Boomers Supporting National Condo Markets



    Genworth Report: Buyers over 55, changing lifestyles, will keep market
    growing through 2011

    TORONTO, Sept. 12 /CNW/ - Demand from baby boomers over age 55, many
downsizing from "empty nest" homes, will support steady price growth in eight
urban condominium markets across Canada, according to new data released today
by Genworth Financial Canada, a subsidiary of Genworth Financial, Inc.
(NYSE:  GNW).
    Genworth's Summer 2007 Metropolitan Condominium Outlook report finds the
condo market demand easing slightly nationally, although new construction and
resale activity remain high by historical standards. Victoria, Calgary,
Edmonton and Ottawa all had record starts last year.
    With the exception of Edmonton, condo starts will be down across the
country this year, as builders look to clear inventory before expanding into
new construction. The slowdown will further support price levels for existing
condos, as will demand from boomers over age 55. All markets will see price
increases in 2007, ranging from 4.4 per cent in Toronto to 36.4 per cent in
Edmonton.
    "The record number of baby boomers will help maintain demand for condos
in markets across the country, keeping price growth steady. That will benefit
first-time homebuyers, who otherwise might worry about their investment in a
future condo downturn," said Peter Vukanovich, president, Genworth Financial
Canada.
    The Genworth report concludes that "the increasing population share of
those 55 and over in all major urban areas provides a solid demographic
underpinning that is critical to the condo market's longer term health."
    Census figures released in July by Statistics Canada show the number of
people aged 55 to 64, many of whom are approaching retirement, is at a record
high of 3.7 million. For example, boomers age 55 to 64 now account for
30.1 per cent of the Greater Toronto Area population, and 30 per cent of the
Montreal population.
    "Condos have traditionally been the entry point for first-time homebuyers
and we continue to see that in major urban centres. But we're also seeing a
clear trend among downsizing baby boomers who are looking for convenience,
security and the ability to enjoy their retirement living in a condo where
they can walk to restaurants and shopping, transit, and enjoy a new
lifestyle," said Bob Finnigan, President of the Building Industry and Land
Development Association (BILD).
    The Summer 2007 Metropolitan Condominium Outlook reviewed resale condo
markets in Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton,
Vancouver and Victoria. All eight markets registered price growth in 2006 and
are forecast to continue to grow this year and through 2011.

    
    Average Resale Condo Price by City: Forecast

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    City                2007        2008        2009        2010        2011
                    Forecast    Forecast    Forecast    Forecast    Forecast
                  Percentage  Percentage  Percentage  Percentage  Percentage
                    Increase    Increase    Increase    Increase    Increase
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec City     $132,470    $135,218    $139,210    $143,645    $148,131
                         6.5         2.1         3.0         3.2         3.1
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montreal        $179,358    $184,875    $191,316    $198,250    $205,351
                         5.2         3.1         3.5         3.6         3.6
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa          $185,272    $189,616    $196,100    $202,378    $208,926
                         5.6         2.3         3.4         3.2         3.2
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Toronto         $222,893    $229,205    $236,270    $244,973    $254,049
                         4.4         2.8         3.1         3.7         3.7
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Calgary         $270,169    $293,335    $306,722    $315,684    $322,838
                        19.8         8.6         4.6         2.9         2.3
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Edmonton        $224,621    $234,878    $248,795    $257,958    $263,586
                        36.4         4.6         5.9         3.7         2.2
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Vancouver       $314,471    $327,163    $341,116    $352,800    $365,491
                         7.2         4.0         4.3         3.4         3.6
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Victoria        $264,471    $273,908    $285,071    $293,790    $302,603
                         6.3         3.6         4.1         3.1         3.0
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sources: The Conference Board of Canada; Canada Mortgage and Housing
    Corporation; Canadian Real Estate Association.
    

    The Genworth report also noted that condos are becoming a more attractive
option for first-time homebuyers, given the rising price of new detached homes
in Canada. As reported by Genworth's Summer 2007 Metropolitan Housing Outlook,
new homes are forecast to average $378,000 in Canada this year, a six per cent
annual increase.
    "We work with our lender partners and mortgage professionals to provide
low-down payment mortgages for these first-time buyers," said Vukanovich. "The
affordable monthly payments allow them to become homeowners and start building
equity sooner."
    The full Summer 2007 Metropolitan Condominium Outlook is available at
www.genworth.ca.

    About Genworth Financial Canada:

    Genworth Financial Canada, The Homeownership Company, works with lenders,
mortgage brokers, real estate agents and builders to make homeownership more
affordable and accessible throughout Canada. The company combines global
experience in mortgage insurance with technological and service leadership to
deliver innovation to the mortgage marketplace.
    Genworth Financial Canada issues reports on Canada's housing market in
spring, summer and fall; and on Canada's condo market in winter and summer;
all in conjunction with the Conference Board of Canada. Our intention is to
educate and provide useful information to Canadian consumers, homeowners,
future first-time homebuyers and governments. We believe homeowners and
homebuyers require up-to-date information about Canada's housing market to
make informed decisions about homeownership, for many the most important
investment of their lifetime. Genworth Financial Canada also listens to
homebuyers about their challenges and concerns, to make us better informed
about how we can offer products that help Canadians realize the dream of
homeownership.
    Additional information about Genworth Financial Canada is available at
www.genworth.ca or through mortgage lenders.

    About Genworth Financial

    Genworth is a leading insurance holding company, serving the lifestyle
protection, retirement income, investment and mortgage insurance needs of more
than 15 million customers. It has operations in 27 countries. For more
information, visit www.genworth.com.





For further information:

For further information: or to arrange interviews: Sherri Leclair,
Genworth Financial Canada, Marketing/Communications Leader, (905) 287-5408,
sherri.leclair@genworth.com

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