Canadian Housing Market Report 2015

Market Report 2015 Overview

The Canadian House Market Report 2015, has been released by RE/MAX. Though it doesn’t give us detailed information on Nanaimo’s market, it does provide us with an overview of where we’ve been through 2014 and the direction we are heading for 2015. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the numbers from urban areas such as Vancouver, Victoria, and even Calgary as much of their buyers spill into our community.

The Market Report 2015 indicates that prices and sales in markets such as Vancouver and Calgary continue to increased as inventory continues to rise. In most regions in Canada we continue to see prices as well as sales rise with modest gains in average residential sales.  Greater areas of Vancouver saw inventory of single family homes remaining at a record low, yet demand continued to climb. Prices in these markets are expected to continue to increase in 2015. The top three healthy gains are expected to be as follows:

3% Greater Vancouver | 4% Victoria | 7% in Kelowna

Condo Market

Condos are becoming a practical choice for first-time buyers looking to enter the market. This is because of the urban lifestyle that this demographic is attracted to and because places like Vancouver still have higher prices and limited inventory for single-family homes. Baby Boomers in Victoria are gravitating to condo living as well. Increasingly they are becoming more attracted to affordability and amenities within walking distance.

Victoria Market. Image via The Condo Group
Victoria Market. Image via The Condo Group

Historically Low Interest Rates

First-time buyers are also feeling the impact of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s tightened lending criteria. Demand has been sustained due to the historically low interest rates of the past several years and have mitigated the impact of the tightened lending criteria. Some experts speculate that there will be an increase in interest rates as soon as May with the Bank of Canada hinting that a rate increase is expected in late 2015. There could be a spike in buying activity  as investors and individuals prepare for interest rate hike  and rush to secure their mortgages before the increase comes into effect.

Positive Forecast for Victoria

Victoria is often called one of Canada’s most desirable cities to live in,the real estate market remained strong throughout 2014. The harsh winter in Alberta caused some residents to make the move to Victoria. Some statistics to make note of are:

  • Average residential sale price increased $493,800 from last year’s $476,568.
  • Inventory of available properties for sale decreased to 3,927 in October of 2014 from 4,322 in October of 2013.
  • Total number of sales at the end of October jumped to 5,844 – an 11 per cent increase from 2013’s total of 5,231.

Victoria still lacks an availability of affordable housing. Demand from first-time buyers should play a significant role in Victoria’s real estate market in 2015. These buyers often enter the market by purchasing a condominium. There is currently a good selection of condominiums, as well as new projects under development, creating enough product to fulfill high demand.

Victoria sees a large number of Albertans choosing to relocate to the city and to Vancouver Island. Victoria’s market should see an increase in demand as a result. A thriving technology sector and its well established tourism industry, the economic outlook for Victoria is healthy. The region is expecting a four per cent increase in the average residential sale price as well as a 10 to 12 per cent increase in unit sales. In terms of weather predictability, compared to a lot of North America cities, Victoria and Nanaimo stands out as attractive cities for a incredible lifestyle!

Read the Canadian Market Report 2015.

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