Population growth continues to drive Canadian condo market activity

by Ephraim Vecina09 Oct 2019

Steady demand for lower-cost housing in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal has impelled much-intensified condo market activity this fall, if the latest figures from these cities’ real estate boards are any indication.

A significant factor in this acceleration is the country’s population growth. Statistics Canada data indicated that the national population increased by 531,497 to roughly 37.6 million in July, ending up as the greatest annual gain registered since the 1970s.

As of September, benchmark prices in Toronto went up by 5.2% year-over-year to $805,500. This was only about $10,000 lower than the historic peaks reached around two years ago, Bloomberg reported.

And even though Vancouver prices have exhibited a downward trend over the last few months, sales activity intensified by a massive 46% year-over-year, making September the third straight month of sales growth.

Even Calgary, which is still recovering from the catastrophic effects of the oil industry turmoil seen from 2015 onwards, enjoyed an 8.2% annual increase in sales in September.

These trends stood in stark contrast to other major markets south of the border.

For instance, the traditionally hot Manhattan market has suffered a consistent slowing in sales activity over the past two years. During the third quarter, resale prices for Manhattan condos and co-ops shrunk by 8% annually.

A RE/MAX survey conducted by Leger earlier this year found that Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary have all been ranked among the 10 best cities to live in worldwide, due to their population growth, housing supply, access to retail outlets, and many other desirable fundamentals.

Such market strengths almost always outweigh the impact of higher prices, according to RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada executive VP Christopher Alexander.https://ca.res.keymedia.com/files/image/iStock-toronto-condo-building-2.jpg

“While price and value are always top of mind for buyers, there are some aspects about a home that you can’t change,” Alexander stated at the time. “These liveability factors are what make your home more than just the place you live.”

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