A more competitive market takes shape for spring 2012

By
Real Estate Agent with Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage
http://actvra.in/xLz

 

Homebuying activity strong out of the gate,

 

as a more competitive market takes shape for spring 2012, says RE/MAX

 

 

 

 

 

Major Canadian real estate markets continued to show exceptional resiliency throughout the first quarter of the year, with strong demand and diminished supply setting the stage for a heated spring 2012, according to a report released by RE/MAX.

 

 

 

The RE/MAX Market Trends Report, highlighting sales, price, trends and developments in 15 markets across the country, found that 12 of 15 Canadian centres (80 per cent) were reporting year-to-date (January-February) sales activity ahead of last year’s levels, with more than half reporting double-digit increases. Low interest rates, coupled with strong consumer confidence levels and a mild winter, played a significant role in the upswing, ushering in an early start to the spring market.  Average price climbed in 14 of 15 markets (93 per cent) examined, yet appreciation was more tempered, with only three markets posting gains in excess of 10 per cent.  Tighter inventory levels at entry-level price points have sparked bidding wars—particularly in Winnipeg and the Greater Toronto Area—with similar conditions starting to emerge in Saskatoon, Regina, London-St. Thomas, Hamilton-Burlington, Ottawa, St. John’s, and Halifax-Dartmouth.

 

 

 

Given the current economic climate, the strength of the country’s housing market clearly reflects the value Canadians place on homeownership.   One driving factor has been the overall performance of the market over the past decade. Existing homeowners have realized substantial equity gains, especially in recent years, and many are taking advantage of the combination of historically low interest rates and equity to upgrade. Perhaps more importantly, housing has outperformed just about every other asset class – and a principle residence is capital gains exempt – a fact that’s not gone unnoticed.

 

 

 

In terms of sales appreciation, the best performing markets heading into the traditionally busy spring season were Halifax-Dartmouth (35 per cent), Saskatoon (21 per cent), Saint John (20 per cent), Regina (16 per cent), St. John’s (12.5 per cent), Greater Toronto Area (12 per cent), London-St. Thomas (11 per cent), and Edmonton (11 per cent).  Only Vancouver, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Winnipeg have experienced softening in housing activity so far this year.  Sales are down 16 per cent in the Greater Vancouver, 4.5 per cent in Kitchener-Waterloo, and almost on par in Winnipeg.

 

 

 

Housing values are escalating at a steady pace in most major markets.   Yet, gains are, as predicted, much more moderate than in years past.  We expect this will remain the trend moving forward—in line with the Canadian economy, as GDP growth also moves ahead at a more subdued pace.  Conditions will vary locally, with some markets exceeding expectations, largely due to the fact that the significant influx of inventory expected never materialized or, in the case of Saskatchewan and Newfoundland, the local economy has shown extraordinary strength.  On the whole, this is a very stable and healthy housing market in line with traditional norms, with few exceptions.

 

 

 

Year-to-date average price in most major centres is also on the upswing.  Winnipeg, Greater Toronto and St. John’s each posted a percentage increase of 10 per cent in the first two months of 2012.  Values in Kitchener-Waterloo followed at nine per cent, while Regina and Saskatoon escalated six per cent.

 

 

 

Purchasing intentions have largely been driven by confidence in a buyer’s own employment and financial picture, followed by major lifecycle events.  While global uncertainties caused some to pause in recent years, purchasers will only sit on the fence so long before the need to make a move becomes a stronger impetus.  That reality is starting to fuel momentum, along with the domino effect of an enthusiastic entry-level segment.  First-time buyers are driving demand in both the smaller and major markets, in turn sparking strong sales activity among move-up purchasers at the higher price points.  As a result, the upper-end of the market has also held up well.  There’s no question that the spring 2012 market will see all segments working in tandem. 

 

 

 

Highlights:

 

·         Halifax-Dartmouth’s residential real estate market is firing on all cylinders thanks to the $25 billion shipbuilding contract awarded in the last quarter of 2011.  Renewed confidence has bolstered homebuying activity, with sales up 35 per cent over one year ago. 

 

·         Markets in Saskatchewan are also red-hot, with Saskatoon (21 per cent) and Regina (16 per cent) supported by strong economic fundamentals and increasing population levels in the province.

 

·         Tight market conditions have seriously hampered sales activity in Winnipeg, but purchasers remain undaunted.  In February, 44 per cent of single-family homes sales sold above list price, while 31 per cent of condominium sales sold for more than ask.

 

·         In Greater Toronto, multiple offers are commonplace in blue-chip neighbourhoods, with an estimated 50 per cent of detached homes priced in the $600,000 to $900,000 price range selling for more than list price.

 

·         The First-Time Buyer’s Tax Credit and remediation of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) issue in British Columbia is expected to breathe new life into housing markets this spring. 

 

Posted by

If you're thinking about selling, I'd love to meet with you and provide a Market Analysis and go over my Marketing Plan - it is the little things that make the difference.**

 Susan Emo
Sales Representative,
Sotheby's International Realty Canada, Brokerage*
Kingston, Ontario

www.SusanEmoSellsHomes.com

 Serving the Kingston, Gananoque and the 1000 Islands Region
- come for a visit and stay for a lifetime!

*Each office independently owned and operated.
** There is nothing on this blog that is intended to solicit business from anyone already under contract with another Realtor

The opinions expressed on this blog are the personal opinions of Susan Emo

If you are a non-member and would like to comment, please feel free to contact me.

Take a moment to visit my facebook fan page at
www.facebook.com/susanemosellshomes
and click "LIKE" today! 

 

 

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Rainmaker
1,232,276
Al & Peggy Cunningham Brokers, Brampton Ontario Homes For Sale 905-450-5500
RE/MAX Realty Services Inc. - Brampton, ON

Susan that is exactly what we are finding here. Shortage of really good properties for Buyers. If the property is priced right and in good condition it doesn't stay on the market for long! Good luck there in the 1000 Islands and when we are there we will ask for you!

Mar 22, 2012 07:44 AM #1
Rainmaker
874,225
Fred Carver-Top Realtor Victoria, BC
Re/Max Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Victoria BC Real Estate Consultant

Hi Susan...Try doing a Screen capture of the report and add it as a picture, write a few words about the Re/Max Report then upload the Picture of the report...then the Gods won't slap you.....ha What's 250 points among friends.

Still a Great Report for Canadian Real Estate from Re/Max Canada.

Mar 22, 2012 07:48 AM #2
Ambassador
849,869
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Fred -  I was not 'slapped', LOL   I, myself clicked the button for this not being my content.  I'm quite happy to share the info for free!

Mar 22, 2012 07:52 AM #3
Ambassador
849,869
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Al and Peggy -  a great shortage of inventory in our 1000 Islands area too.  I hope 2012 will be good to you!

Mar 22, 2012 07:53 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,592,650
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Too many facts for me to comprehend GG, but it's good to see you.  Just wanted to say "hey"!

Mar 22, 2012 07:58 AM #5
Ambassador
849,869
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Hey Garlic Guy -  it is dry reading isn't it  (unless you're buying or selling in Canada - then it is facinating!)  LOL

Mar 22, 2012 08:10 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,592,650
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

You're fascinating!  Also wanted to tell you how much I appreciated your comment on my post the other day, the one about Mickey!  Thanks!

Mar 22, 2012 08:30 AM #7
Rainmaker
734,487
Juli Vosmik
Dominion Real Estate Partners, LLC, Scottsdale, AZ - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739

Susan, those are some impressive numbers for the Canadian real estate market.  Isn't it fun to write positive information?  

Mar 22, 2012 09:44 AM #8
Rainmaker
447,867
Malcolm Johnston
Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario - Trenton, ON
Trenton Real Estate

Hang on to your hat Susan, we're in for a busy year :-)

Mar 22, 2012 11:48 AM #9
Ambassador
849,869
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Roger -  I always look forward to your Mickey stories.  You never fail to share a 'lesson' for me.  Hey, it's Thursday today so we'll have another Thursday with Mickey tale -  YAY

 

Mar 22, 2012 12:16 PM #10
Ambassador
849,869
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Juli - sharing good news is good feelings all around!!  

Mar 22, 2012 12:17 PM #11
Ambassador
849,869
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Malcolm -  my hat is long gone, lol    Get ready to rock!

Mar 22, 2012 12:18 PM #12
Rainmaker
896,759
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker

Susan,

Good information. I now could have published that myself. Hope you are going to attend the Home Show!

Brian

Mar 22, 2012 05:50 PM #13
Ambassador
849,869
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Brian - welcome to the RE/MAX family and congrats on the move!!!!   I actually go to, and send my clients to, the Ottawa Home Show instead.  Have fun and enjoy the RE/MAX experience!!

Mar 22, 2012 06:11 PM #14
Rainmaker
1,872,212
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC, e-PRO

Susan

The spring and summer real estate will be stronger then 2011.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Mar 22, 2012 06:22 PM #15
Ambassador
1,802,729
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi & Corinna Birgit Cromartie
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Palm Harbor, FL
Palm Harbor & Dunedin FL Residential Real Estate

Isn't it great to see the increased activity in the market? This is just what the economy needed!

Mar 23, 2012 06:56 AM #16
Rainmaker
896,759
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker

Susan,

Thanks, I forgot that Ottawa was just a little more than an hour away from you.

Brian

Mar 24, 2012 05:35 PM #17
Rainmaker
960,919
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Susan - it's not just blue chip neighbourhoods that are seeing multiple offers ..... this past few weeks I've been working with buyers and sellers in an area that is certainly not blue chip, more of a starter or fixerup neighbourhood and they are seeing multiple offers and selling over list.

Mar 24, 2012 11:45 PM #18
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Susan Emo

Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area
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