OTTAWA — Canada’s housing market will continue to be strong this year, with rising property values expected in all major markets, real estate brokerage firm Royal LePage said Thursday.
The company’s forecast called for prices across to country to rise 2.8% by the end of 2012, after stronger gains last year.
It said in the fourth quarter of 2011, the average price of a standard two-storey home was $375,427, up 4.2% from a year earlier. The average rate of a detached bungalow was up 6.1% to $344,392, while condominiums gained 3.6% to $234,680.
“Widespread calls for a major real estate correction in 2012 simply can’t be justified,” Royal LePage CEOPhil Soper said in a statement. “The industry has significant momentum entering the year, and buoyed by the stimulative effect of very low interest rates, we expect the market to continue to expand — albeit at a slower pace.” Statistics Canada reported Thursday that its new housing price index rose 0.3% in November, following on a 0.2% increase in October, and was up 2.5% year-over-year.
Price increases in Toronto, Oshawa and Montreal offset declines in Calgary, Vancouver and the Ontario metropolitan regions of Sudbury and Thunder Bay, the agency said. Builders in all four areas reported lowering prices in order to stimulate sales and remain competitive, while price increases elsewhere were attributed to higher material and labour costs.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. has forecast the average price of a listed homes for resale to be $363,900 this year, up 1.2% from 2011. The Canadian Real Estate Association predicted that the average price would be relatively flat at $362,700. Both forecasts were made in November.
Royal LePage said even pricey housing markets in Vancouver and Toronto — where standard two-storey homes averaged $1.1-million and $629,188, respectively, in the last quarter — will see continued price appreciation in 2012.
However, it said stronger gains will be seen in cities benefiting from commodity-based economies, such as Calgary, Regina and Winnipeg, where price gains will be in the range of four to five per cent.