Genworth Financial Canada report indicates Prairie housing market forecast to remain strong

    Good opportunities for Manitoba and Saskatchewan homebuyers in 2007

    TORONTO, June 21 /CNW/ - Homebuyers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan can
count on the continued strength of their housing market even though price
growth will ease in 2007 and beyond, according to a report issued today by
Genworth Financial Canada, The Homeownership Company, a subsidiary of Genworth
Financial, Inc. (NYSE:  GNW).
    The Summer 2007 Metropolitan Housing Outlook reveals that slightly lower
demand in 2007 will reduce the rate of price increases in Manitoba and
Saskatchewan to a forecast average 7.8 per cent for new homes and to
7.7 per cent for resale homes. This year, new homes in the Prairies will
average $278,495 and resale homes will average $153,877.
    The pace of price growth comes off 9.8 per cent average increases for new
homes and 10.9 per cent for resale homes in 2006. Forecasting out, Manitoba
and Saskatchewan new home prices look to increase an average 3.1 per cent in
2008, before settling at about 2.4 per cent average annual growth through
2011. Resale home prices are forecast to rise an average of about 3.6 per cent
next year, then 3.4 per cent annually on average through 2011.
    The Genworth study, conducted in partnership with the Conference Board of
Canada, is based on data from a number of sources, including the Bank of
Canada, the Canadian Real Estate Association and Statistics Canada.
    "After three years of fairly strong price growth in Manitoba and
Saskatchewan, affordability has been stretched for many prospective buyers,
but now we're seeing what looks like more manageable growth over the next
half-decade in what is still a great housing market," said Peter Vukanovich,
president of Genworth Financial Canada. "With new mortgage products available
in the marketplace, it's never been a better time for homebuyers to begin
building equity in their own home."

    Canada at a glance

    With pent up demand easing, price increases for new and resale home
prices are moderating. National home price averages are forecast to reach
$378,161 (new) and $293,475 (resale) in 2007.

    City            Average price of    Average price in    Average price in
                    a new home (2006)     2007 (forecast)     2008 (forecast)
    Montreal                $270,081            $279,607            $288,254
    Quebec City             $183,878            $188,277            $193,864
    Toronto                 $504,949            $518,401            $535,161
    Ottawa-Gatineau         $343,104            $355,171            $367,217
    Calgary                 $434,763            $505,571            $533,352
    Edmonton                $319,637            $388,694            $408,126
    Vancouver               $629,595            $673,706            $708,759
    Victoria                $465,256            $470,717            $489,290
    Sources: The Conference Board of Canada; Canadian Real Estate
    Association; Statistics Canada.

    Genworth Financial Canada's homebuyer data shows there is strong demand
for longer-term amortizations and low-down payment solutions that make
entering the housing market more affordable for first-time homebuyers, as
opposed to waiting to build a larger down payment.
    "Genworth is committed to introducing innovative products and working
with our lender partners to help Canadians buy homes sooner. Extended
amortization periods and lower down payment options give buyers flexibility to
keep monthly costs affordable when they enter the market," said Vukanovich. 
"They can then opt to make biweekly payments, increase monthly payments in the
future, or make planned lump sum payments."
    "The Canadian housing market continues to demonstrate its fundamental
soundness. In fact, Canada's housing market is a model of fitness and is
forecast to remain strong," said Jim Murphy, President and CEO of the Canadian
Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP).

    Note to Editors: A PDF of the full report including an in-depth housing
    analysis for Canada, the Provinces and eight metropolitan areas 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 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 Canadian consumers, homeowners and future first-time homebuyers. 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 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 29 countries. For more
information, visit

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Sherri Leclair, (905) 287-5408

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