Major realtor cautions sellers
April 10, 2019
Royal LePage, one of Canada’s largest real estate firms, is bearish in its housing outlook this year for sellers, but sees an opportunity for buyers.
“We are expecting this to be a sluggish year overall in Canada's residential real estate market, with the hangover from the 2018 market correction and weaker economic growth acting as a drag on home price appreciation, balanced by lower-for-longer interest rates,” said Phil Soper, the company president and CEO, as Royal LePage released its spring price survey.
The survey showed that the average price of a Canadian home increased 2.7 per cent from year earlier in the first quarter to $621,575. The median sale price of a two-storey house rose 2.6 per cent year-over-year to $729,553, and the median price of a bungalow increased 1.1 per cent year-over-year to $513,497. These increases for detached houses are below the five-year average, Royal LePage noted.
On a national level, condos saw the strongest price growth, rising 5.4 per cent over the past year to $447,260.
“There is a silver lining here. This slowdown gives buyers, and first-time buyers in particular, an opportunity to buy real estate in our country’s largest cities,” Soper noted.
The survey said government policy such as the mortgage stress test has dampened the market, and warned that the new federal incentive for first-time buyers, which does not start until September, could stall the market further during the first half of the year.
“There is the chance that activity levels [early in] 2019 will be reduced as some delay purchases, waiting for the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive to kick in,” Soper noted.