Sharing a very long border with the U.S., as well as a number of governmental housing impetus goals, Canada's market is however definitely evolving differently that in the U.S. Perhaps it's more of a postponement of the inevitable, but there are arguments both ways about the health of the Canadian real estate markets and the economy as a whole. There is an abundance of good news:
• According to reports about home prices from different provinces, Newfoundland registered the biggest price rises last year (12.7%), followed by British Columbia (11.7%), Manitoba (10.8%) and New Brunswick (8.5%).
• Another resource says "Sales figures from the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) show that the real estate market in British Columbia is poised for a 20% increase in 2009 with a further 8% rise in 2010."
• The Calgary Real Estate Board shows an increase in the average home price of 7% over last year, sitting at just around $464,000. The number of single family home sales in Calgary was up by 63%, with 1100 units changing hands in a recent month. About 500 condos moved as well, averaging around $294,000 each.
• Vancouver home prices have been surging, perhaps in part due to the coming 2010 Olympic Games. Called by many "the most livable city in the world," Vancouver is certainly enjoying the real estate marketing leading up to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
• A recent article in the Calgary Herald quotes economist Pascal Gauthier of the TD Bank Financial Group as saying "that on the national level, after climbing by an estimated four per cent on an annual basis this year, the average existing home price is expected to gain another nine to 10 per cent in 2010 with sales increasing by 2.7 per cent." The same article states that record low mortgage rates and better employment numbers are contributing to the home price increases all across Canada.
With all of that good news comes one voice of dissent. Garth Turner, in his Greater Fool Blog has been a continuous, though minority, purveyor of warnings. He believes that the markets have been responding to government stimuli that can't continue, and that there is still a real estate crash in Canada's future. He cites rising government deficits, new movement toward increased taxes, and unsustainable prices in many areas as harbingers of bad news to come. Once the Olympics are over in 2010, perhaps there will be some correction in Vancouver, but attitudes are really upbeat all around Canada when it comes to real estate.
By www.holprop.com (December 7, 2009)
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