Activity in Canada's largest urban centres encouraging local buyers to relocate to surrounding markets

"Move-over" buyers from Toronto and Vancouver turning to surrounding areas to find a balance of affordability, square footage, and access to amenities and infrastructure

TORONTO and KELOWNA, BC, April 25, 2017 /CNW/ - Significant price increases and high demand in the Greater Toronto Area during the first quarter of 2017 spurred growing numbers of buyers to leave the downtown core. These buyers, known as move-overi buyers, are looking for greater affordability in markets across southern Ontario. In turn, they are driving price appreciation in Mississauga, Brampton, Durham, Barrie, Hamilton-Burlington, Windsor, and as far away as Kingston. The GTA saw the average residential sale price rise by 29 per cent, up from $675,492 in the first quarter of 2016 to $873,631 during the same period in 2017.

At the same time, housing demand has slowed in Greater Vancouver compared to Q1 of 2016, and average residential sale price decreased 11 per cent year-over-year, from $1,094,936 in the first quarter of 2016 to $969,900 in 2017. The decline in average sale price is in part due to the introduction of the foreign buyer tax last August, a relatively severe winter and the natural stabilization of prices after the market reached a high point in May 2016. Move-over buyers from Vancouver and buyers migrating from other provinces continue to fuel activity in Fraser Valley, Kelowna, and in Victoria, particularly in the upper-end of the market due to relative affordability in these regions.

"The move-over buyer activity we're seeing in the areas surrounding Canada's two largest urban centres is a direct response to price appreciation caused by high demand in recent years," said Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. "Price and location are the most important factors to buyers. If the price isn't right, move-over buyers look to markets where they can find a better balance of affordability and square footage, and still have access to green spaces, transit options, and retail centres."

A recent RE/MAX survey conducted by Leger found that when making buying decisions, over two-thirds of Canadians consider the location of a home to be more important than the style or size of the home. Respondents indicated that beyond price, a number of other factors influence home purchases, including: access to green space (77 per cent), proximity to work (66 per cent), proximity to retail centres (65 per cent), and proximity to family and friends (65 per cent). All of these ranked higher than the style of a home.

In response to heightened activity seen across the GTA in recent months, the Ontario provincial government announced a 15 per cent Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST), along with a number of other regulations in mid-April in an effort to balance the need to stabilize the market while preventing a harmful sharp correction. Similar to the foreign buyer tax introduced in Vancouver last year, the impact of this measure on market and buyer activity in the long run is difficult to predict. This measure may impact consumer confidence in the short-term as buyers hold out until they fully understand how they are affected, causing overall market activity to slow.

"Toronto and Vancouver are very different markets as Vancouver's population and geography are much smaller. At this point there is limited data on how many foreign speculators are active in the GTA market, but it is fair to assume that the new tax will impact the middle-class and not just buyers in the upper-end of the market," said Christopher Alexander, Regional Director, RE/MAX INTEGRA Ontario-Atlantic Canada Region. "In the short-term, potential sales may stall as buyers wait to see the impact of the changes, which in turn could create a ripple effect throughout the Golden Horseshoe, however, it will be interesting to see how this new legislation will affect the demand for housing in the market."

In Western Canada, particularly in Alberta, slowly recovering oil prices, low interest rates, and US approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project have renewed buyer optimism, particularly among move-up buyers and millennial, first-time buyers who are typically looking to buy condominiums. The average residential sale price increased three per cent year-over-year in Calgary to $482,065, up from $467,780 during the first quarter in 2016. A wide variety of inventory across the market provides good opportunities for buyers in Edmonton, resulting in a 12 per cent increase in activity and stable year-over-year prices to start 2017.

Charlottetown and Halifax experienced increased demand from foreign buyers in the first quarter in addition to sustained demand from buyers moving back to Atlantic Canada from other parts of the country to purchase more affordable housing options than what is available in Canada's larger urban hubs.

New residential and commercial development projects in markets across the country are expected to fuel demand in these regions. These cities include Calgary, Edmonton, Kelowna, Victoria, and Regina in the West and Windsor, London-St. Thomas, Hamilton-Burlington, Mississauga, Barrie, Durham, Brampton, Ottawa, Saint John, and Halifax in Central and Eastern Canada.

For the full 2017 RE/MAX Spring Market Trends report with detailed regional summaries and buyer demographics, click here.

Data Table

Market

Average Residential Sale Price

YOY%


2016

2017

2017/2016

Victoria

$544,756

$612,584

12%

Greater Vancouver

$1,094,936

$969,900

-11%

Fraser Valley

$645,472

$671,796

4%

Kelowna

$447,416

$504,643

13%

Edmonton

$363,728

$364,473

0%

Calgary

$467,780

$482,065

3%

Saskatoon

$344,319

$340,300

-1%

Regina

$311,953

$306,036

-2%

Winnipeg

$273,312

$285,645

5%

Windsor-Essex

$211,211

$246,775

17%

London-St. Thomas

$271,920

$307,189

13%

Greater Sudbury

$247,659

$266,855

8%

Kitchener-Waterloo

$364,966

$468,877

29%

Hamilton-Burlington

$467,931

$575,004

23%

Barrie

$379,330

$525,830

39%

Greater Toronto Area

$675,492

$873,631

29%

GTA: Oakville

$997,353

$1,313,477

32%

GTA: Mississauga

$576,134

$753,788

31%

GTA: Brampton

$542,388

$731,793

35%

GTA: Durham

$481,153

$668,827

39%

Kingston

$290,592

$323,343

11%

Ottawa

$361,503

$381,524

6%

Saint John

$163,778

$183,486

12%

Halifax

$274,937

$271,165

-1%

Charlottetown

$171,547

$189,900

11%

Greater St. John's Area

$322,677

$304,812

-6%

 

Key Findings from 2017 RE/MAX Spring Market Trends Omnibus Survey

1.   When purchasing a home over two thirds of Canadians consider the location of a home to be more important than the style or size of a home

  • British Columbia = 69 per cent
  • Alberta = 63 per cent
  • Saskatchewan and Manitoba = 69 per cent
  • Ontario = 68 per cent
  • Quebec = 68 per cent
  • Atlantic Canada = 69 per cent

2.   Nearly half (46%) of Canadians currently feel like they can purchase the type of home that suits their families' needs

  • British Columbia = 40 per cent
  • Alberta = 55 per cent
  • Saskatchewan and Manitoba = 54 per cent
  • Ontario = 46 per cent
  • Quebec = 45 per cent
  • Atlantic Canada = 43 per cent

3.   Beyond the price of a home, more Canadians rated having access to green space as an important factor when looking to purchase a home than any other consideration. For millennials specifically, being close to the workplace was the most frequently cited reason for considering a neighbourhood.

  • Prices of homes in the neighbourhood (89%)
  • Access to green spaces and parks (77%)
  • Proximity to work (66%)
  • Proximity to retail centres (65%)
  • Proximity to family and friends (65%)
  • Style of homes in the neighbourhood (64%)
  • Proximity to public transit (56%)
  • Proximity to preferred schools (43%)
  • Proximity to cultural and community centres (42%)

Rank of importance to Canadian millennials (Aged 18-34)

  • Prices of homes in the neighbourhood (85%)
  • Proximity to work (84%)
  • Access to green space and parks (76%)
  • Proximity to family and friends (71%)
  • Proximity to preferred schools (65%)
  • Style of homes in the neighbourhood (65%)
  • Proximity to retail centres (61%)
  • Proximity to public transit (61%)
  • Proximity to cultural and community centres (46%)

4.   Canadians rate the following resources as being helpful to them when buying a home:

  • Access to a real estate agent = 79 per cent
  • Information and recommendations from friends and family (regarding the neighbourhood of your choice, home value, home features and amenities) = 80 per cent
  • Online listings = 90 per cent
  • Easily accessible information about homes in the neighbourhood (types of homes, age of homes, average home prices) that you are considering buying in = 90 per cent
  • Easily accessible community information (average age, education levels, average income etc.) for the neighbourhood that you are considering buying a home in = 70 per cent
  • Easily accessible information about schools in the neighbourhood that you are considering buying a home in = 56 per cent

Canadian millennials rate the following resources as being helpful to them when buying a home:

  • Access to a real estate agent = 76 per cent
  • Information and recommendations from friends and family (regarding the neighbourhood of your choice, home value, home features and amenities) = 81 per cent
  • Online listings = 88 per cent
  • Easily accessible information about homes in the neighbourhood (types of homes, age of homes, average home prices) that you are considering buying in = 87 per cent
  • Easily accessible community information (average age, education levels, average income etc.) for the neighbourhood that you are considering buying a home in = 68 per cent
  • Easily accessible information about schools in the neighbourhood that you are considering buying a home in = 72 per cent

About the RE/MAX Network:

RE/MAX was founded in 1973 by Dave and Gail Liniger, with an innovative, entrepreneurial culture affording its agents and franchisees the flexibility to operate their businesses with great independence. Over 110,000 agents provide RE/MAX a global reach of more than 100 countries and territories. RE/MAX is Canada's leading real estate organization with more than 19,000 Sales Associates and over 750 independently-owned and operated offices nationwide. RE/MAX, LLC, one of the world's leading franchisors of real estate brokerage services, is a subsidiary of RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: RMAX). With a passion for the communities in which its agents live and work, RE/MAX is proud to have raised more than $150 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals® and other charities. For more information about RE/MAX, to search home listings or find an agent in your community, please visit www.remax.ca.

About RE/MAX INTEGRA and RE/MAX INTEGRA, Ontario-Atlantic Canada      

RE/MAX INTEGRA, founded in 1980, is a privately held company by Canadian entrepreneurs. With regional headquarters in Toronto, Boston, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Zug, and Vienna, RE/MAX INTEGRA represents nearly a third of all RE/MAX Sales Associates worldwide. The company was founded on the premise of providing outstanding service and support both at the regional level and to the end consumer. 6 The Ontario-Atlantic Canada region has surpassed 10,000 quality Associates; The US regions — New England and the Midwest (including the following states: Minnesota, Wisconsin and Indiana) – account for more than 6,500 Associates with over 2,600 and 3,800 Associates respectively; and the European region leads with more than 16,000 Associates. For more information about RE/MAX INTEGRA, visit www.remaxintegra.com

About Leger 

Leger is the largest Canadian-owned full-service market research firm. A survey of 1570 Canadians was completed online between March 27-30, 2017 using Leger's online panel, LegerWeb. Leger's online panel has more than 475,000 members nationally – with between 10,000 and 20,000 new members added each month, and has a retention rate of 90%. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

Forward-Looking Statements 
This press release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of words such as "anticipate," "believe," "intend," "expect," "estimate," "plan," "outlook," "project" and other similar words and expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends that are not statements of historical matters. These forward-looking statements include statements regarding the future performance of the housing market, the Company's financial and operational outlook, the Company's belief that business fundamentals remain strong, as well as other statements regarding the Company's strategic and operational plans. Forward-looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which such performance or results will be achieved. Forward looking statements are based on information available at the time those statements are made and/or management's good faith belief as of that time with respect to future events, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in or suggested by the forward looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, (1) changes in business and economic activity in general, (2) changes in the real estate market, including changes due to interest rates and availability of financing, (3) the Company's ability to attract and retain quality franchisees, (4) the Company's franchisees' ability to recruit and retain agents, (5) changes in laws and regulations that may affect the Company's business or the real estate market, (6) failure to maintain, protect and enhance the RE/MAX brand (7) fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, as well as those risks and uncertainties described in the sections entitled "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation" in the most recent Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and similar disclosures in subsequent reports filed with the SEC, which are available on the investor relations page of the Company's website at www.remax.com and on the SEC website at www.sec.gov.  Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. Except as required by law, the Company does not intend, and undertakes no duty, to update this information to reflect future events or circumstances. 

___________________________

i

RE/MAX defines move-over buyers as home buyers leaving the market in which they currently live to find a better balance of affordability, square footage, and access to amenities and infrastructure in a different market.  

 

SOURCE RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada

For further information: To coordinate interviews, please contact: Western Canada, Wade Paterson, O. 250-860-3628; Kristen Learned, O. 604-688-2505, E: kristen.learned@fleishman.ca; Ontario and Atlantic Canada, Melissa Clemance, O. 905-542-2400; Galen Wright, O. 416-645-3657, C. 647-869-8697, E: galen.wright@fleishman.ca


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890