Price Growth Moderates in Calgary and Alberta as Condo Markets Move to a Balanced State



    Better accessibility for first-time buyers in 2008

    CALGARY, March 26 /CNW/ - Coming off large price increases in 2006 and
2007, condo markets in Calgary and Edmonton will moderate in 2008, offering
solid opportunities to first-time homebuyers by feeding the need for
accessible, affordable housing, according to new data released today by
Genworth Financial Canada, a subsidiary of Genworth Financial, Inc.
(NYSE:  GNW).
    In Calgary, condo prices are forecast to grow 4.1 per cent this after
being up 47.9 per cent in 2006 and 22.2 per cent last year. In Edmonton,
prices will grow 6.4 per cent this year after gains of 25.8 per cent in 2006
and 43.2 per cent last year, according to Genworth's Winter 2008 Metropolitan
Condominium Outlook.
    Both cities will see more moderate price growth in condo markets through
2012: Calgary prices will grow on average by 3.1 per cent annually to $320,728
by 2012, while Edmonton prices are also forecast to rise 3.1 per cent annually
to $274,333 by 2012.
    "Condominiums are beginning to fill the demand for affordable housing in
Calgary and Edmonton in the same way they do in cities like Toronto and
Vancouver," said Peter Vukanovich, president of Genworth Financial Canada.
"With the average prices of new homes in Calgary and Edmonton forecast to
exceed $470,000 in 2008, the condo market remains extremely important to
first-time buyers who wish to remain in Alberta's largest urban communities."
    The Genworth report, produced with the Conference Board of Canada,
concludes that "recently elevated volumes suggest condos are becoming
entrenched in most communities."
    "The condo markets in Calgary and Edmonton continue to offer accessible
opportunities to first-time homebuyers, and today's innovative mortgage
solutions make first-time purchases more affordable than ever," said
Vukanovich.
    "This report underscores the solid value condominiums offer to first-time
homebuyers looking to get a foothold in Alberta's robust housing market. A
condo offers an affordable opportunity to begin to build equity in a home of
your own," said Bonny Clarke, Manager of Business Development for MCAP Service
Corporation.
    The Winter 2008 Metropolitan Condominium Outlook reviewed resale condo
markets in Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton,
Vancouver and Victoria. All eight markets registered moderate price growth in
2007 and are forecast to continue to have moderate growth this year and
through 2012.

    
    Average Resale Condo Price by City: Forecast
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    City      2007       2008       2009       2010       2011       2012
              Forecast   Forecast   Forecast   Forecast   Forecast   Forecast

              Percent-   Percent-   Percent-   Percent-   Percent-   Percent-
              age        age        age        age        age        age
              Increase   Increase   Increase   Increase   Increase   Increase
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec
    City      $130,133   $134,872   $139,485   $144,898   $149,623   $154,304

              4.7        3.6        3.4        3.9        3.3        3.1
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montreal  $175,555   $182,700   $189,571   $195,040   $199,785   $203,591

              2.9        4.1        3.8        2.9        2.4        1.9
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa    $185,377   $188,276   $194,778   $201,372   $208,266   $215,231

              5.7        1.6        3.5        3.4        3.4        3.3
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Toronto   $229,708   $236,351   $242,254   $250,623   $259,507   $268,488

              7.6        2.9        2.5        3.5        3.5        3.5
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Calgary   $275,633   $286,896   $295,248   $303,768   $312,129   $320,728

              22.2       4.1        2.9        2.9        2.8        2.8
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Edmonton  $235,881   $250,873   $255,193   $260,748   $267,116   $274,333

              43.2       6.4        1.7        2.2        2.4        2.7
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Vancouver $328,158   $346,713   $355,184   $366,348   $377,932   $389,344

              11.9       5.7        2.4        3.1        3.2        3.0
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Victoria  $272,061   $282,619   $289,399   $297,065   $305,641   $314,298

              9.4        3.9        2.4        2.6        2.9        2.8
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sources: The Conference Board of Canada; Canada Mortgage and Housing
    Corporation; Canadian Real Estate Association. Note: For Montreal,
    Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver, resale apartments classified as condos
    were included; for Calgary and Edmonton, data includes condos that are
    single-detached units, semi-detached units, townhouse/row units, and
    apartments that are classified as condos.
    

    The full Winter 2008 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 and
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 Financial, Inc. (NYSE:  GNW) is a leading public Fortune 500
global financial security company. Genworth has more than $114 billion in
assets and employs approximately 7,000 people in 25 countries. Its products
and services help meet the investment, protection, retirement and lifestyle
needs of over 15 million customers. Genworth operates through three segments:
Retirement and Protection, International and U.S. Mortgage Insurance. Its
products and services are offered through financial intermediaries, advisors,
independent distributors and sales specialists. Genworth Financial, which
traces its roots back to 1871, became a public company in 2004 and is
headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. For more information, visit 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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