Genworth Financial Canada report shows relief finally in store for B.C. homebuyers



    Vancouver housing prices still lead Canada, but price increases set to
    ease

    TORONTO, June 21 /CNW/ - The highest priced real estate market in Canada
will finally begin to cool its jets in 2007, providing good opportunities for
first-time homebuyers in British Columbia, according to a report issued today
by Genworth Financial Canada, The Homeownership Company, a subsidiary of
Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE:  GNW).
    The Summer 2007 Metropolitan Housing Outlook reveals that slightly lower
demand in 2007 will reduce the rate of price increases in B.C. to a forecast
5.9 per cent for new homes, to an average price of $648,150.
    Resale homes in B.C. are forecast to increase 9.2 per cent this year to
an average price of $426,558. The sense of relief for British Columbians comes
from comparing these increases to average hikes of 17.8 per cent for resale
homes in 2006 and 6.6 per cent for new homes.
    Forecasting out to 2011, B.C. new home prices look to increase about
4.1 per cent annually and resale homes 6.2 per cent annually. The Genworth
study, conducted in partnership with the Conference Board of Canada, is based
on data from a number of sources, including the Bank of Canada, the Canadian
Real Estate Association and Statistics Canada.
    "With the red-hot pace of price increases in B.C. over the last three
years, affordability has been stretched for many prospective buyers, but now
we're seeing what looks like more manageable growth over the next half-decade
in what is still a great housing market," said Peter Vukanovich, president of
Genworth Financial Canada.

    Vancouver at a glance

    In Vancouver, new home price increases are forecast to be 7 per cent in
2007 to an average of $673,706, compared to a 6.9 per cent average hike last
year. Vancouver new home prices are then forecast to climb 4.3 per cent
annually on average from 2008-2011.
    Growth in Vancouver resale home prices is forecast at 11.7 per cent this
year to $569,689, down from a 20 per cent resale home price rocket in 2006,
and increases of more than 13.5 per cent in 2005 and 2004. Vancouver's resale
home prices are expected to rise a more modest 6.6 per cent annually through
2011.

    Victoria at a glance

    New home prices in Victoria will be virtually flat this year, rising only
1.2 per cent to an average $470,717. Victoria saw big new home price increases
of 9.1 per cent in 2004 and 7.9 per cent in 2005, cooling to 3.8 per cent last
year. The market looks steady and strong through 2011, with price increases
averaging 4 per cent annually.
    Victoria's resale market continues to grow, with a price increase of
8.1 per cent forecast this year to an average price of $461,119. That's down
from price jumps of 16.2 per cent and 17.2 per cent in 2004 and 2005
respectively, while last year Victoria resale home prices went up 11.6 per
cent. Through 2011, resale home price increases will average 5.6 per cent
annually.

    Canada at a glance

    With pent up demand easing, price increases for new and resale home
prices are moderating. National home price averages are forecast to reach
$378,161 (new) and $293,475 (resale) in 2007.

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    City            Average price of    Average price in    Average price in
                    a new home (2006)     2007 (forecast)     2008 (forecast)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montreal                $270,081            $279,607            $288,254
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec City             $183,878            $188,277            $193,864
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Toronto                 $504,949            $518,401            $535,161
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-Gatineau         $343,104            $355,171            $367,217
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Calgary                 $434,763            $505,571            $533,352
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Edmonton                $319,637            $388,694            $408,126
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Vancouver               $629,595            $673,706            $708,759
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Victoria                $465,256            $470,717            $489,290
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sources: The Conference Board of Canada; Canadian Real Estate
    Association; Statistics Canada.
    

    Genworth Financial Canada's homebuyer data shows there is strong demand
for longer-term amortizations and low-down payment solutions that make
entering the housing market more affordable for first-time homebuyers, as
opposed to waiting to build a larger down payment.
    "Genworth is committed to introducing innovative products and working
with our lender partners to help Canadians buy homes sooner. Extended
amortization periods and lower down payment options give buyers flexibility to
keep monthly costs affordable when they enter the market," said Vukanovich.
"They can then opt to make biweekly payments, increase monthly payments in the
future, or make planned lump sum payments."
    "The Canadian housing market continues to demonstrate its fundamental
soundness. In fact, Canada's housing market is a model of fitness and is
forecast to remain strong," said Jim Murphy, President and CEO of the Canadian
Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP).

    Note to Editors: A PDF of the full report including an in-depth housing
    analysis for Canada, the Provinces and eight metropolitan areas 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 Canadian consumers, homeowners and future first-time homebuyers. 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 29 countries. For more
information, visit www.genworth.com.





For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Sherri Leclair, (905) 287-5408
or sherri.leclair@genworth.com


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