Vancouver and Victoria Condo Markets More Accessible To First-Time Homebuyers in 2008



    Price growth moderating in both cities through 2012

    VANCOUVER, March 26 /CNW/ - Condominium markets in Vancouver and Victoria
will offer solid opportunities in 2008 for first-time homebuyers looking for
accessible, affordable housing in the province's major urban centres,
according to new data released today by Genworth Financial Canada, a
subsidiary of Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE:  GNW).
    Genworth's Winter 2008 Metropolitan Condominium Outlook reports that
price growth is moderating in both cities this year. While Vancouver condo
prices rose 15.4 per cent annually on average over the last three years,
prices are expected to rise by just 5.7 per cent this year. In Victoria,
prices increased by 14.9 per cent annually on average over the past three
years but are forecast to grow just 3.9 per cent in 2008.
    Vancouver's average condo price will rise 3.5 per cent annually to
$389,344 by 2012, while Victoria's average condo price will climb 2.9 per cent
annually to $314,298 by 2012.
    "Condos in Vancouver and Victoria have long filled the need for
relatively affordable housing, but in 2008 they will be more accessible to
first-time buyers," said Peter Vukanovich, president of Genworth Financial
Canada. "Despite posting the highest resale prices in Canada, condos are
extremely important to first-time homebuyers who wish to remain in British
Columbia's largest cities."
    The Genworth report, produced with the Conference Board of Canada,
concludes that "recently elevated volumes suggest condos are becoming
entrenched in most communities" across Canada, as they have been for many
years in Vancouver and Victoria.
    "Vancouver and Victoria's condo markets continue to remain a good
opportunity for first-time homebuyers. And with innovative mortgage solutions
available, it makes that first-time purchase more accessible and affordable
than ever," said Vukanovich.
    "This report underscores the solid value condominiums offer to first-time
homebuyers looking to get a foothold in British Columbia's robust housing
market. A condo offers an affordable opportunity to begin to build equity in a
home of your own," said Hali Strandlund, President of Fisgard Capital
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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