Scotiabank: Canada's shifting demographics will impact housing demand for decades

TORONTO, March 18, 2013 /CNW/ - The long-anticipated slowdown in Canadian housing activity is well underway, according to Scotiabank Senior Economist and Real Estate Specialist Adrienne Warren.

"Home sales have dropped more than 10% from last spring, and are now running below historical averages in most major cities," Ms. Warren said today in a presentation at the Scotiabank Real Estate Market Outlook Conference in Toronto. "Prices in turn are levelling out, with the return of balanced market conditions."

"Demographic shifts - particularly Canada's aging population - will have important implications for housing demand in coming decades," she added. "Contrary to some dire predictions, population aging will not fuel a demographically-induced selloff in Canadian real estate. However, an aging population does point to a lower level of housing turnover, sales and listings."

Ms. Warren was joined at the Conference by Warren Jestin, Scotiabank's Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, as well as Phil Soper, Brookfield Real Estate Services' President and Chief Executive Officer, and David Stafford, Scotiabank's Managing Director of Real Estate Secured Lending.

Other highlights of Ms. Warren's presentation include:

  • "Another important demographic trend impacting housing preferences is the rapid growth in the number of one-person households. This share is expected to continue to rise over the next two decades, driven in large part by an aging population, in particular an increase in the number of widowed women living alone."

  • "Immigration also will have a profound impact on housing demand over the next two decades, being increasingly the dominant source of new household formation in Canada. The majority of new immigrants initially move into rental units, though most eventually become homeowners."

  • "Relative to their Canadian-born counterparts, immigrant households are more likely to reside in large and mid-sized urban centres, which could fuel relatively stronger housing demand and prices in these areas."

All Conference presentations will be archived on the Scotiabank Media Centre at

About Brookfield Real Estate Services
Brookfield Real Estate Services is a provider of quality real estate services to, and through, our leading franchise and corporate brokerage brands throughout Canada. These include Royal LePage, Johnston & Daniel Division, Via Capitale and Prudential Real Estate. Together, these brands comprise more than 15,000 real estate professionals, and have an approximate 23 per cent share of the Canadian residential resale market based on transactional dollar volume.  An affiliated company, Brookfield Real Estate Services Inc., is listed on the TSX, trading under the symbol "BRE".  For further information, please visit

About Scotiabank
Scotiabank is a leading multinational financial services provider and Canada's most international bank. With more than 82,000 employees, Scotiabank and its affiliates serve some 19 million customers in more than 55 countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a broad range of products and services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking. In December 2012, Scotiabank became the first Canadian bank to be named Global Bank of the Year and Bank of the Year in the Americas by The Banker magazine, a Financial Times publication. With assets of $736 billion (as at January 31, 2013), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit

SOURCE: Scotiabank

For further information:

Adrienne Warren, Scotiabank Economics
(416) 866-4315,; or

Devinder Lamsar, Scotiabank Media Communications
(416) 933-1171,


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