Canadian residential real estate defied conventional logic and
outperformed expectations in 2011, posting another solid year of housing activity virtually across the board.
The trend is expected to carry forward into 2012 as Canadians continue to demonstrate their faith in
homeownership, despite concerns over the European debt crisis and its impact on the global economy,
according to a report released today by RE/MAX.
The RE/MAX Housing Market Outlook 2012 examined trends and developments in 26 major markets across the
country. Eighty-eight per cent (23/26) anticipated average price increases by year-end 2011—with percentage
hikes ranging from one to 16 per cent. The forecast for 2012 shows the upward trend moderating, but still
ahead of 2011 figures. Overall home sales are expected to remain on par or ahead of last year’s levels in 85 per
cent (22/26) of markets in 2011—including Saskatoon with a year-over-year percentage increase of 13 per cent
and an eight per cent uptick in Calgary, Winnipeg, Hamilton-Burlington and Sudbury. Almost half of Canadian
markets will match the 2011 performance, while the remainder should post increases ranging from one to five
per cent next year.
By year-end 2011, an estimated 460,000 homes are expected to change hands, up three per cent from the
447,010 units reported in 2010. Sales are expected to climb one per cent to 464,500 units in 2012. The value
of a Canadian home is set to climb to $363,000 this year—an increase of seven per cent over the $339,030
posted one year ago. By year-end 2012, the average price in Canada is forecast to appreciate two per cent to
“The Canadian housing market has demonstrated tremendous resilience in recent years, but 2011 stands out,”
says Michael Polzler, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “Instead of responding to
economic concerns both here and abroad with a retreat in sales and prices, residential real estate markets
actually experienced an upswing in the volatile third and final quarters. While clearly not impervious to the
impact, Canadian consumers are intent on making their moves now, in advance of higher housing values and
rising interest rates down the road.”
Improvement in both provincial and local economies, especially during the second half of 2012, should serve to
further stimulate homebuying activity. Calgary, Saskatoon, and Halifax-Dartmouth will likely lead the country
in unit sales in 2012, each with a projected increase of five per cent. Regina, Greater Toronto, Saint John,
Moncton, and St. John’s anticipate a three per cent increase in home sales next year.