A Glimpse Across Canada’s Real Estate Markets

Like any big country, Canada is exceptionally diverse in its real estate markets. We have so many large cities that offer so much of their own unique potential. Toronto is not just the only location for a positive investment. Calgary, Ottawa, Vancouver, Edmonton and Hamilton all have varied influences that factor into their continuous growth and rising potential.

Calgary’s population is trending upwards in the next decade thanks to their increasing immigration. Job growth has been on the decrease recently due to the economy being mostly reliant on the energy industry, the upcoming pipeline will result in an inevitable boost. The rental vacancy rate sits at 3.9%, while the average rent is $1,272. The average semi-detached home is $450,000 which is remaining stagnant in a buyer’s market that is trending downwards. This has created a waning level of consumer confidence, but this is beginning to rise as of late. The most popular homes are detached houses, with semi-detached coming in second. Thanks to urban sprawl there is an excessive amount of land to build upon leading to more detached homes. “The city is built around the vehicle,” states realtor Shawn Rasmussen of RE/MAX Calgary Real Estate, noting the openness and welcoming relaxed atmosphere of the city, which is a welcome change to the other dense cities.

Like the rest of Alberta, Edmonton is on the rise in growth as its province has the highest increasing population for the first quarter of 2019. People are seeing the rising opportunity thanks to positive housing prices and the scenic atmosphere creating a strong quality of life. Their economy is mostly reliant on the oil industry and government jobs, having only two factors to support the province can lead to wavering stability. The average house price sits comfortably at $315,700. As their inventory decreases it creates a strong buyer’s market and a softening seller’s market, resulting in strong consumer confidence. Single family homes with a detached garage are generally the most popular in the city. The rental vacancy rate is 5.3% with the average monthly rent being $1,246. “What’s interesting about Edmonton are the prices fluctuating a great deal due to supply and demand,” notes David Demian of Re/Max Real Estate.

Vancouver receives the majority of British Columbia’s immigration, which averages 50,000 annually. The currently moderately soft economy mainly relies on tourism, mining and forestry as their main industries. The average house price is $1.4 million, while out in the mainland it averages around $3.3 – 3.5 million. As prices are going down in this buyer’s market, consumer confidence is very tentative due to a lot of concern and hesitation because of the stress test and foreign buyer tax; which also harmed Toronto. Condos are the most popular type of homes, while houses with basement suites for supplementary incomes are second. The rental vacancy rate is below 1%, the average rent sits at $1,649 monthly. Taxes are the main driving force impacting sales and values in the Vancouver market, though real estate still remains a liquid investment after years of continuous growth. “In tougher times people still want to live here, many people want to retire here, you can go to the mountains and play tennis on the same day,” states Kelly Fry of the Kelly Fry Team.

The Hamilton population continues to rise, especially thanks to wide increase of Millennials. This is due to the affordability of housing in comparison to Toronto area, creating a spill over effect. Job growth remains consist in large part due to McMaster University and Hamilton Health Science leading medical research internationally, which also brings in a larger degree of students year over year. The average house price in Hamilton is $587,300, which is outperforming most of the country. Consumer confidence continues to increase, which was even bigger than the spike of 2015; they are now in a seller’s market which is a general trend in the summer. The rental vacancy rate has increased to 3.1%, while the average monthly rent is $1,077. “An excess of white-collar jobs and migration from the Greater Toronto Area have really aided to our affordability,” notes Mike Heddle of The Heddle Group

Ottawa’s population is nearly 1,000,000 as it continues to healthily increase year over year. This is in large part to an excess of jobs in hospitality, a blossoming tech sector, tourism, post-secondary institutes, the nearly complete first phase of the Light Rail Train increasing job growth while also improving accessibility, but the federal government is what employs the most people. Prices are trending up in their seller’s market, the average house price being $440,400. Consumer confidence is strong, but dwindled a little in the past few months due to concerns of security in the federal job market creeping in. Condominiums are the most purchased type of property due to their affordability and recent stricter mortgage rules creating more difficulty to own a single family home. The rental vacancy rate is below 1%, with the average rent being $1,300. Tony Miller of EXIT Realty Matrix notes that so many people are keen to move in and invest simply because of the federal government and it being Canada’s capital.

The main factors that influence housing prices in Canada are immigration, the job market and the available quantity of land. A common trend across the country is our rather poor transit, every major city is taking the initiative to improve this which would help values in the near future. Statistics show that we have years of growth to look forward to all across the country.

To see how Toronto compares, click here.

Written by: Spencer Maxwell

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