Toronto, Ottawa Condo Markets Grow With Boomers



    Genworth Report: Condo starts have risen in lockstep with buyers over 55

    TORONTO, Sept. 12 /CNW/ - Demand from baby boomers over age 55, many
downsizing from "empty nest" homes, will support long-term growth in Toronto
and Ottawa condominium markets, 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
local condominium resale prices in Toronto and Ottawa to post average annual
increases of about 3.3 per cent and 3 per cent respectively from 2008 to 2011.
    By 2011, the average resale condo price is forecast to be $254,049 in
Toronto and $208,926 in Ottawa.
    "Both new construction and resale activity consistently demonstrate that
the Toronto and Ottawa condo markets are healthy. Beyond the affordability
factor, the baby boomer demographic is increasingly driving demand in these
markets'" said Peter Vukanovich, president Genworth Financial Canada. "In
Toronto and Ottawa, price growth will remain steady through 2011, in line with
the increasing over 55 population share. That will benefit all homebuyers who
might otherwise have worried about potential market declines."
    The over 55 populations of Toronto and Ottawa have grown rapidly - from
19 per cent in both cities in 1996, to 21 per cent and 22.5 per cent
respectively, in 2006. Outside affordability factors, this trend will help
maintain long-term condo demand, as boomers look to downsize their homes.
    Census figures release in July by Statistics Canada show the number of
people in Canada aged 55 to 64, many of whom are approaching retirement, is at
a record high of 3.7 million.
    "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 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).
    "We are witnessing the aging population downsize their lifestyles.
Boomers enjoy the security, maintenance and simplicity that condominiums
provide. In the long term, we will continue to look at the baby boomer market,
as there is little doubt that they will continue to play a role in supporting
condo demands," said developer Chris Sherriff-Scott, Senior Vice President of
MintoUrban Communities Inc.
    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: Sherri Leclair, Genworth Financial Canada,
Marketing/Communications Leader, (905) 287-5408, sherri.leclair@genworth.com

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