most of what is available goes to first-year students—there exists a monumental opportunity for investment.
But investors first have to know where to look.REIN has established what it calls a long-term formula to decipher which areas produce the highest ROIs.For example, universities increase GDP and employment also grows 4.6%.
Proving to be especially resilient against the negative impacts of the global trade turmoil, British Columbia’s commercial real estate continued to pull in significant investment volumes during the first half of 2019.
According to the new Mid-Year 2019 Investment Review (British Columbia) report by Avison Young, total transaction numbers during that period (85 commercial deals) were the third largest ever in the market, behind only the historic levels seen last year (102 deals) and in 2017 (109 deals).
Total dollar value exceeded $2.74 billion, with office and industrial assets drawing in the largest investments.These properties are expected to continue attracting substantial volumes for the foreseeable future.
The office sector accounted for 70% of the first-half total at more than $1.9 billion.This was spread across 21 sales, including the major Bentall Centre transaction valued at $1.05 billion.
“Investor appetite for office properties in Metro Vancouver, particularly in the core, will remain robust through 2019 with quality assets attracting multiple bids and achieving premium pricing,” Avison Young stated.
Industrial properties represented 40% of the total sales number with 39 deals closed.With a total value of more than $391 million, the property type continues
Scheduled to close by the end of this month, a multi-million-dollar transaction is attesting to the strong demand for Toronto’s retail spaces.
Earlier this week, Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust announced that it has cemented an agreement to sell a 30-property portfolio to a third-party buyer.
“We are pleased to execute on this opportunity to recycle capital,” Choice Properties president and CEO Rael Diamond said
“Along with the recent issuance of equity, this transaction further strengthens our balance sheet by reducing leverage and providing additional capacity to fund our significant development program.”
Valued at approximately $426 million, the portfolio is comprised of three distribution centres and 27 stand-alone retail properties.
With e-commerce coming to the fore as one of the city’s most vibrant industries, a growing expectation for same-day delivery among consumers is driving the demand for Toronto’s retail assets.
According to the latest Emerging Trends in Real Estate study published by PwC Canada and the Urban Land Institute, spaces for pre-delivery storage are among the most important properties.Cold storage for food is a particularly valuable resource, taking into account the increasing influence of online shopping.
Today’s offices are virtually unrecognizable from what they were even a decade ago.
On behalf of GWL Realty Advisors, Leger Marketing conducted a survey of 573 office tenants in three Vancouver offices it manages and determined their most desired amenities had to do with health and wellness.
“In buildings where we didn’t have fitness, that was a key feature they wanted, and if the buildings didn’t already have a sit-down restaurant or café, those were also amenities people of all ages—but definitely the younger generations—asked for more of and saw as more important,” said Wendy Waters, VP of research services and strategy at GWLRA.
“The younger people working in our buildings wanted landlords to provide activities.Yoga was one, but also health and wellness presentations, and even guest speakers.That was a little surprising how many people in our buildings would like us to offer these additional group experiences.”
Bicycling is a popular mode of urban transportation and 18% of Vancouver office workers primarily cycle or walk to work.Thirty percent of respondents who don’t cycle say they would if provided “end-of-trip” facilities, which are designed as a place to lock up their bikes, shower and change.