Canada's Condo Market Remains an Opportunity For First-Time Homebuyers: Report

    TORONTO, March 26 /CNW/ - Condominium markets in Canada will continue to
offer solid opportunities in 2008 to first-time homebuyers looking for
accessible, affordable housing in Canada'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 concludes that
while condo sales numbers are downshifting from near-record levels in eight
cities surveyed, resale prices should continue to advance in 2008 and grow
steadily through 2012. As a result, condos remain a good entry point for
first-time buyers and a good investment for market entrants.
    With drops in condo starts from historically high levels in Montreal,
Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria, the country will see balancing
between re-sales and new condo starts over the next few years. This will
encourage moderate price growth and in turn maintain the affordability factor
of condominiums. All markets will see price increases in 2008, ranging from
1.6 per cent in Ottawa to 6.4 per cent in Edmonton.
    "Condominiums are still filling the demand for relatively affordable
housing. With prices for single-detached homes rising well above $500,000 in
Toronto and Calgary, and to at least $600,000 in Vancouver, the condo market
remains extremely important to first-time buyers who wish to remain in
Canada's largest urban communities," said Peter Vukanovich, president of
Genworth Financial Canada.
    The Genworth report, produced with the Conference Board of Canada,
concludes that "recently elevated volumes suggest condos are becoming
entrenched in most communities." Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria are
estimated to have posted record high starts volumes in 2007, while Calgary and
Ottawa hit all time highs in 2006.
    "Canada's condo market continues to remain a good opportunity for
first-time home buyers. The slower rate of price appreciation in 2008 will
benefit first-time buyers looking to get into the market, and the innovative
mortgage solutions available to them make 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 Canada's robust housing market. A
condo offers an affordable opportunity to begin to build equity in a home of
your own," said Jim Murphy, President and CEO of the Canadian Association of
Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP).
    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.

    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
     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

    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 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

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange interviews: Sherri Leclair,
Genworth Financial Canada, Marketing/Communications Leader, (905) 287-5408,

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