It's impossible to predict the future but here's a look at where the real estate market stands at the beginning of 2020.
Affordability is Improving
Housing Affordability is slowly improving according to RBC Economics. Explained: The gap between prices of single-detached homes and condos lessened, making single detached homes more accessible to buyers. Bigger Picture: Lowering interest rates and stronger wage gains are helping ease home ownership costs.
Home Sales are Increasing
Home sales rose slightly in 2019 according to CREA National Statistics. Explained: A decrease in the benchmark five-year interest rate is helping buyers get back in the game. Bigger Picture: With the benchmark lowered, buyers are more likely to pass the stress-test and qualify for a mortgage.
Keeping an Eye on Inventory
The amount of inventory hovers below the long-term average of 5.3 months according to CMHC. Explained: The amount of completed, unsold units is below the national threshold, presenting little evidence of overbuilding. Bigger Picture: With new buyer incentives, researchers say the demand for housing could increase. While there were more building permits last year according to Statistics Canada, the market is still ripe for sellers.
A Break for First-Time Home Buyers
The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive offsets the cost of a home for new buyers Explained: As a shared-equity mortgage between qualified buyers and the government, Canada covers 5-10% of a home purchase price with an interest free 25 year loan that can be paid back any time without penalties. Bigger Picture: The program will help first-time buyers break into the real estate market.
Small Breakdown of top 10 Markets to Watch in 2020 according to PwC, Emerging trends in Real Estate 2020.
Vancouver-Population growth and a strong economy are drawing buyers back in after a market correction in 2019
Calgary-Potential hotspot for move-up buyers; housing starts are set to increase
Edmonton-Economy set to improve this year, thus stimulating the housing market
Saskatoon-Expanding economy with housing starts expected to increase
Winnipeg-Solid population growth offsets moderate economic growth for a stable market
Toronto-Strong economic growth and stabilizing home prices make for a healthy market
Ottawa-Population is quickly increasing as Toronto residents seek more affordable housing
Montreal-Continued yet stable economic growth with a market catering toward retirees and millennials
Quebec City-New construction simmering for a market correction, while economy steadily strengthens
Halifax-Economy climbing steadily with record job growth over the past few years.
Important Note: Real Estate is Local-Conditions vary across Canada-relying exclusively on national data can be misleading, especially with cities like Toronto & Vancouver that skew averages. It is always a good idea to check out data o your own city or region to get more context when considering a significant real estate move!