Canadian Housing Market Outlook (Fall 2020)

Canadian housing market expected to remain active for the remainder of 2020 due to pent-up demand and low inventory levels, say RE/MAX brokers and agents

Canadians showing more interest in suburban and rural homes for sale, as work and life dynamics shift 

  • Canadian housing prices anticipated to increase by 4.6% in the third and fourth quarter according to RE/MAX brokers and agents. This is compared to the earlier prediction by RE/MAX brokers and agents of +3.7% at the start of the year.
  • 32% of Canadians no longer want to live in urban centres, opting for rural or suburban communities instead.
  • Canadians are almost equally split in their confidence in Canadian housing market, with 39% as confident as they were before the pandemic, and 37% slightly less confident.

Leading indicators from RE/MAX brokers and agents across the Canadian housing market point to a strong market for the remainder of 2020. According to the RE/MAX Fall Market Outlook Report, RE/MAX brokers suggest that the average residential sale price in Canada could increase by 4.6 per cent during the remainder of the year. This is compared to the 3.7 per cent increase that was predicted in late 2019.

The pandemic has prompted many Canadians to reassess their living situations. According to a survey conducted by Leger on behalf of RE/MAX Canada, 32 per cent of Canadians no longer want to live in large urban centres, and instead would opt for rural or suburban communities. This trend is stronger among Canadians under the age of 55 than those in the 55+ age group.

Not only are Canadians more motivated to leave cities, but changes in work and life dynamics have also shifted their needs and wants for their homes. According to the survey, 44 per cent of Canadians would like a home with more space for personal amenities, such as a pool, balcony or a large yard.

Looking ahead at the Canadian housing market

RE/MAX brokers across Canada were asked to provide an analysis on market activity during COVID-19 lockdowns, assessing how their regions have bounced back with easing restrictions. They also provided a prediction of market activity for the remainder of 2020. Unsurprisingly, most provinces experienced a slowdown in March and April, with significant drops in activity up to 70 per cent year-over-year. Prices, however, have remained stable across the country. Heading into fall, 50 per cent of RE/MAX brokers and agents surveyed anticipate a modest increase in average residential sale prices.

 

Ontario Housing Market

With Ontario being one of the hardest-hit provinces in Canada, markets like Niagara, Mississauga and Kitchener-Waterloo experienced significant drops in activity, but bounced back aggressively in June as economies began reopening. Toronto continues to be a sellers’ market with low listing inventory and high demand. An uptick in new listings is anticipated for the fall market, now that buyers and sellers are more comfortable engaging in the housing market, with all of Ontario now in phase three of re-opening. RE/MAX brokers estimate a five-per-cent increase in average residential sale price in Toronto for the remainder of the year. According to the RE/MAX broker network in Ontario, market activity in the province is estimated to remain steady in the fall, with the potential for modest price increases of up to six per cent in regions like Hamilton, Brampton and London.
 

Buyers have returned to the Toronto housing market after a brief but dramatic decline in activity at the start of the pandemic. The lockdown measures that began in mid-March put an abrupt hold on what was primed to be a busy spring market, but this “pandemic pause” proved to be temporary. Activity resumed in May and June in what would be a delayed spring market. According to the RE/MAX Fall Market Outlook Report, Toronto is currently experiencing seller’s market conditions, with few listings in most areas, demand continuing to exceed supply, and low interest rates enticing more buyers into the market.

If you’re wondering where Toronto house prices may be headed this year, keep your neck craned upward. As long as the market continues to face an imbalance between high demand and low inventory levels, prices will remain strong. Based on these factors, a 5% increase in the average residential sale price is expected in the Toronto housing market for the remainder of 2020.

During the peak lockdown period, many Torontonians reassessed their living situations, with RE/MAX brokers reporting increased interest in homes near green space, with more yard space and separate entrances, as well as in properties near Lake Ontario or other bodies of water. According to a survey conducted by Leger on behalf of RE/MAX Canada, 32% of Canadians no longer want to live in large urban centres, and instead would opt for rural or suburban communities. Even with Canadians living in cities opting for more suburban/rural living, listings in Toronto continue to see multiple offers. So, while it’s clear that Canadians’ tastes have shifted, there is still huge demand for the popular Toronto housing market.
 

 

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