Residential real estate markets across Canada post solid gains over past decade, says RE/MAX



    MISSISSAUGA, ON, Feb. 21 /CNW/ - Pent-up demand, population growth, tight
inventory levels, and the longest economic expansion since World War II
collectively fueled one of the best decades on record for residential real
estate in Canada, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.
    RE/MAX Decade in Review 1997 - 2007 found that major housing centres
across the country experienced strong consecutive growth between 1997 and
2007. Average price spiraled upward while unit sales climbed in tandem as more
and more Canadians bought into homeownership. Nationally, average price almost
doubled in the 10-year period, rising from $154,606 in 1997 to $307,265 in
2007, for a 7.1 per cent annually compounded rate of return. Home sales across
the country increased just over 57 per cent from 331,092 units in 1997 to more
than half a million sales last year. Edmonton led the country in terms of
percentage increase in average price. The city saw a 203 per cent upswing in
housing values - or an 11.7 per cent increase annually - with average price
rising from $111,587 a decade ago to $338,636 in 2007. Prince Edward Island
experienced the highest percentage increase in unit sales, with the number of
homes sold up 119 per cent in the 10-year period.
    "The non-cyclical nature of the decade comes as some surprise," says
Michael Polzler, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX
Ontario-Atlantic Canada. "Never before have we seen such a continuous run up
in Canadian real estate. Clearly, strength in all markets has been directly
linked to solid growth in local, provincial and national economies. Low
interest rates, job security, and consumer confidence have all served to
further bolster home-buying activity across the nation."
    Percentage increases in home sales varied across the country, with Prince
Edward Island experiencing the greatest upswing over the past decade, followed
by St. John's at 106 per cent, Kelowna at 84 per cent, and Saint John at
77 per cent. Most markets (12 of the 19 surveyed) reported increases between
40 and 60 per cent. Average price has also seen substantial escalation over
the 10-year period, with posted gains ranging from a low of 54.4 per cent in
London-St.Thomas to a high of 203 per cent in Edmonton. Appreciation in
Western Canadian markets surpassed all others between 1997 and 2007, with
Calgary ranking second in terms of price appreciation at 189 per cent, Kelowna
at 179 per cent, Saskatoon at 137 per cent, Winnipeg at 118 per cent, Victoria
at 114 per cent and Greater Vancouver at 99 per cent.
    In 2006, homeownership rates in the country were the highest on record at
68.4 per cent. Population growth has contributed to heated market conditions -
especially in Calgary (+31.4 per cent), Edmonton (+20 per cent), Toronto
(+20 per cent), and Vancouver (+15 per cent) where percentage increases have
hovered in the double-digit range. Overall, Canada's population rose to almost
33 million in the 2006 census, up approximately 10 per cent from 1996 figures.
    "Immigration and in-migration have played a serious role in jumpstarting
residential housing markets, particularly in British Columbia, Alberta, and to
some extent, Saskatchewan over the past decade," says Elton Ash, Executive
Regional Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. "At first, there was an
influx of American buyers, especially in Canada's coastal regions and
recreational hot spots, as our southern neighbours took advantage of the
almighty US greenback. Then the European and Middle Eastern purchasers flooded
the market, buying up real estate considered 'cheap' by international
standards. In recent years, there have been a growing number of purchasers
from Mainland China. From a global perspective, there's no question that
Canadian real estate brings good value to the table."
    Robust economic performance in Western Canada has also drawn job seekers
from across the country, looking to capitalize on employment opportunities.
    As demand for housing increased across the country, the supply of homes
listed for sale began to contract. Multiple offers were commonplace in many
areas, some with sales-to-listings ratios as tight as 80 to 90 per cent.
Nationally, 1997 marked the first year since 1988 that the sales-to-listings
ratio hit 50 per cent. The sales-to-listings ratio would remain above 60 per
cent from 2001 onward - rising to as high as 68 per cent in 2002.
    The decade was not without its obstacles - the high-tech meltdown, a US
recession, 9/11, SARS, Mad Cow, a blackout that affected the entire
Northeastern seaboard, natural disasters such as ice storms, hurricanes, and
forest fires and more recently, the credit crunch south of the border. Given
the continuation of sound economic fundamentals, it's expected that
residential real estate markets across the country will continue to experience
healthy activity, albeit at a more moderate pace.

    To view full Report: http://files.newswire.ca/348/REMAX_Decade_Review.pdf

    RE/MAX is Canada's leading real estate organization with over 17,600
sales associates in more than 650 independently-owned and operated offices.
The RE/MAX franchise network is a global real estate system operating in over
65 countries. More than 7,000 independently-owned offices engage nearly
115,000 member sales associates who lead the industry in professional
designations, experience and production while providing real estate services
in residential, commercial, referral and asset management. For more
information, visit: www.remax.ca.


    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    RE/MAX Decade in Review
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Residential Average Price 1997 vs. 2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   07 vs.'97     Compound
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Market                     1997        2007      % +/-      %'97 vs.'07
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Greater Vancouver Area   $287,094    $570,795     98.8         7.1140
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Victoria                 $218,398    $466,974    113.8         7.8960
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kelowna                  $178,525    $497,322    178.6         10.788
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Calgary                  $143,305    $414,066    188.9        11.1940
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Edmonton                 $111,587    $338,636    203.5        11.7400
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saskatoon                 $98,270    $232,754    136.9         9.0050
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Winnipeg                  $86,040    $187,456    117.9         8.0990
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Barrie                   $140,569    $258,999     84.3         6.3020
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Greater Toronto Area     $211,307    $376,236     78.1         5.9390
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hamilton-Burlington      $151,538    $268,857     77.4         5.9010
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    London-St. Thomas        $131,382    $202,908     54.4         4.4420
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kitchener-Waterloo       $141,387    $252,429     78.5         5.9680
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sudbury                  $108,521    $182,536     68.2         5.3380
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kingston                 $124,123    $222,300     79.1         6.0010
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-Carleton          $143,866    $277,058     92.6         6.7730
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Halifax-Dartmouth        $109,827    $216,339     97.0         7.0140
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Prince Edward Island      $86,403    $133,457     54.5         4.4430
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    St. John's(*)             $92,226    $149,258     61.8         4.9320
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saint John                $86,171    $140,544     63.1         5.0130
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    National                 $154,606    $307,265     98.7         7.1100
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (*) Statistics reflect residential average price for all of
        Newfoundland-Labrador
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Source: CREA, Local Real Estate Boards, RE/MAX
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    RE/MAX Decade in Review Report
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Unit Sales 1997 vs. 2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  07 vs.'97
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Market                                     1997        2007     % +/-
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Greater Vancouver Area                    26,946      38,978     44.7
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Victoria                                   5,845       8,403     43.8
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kelowna                                    3,359       6,192     84.3
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Calgary                                   21,559      32,176     49.2
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Edmonton                                  13,017      20,427     56.9
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saskatoon                                  3,153       4,446     41.0
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Winnipeg                                  10,042      11,215     11.7
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Barrie                                     2,919       5,017     71.9
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Greater Toronto Area                      58,014      93,193     60.6
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hamilton-Burlington                        9,972      13,866     39.0
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    London-St. Thomas                          6,454       9,686     50.1
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kitchener-Waterloo                         4,307       7,031     63.2
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sudbury                                    1,901       2,754     44.9
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kingston                                   2,400       3,725     55.2
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-Carleton                            9,431      14,739     56.3
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Halifax-Dartmouth                          5,072       7,261     43.2
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Prince Edward Island                         806       1,769    119.5
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    St. John's(*)                              2,170       4,471    106.0
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saint John                                 1,274       2,253     76.8
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    National                                 331,092     520,747     57.3
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (*) Statistics reflect residential sales for all of Newfoundland-Labrador
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Source: CREA, Local Real Estate Boards, RE/MAX
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    





For further information:

For further information: Christine Martysiewicz, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic
Canada, (905) 542-2400; Eva Blay, Charlene McAdam, Kim Kofman, Point Blank
Communications, (416) 781-3911


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