Buyers 55 and Over Continue To Support Vancouver and Victoria Condo Markets



    Genworth Report: Boomers downsizing for retirement choose condos

    VANCOUVER, Sept. 12 /CNW/ - The growing number of residents who are 55
and over will provide a solid demographic underpinning to the health of condo
markets in British Columbia's two largest cities, 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 forecasts
condominium prices in Vancouver and Victoria will post average annual
increases of about about 3.8 per cent and 3.5 per cent, respectively, from
2008 to 2011. Vancouver's average resale condo price is forecast to rise from
$314,471 in 2007 to $365,491 by 2011, while in Victoria resale condo prices
are expected to climb from $264,471 in 2007 to $302,603 in 2011.
    Victoria, at 30 per cent, boasts the highest percentage of boomers per
capita of the eight cities covered in the report, while this segment makes up
nearly one quarter of Vancouver's population.
    "These cities historically have attracted individuals over age 55. With
their favourable climates and natural beauty, both are desirable places to
retire," said Peter Vukanovich, president Genworth Financial Canada. "In the
past decade alone, Victoria's over 55 population has risen nearly 22 percent,
while Vancouver had a dramatic 37 percent increase. This target demographic
for condominium apartments will help maintain demand in the region and ensure
steady price growth."
    Census figures release in July by Statistics Canada show the number of
Canadians aged 55 to 64, many of whom are approaching retirement, is at a
record high of 3.7 million.
    In British Columbia, developers are responding to the aging population
and keeping condo starts in line with demand. Starts will cool this year and
next in both cities, as rising inventories of new units accumulate. In the
short term, starts will dip, as builders will attempt to lower their
inventories of unsold units, then trend upward gradually through 2011.
    "There's no doubt that boomers have played, and will continue to play, a
significant role in the B.C. condo market," said Neil Chrystal, President of
Vancouver based Polygon Homes, one of British Columbia's leading condo
developers. "It's a lifestyle choice for boomers who are downsizing and who
have so many options to enjoy the great outdoors in retirement rather than
spending their time on maintenance and upkeep of homes."
    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      $132,470     $135,218     $139,210     $143,645     $148,131
     City            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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