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[Royal LePage] Sluggish Start to 2019 Provides Silver Lining for First-time...

[Royal LePage] Sluggish Start to 2019 Provides Silver Lining for First-time Home Buyers in the Country's Largest Cities

by Joel Bates | April 8, 2019

According to the Royal LePage House Price Survey, powered by its sister company RPS Real Property Solutions’ Data and Analytics, Canada’s residential real estate market showed slowing year-over-year price growth in the first quarter of 2019. Early in 2018, Canada experienced the most significant housing correction since the 2008 financial crisis. Markets showed signs of recovery late in the year, yet the figures for early 2019 suggest that the market has once again slowed.

  • National aggregate home price growth slowed to 2.7 percent in the first quarter of 2019 with the median price for two-storey homes rising 2.6 percent, bungalows rose by 1.1 percent and condos remained the fastest growing at 5.4 percent year-over-year
  • For the first time since 2012, Greater Vancouver home prices declined year-over-year, with the aggregate price dipping 1.5 percent for the first quarter to $1,239,306, while overall listing volumes are increasing – there are some exceptions in some of the higher-end markets where buyers see the opportunity to buy luxury housing
  • “The City of Toronto is still one of Canada’s fastest appreciating real estate markets” according to Phil Soper, President and CEO of Royal LePage as the aggregate home price in GTA rose 3.4 percent
  • The aggregate price of a home in Greater Montreal Area increased 5.5 percent to $406,332 surpassing rates in the GTA at 3.4 percent, GVA at -1.5 percent and the national average
  • Ottawa remains an active market as home prices inch ahead of Calgary for the first time

Looking Ahead to the Second Quarter

Royal LePage expects national home prices to stay relatively flat throughout the 2019 spring market, with the national aggregate price of a home increasing 1.0 percent over the next three months.

The forecast for several larger Canadian cities has shown noticeable signs of slowing and home prices in Great Vancouver are expected to fall 1.4 percent over the next quarter. On the positive side, both Montreal and Ottawa are expected to post higher price appreciation and are forecast to rise 2.8% to $482,459 and 5.5% to $406,332 respectively.

First-time Buyers

“We are expecting this to be a sluggish year overall in Canada’s residential real estate market, with the hangover from the 2018 market correction and weaker economic growth acting as a drag on home price appreciation, balanced by lower for longer interest rates,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “There is a silver lining here. This slowdown gives buyers, and first-time buyers, an opportunity to buy real estate in our country’s largest cities.”

There is a chance that the activity levels in the spring of 2019 for first-time buyers will be reduced until the new First-Time Home Buyer Incentive kicks-in this September.

About the Royal LePage House Price Survey

The Royal LePage House Price Survey provides information on the three most common types of housing in Canada, in 63 of the nation’s largest real estate markets. Housing values in the House Price Survey are based on the Royal LePage National House Price Composite, produced quarterly through the use of company data in addition to data and analytics from its sister company, RPS Real Property Solutions, the trusted source for residential real estate intelligence and analytics in Canada.  Commentary on housing and forecast values are provided by Royal LePage residential real estate experts, based on their opinions and market knowledge.


View the Royal LePage House Price Survey.

View the Royal LePage National House Price Composite.