Canada News



According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) the outlook for the Canadian real estate market in 2016 and on into 2017 is positive on all counts. Recent forecasts anticipated that housing activity would rebalance in 2016 with many of the defining themes among Canadian housing markets last year persisting, and in some cases intensifying, in early 2016. Interest rate are now also widely expected to remain low for longer, with administered lending rates beginning to rise no earlier than the second half of 2017.

Canadian resale housing market trends this year are expected to resemble those apparent in 2015, with very tight supply leading to strong price gains in British Columbia and Ontario. In line with the prevailing forecast for stronger Canadian economic growth beginning in the second half of 2016, Canadian home sales activity is now expected to rebalance in 2017.

British Columbia is again forecast to post the largest annual increase in activity (+11.8 per cent), with Alberta expected the record the largest annual sales decline (-18.7 per cent). A lack of supply is expected to hold activity in check in Ontario in 2016 (+0.3 per cent) despite the continuation of very strong demand.

Elsewhere, modest sales gains in Manitoba (+3.4 per cent), Quebec (+3.4 per cent), New Brunswick (+1.2 per cent), Nova Scotia (+1.1 per cent) and Prince Edward Island (+3.3 per cent) are forecast for 2016, reflecting expected improvements in these province’s economic prospects.

Consumer confidence is anticipated to strengthen and begin drawing homebuyers off the sidelines in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador as their economic prospects improve. This is anticipated to contribute to a modest rebound in sales activity in these provinces in 2017.

British Columbia is the only province forecast to post an annual decline in home sales in 2017, reflecting a combination of a growing shortage of single family homes available for sale and deteriorating affordability. Even so, activity is expected to continue trending near record levels. Ontario is forecast to see sales level off in 2017.

Sales activity is forecast to continue to push higher in Manitoba, Quebec, and Nova Scotia in 2017, reflecting the prevailing forecast for improving economic prospects in these provinces. Sales in Prince Edward Island are also forecast to improve as the province continues to benefit from a lower Canadian dollar.

Slower national average price growth in 2017 reflects weaker price gains in British Columbia and Ontario. Price trends in these provinces reflect an anticipated slowdown in luxury sales activity, a continuing supply shortage of relatively more affordable low rise family homes and an anticipated increase in relatively more affordable condo unit sales as a proportion of total sales activity. In other provinces, an ample supply of listings relative to demand will continue to keep price gains in check.




Latest research from leading property portal, reveals that Canada’s popularity has reached a six-month high.

The country was the fifth most sought-after destination on the international property portal in February 2016, its highest ranking in the Top of the Props charts since September 2015. Canadian real estate accounted for 2.31 per cent of all enquiries on the site during the month, leapfrogging other investor favourites such as Turkey and Brazil.

The USA remained the most in-demand property destination, accounting for one in seven of all searches on the portal in February. Portugal jumped three places to become the number two destination, as the market’s ongoing recovery attracted a growing number of buyers from overseas. Spain held on to its third place, with 3.52 per cent of enquiries, while France slipped into fourth place with 2.67 per cent of enquiries.

Canada was the only Top 10 country to perform better than Germany, rising 14 places in the monthly property league. The climbing demand for Canadian property follows a strong year for the market: the country was in the Top of the Props 10 most popular countries for nine out of the 12 months in 2015, rising as high as third place in July and June 2015.

Indeed, Canada has recently attracted media attention for oil prices and the associated weakening of the Canadian dollar, but  this “temporary blip” in the Loonie’s value has only boosted Canadian real estate’s value for money.



‘Carney Effect’ Attracts British Investors to Canada

Interest in investing in Canada has peaked since Canadian Mark Carney was appointed governor of the Bank of England, The Times reports.

Carney, the Bank of Canada’s former governor, is widely admired for stabilising the Canadian economy and his presence in the UK is thought to have helped bring Canada into the public consciousness.

So much so, that Canada is the second fastest growing location for Brits buying investment properties. The number of Britons investing has risen by 143% in the past year.
In other economic news, Canada has finalised a long-awaited free-trade agreement with the European Union (CETA). According to the Chronicle Herald, it is particularly good news for the Atlantic Canada region, where seafood exports will benefit from the removal of taxes. These currently range from 11%, up to 20% on lobsters.

A Canada-EU joint study of the benefits of CETA estimates Canada’s exports will rise by 21 per cent, or $12.4bn over the first seven years.
Meanwhile, in its economic update for the region, the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council states that major construction projects currently underway in Nova Scotia will have a positive effect on the economy and employment in 2015/16. Projects include the $500m Nova Centre and Halifax Convention Centre, $300m upgrade to the shipbuilding facilities at the Halifax Shipyard and $150m renovation of the suspension bridge crossing Halifax Harbour.


Canada among the World's Hottest Housing Markets

House price momentum continues to build with a 5.35% year-on-year rise 

Despite market cooling measure, house prices in Canada continue to rise, according to a new report.

The Global Property Guide analysed the property price performance of the world’s big economies.

It found that prices in Canada’s eleven major cities rose by 3.31% during the year to Q3 2014, up from a 1.61% annual rise a year earlier. On a quarterly basis, house prices increased 2.33% in Q3 2014.

The biggest rises were seen in Calgary, with an inflation-adjusted y-o-y increase of 7.33% in Q3 2014, followed by Toronto (5.32%), Vancouver (4.41%), Hamilton (3.52%) and Edmonton (3.01%). Winnipeg and Halifax registered steady growths of 0.57% and 0.27%, respectively.

The Financial Post, meanwhile used the data to compile a list of the top 16 markets based on year-over-year, inflation-adjusted price performance as of Q3. Canada was a top performer, with home prices rising 5.35% year-over-year – greater than 2013’s increase of 2.68%.

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association(CREA), actual sales activity increased 5.2% during the first ten months of 2014 from the same period last year. The growth is supported by low interest rates, which have been held at 1% since September 2010.

Despite concerns that the housing market could be overvalued in some cities, Governor of the Bank of Canada Stephen Poloz confirmed that mortgage rates would be held steady to prevent a big drop in prices.

“The risk comes when some catalyst sets off the vulnerability,” he said. “In this case it would be, let’s say, a rise in unemployment, a significant one, where it makes people have difficulty paying for their mortgage, or a rapid rise in mortgage rates, neither of which we’re expecting.”

He added: “We don’t think we suddenly became over-valued in a bubbly-type way. We don’t think of this as a bubble in any way.”

Canada’s economy is expected to have grown by 2.3% in 2014, from growth rates of 2% in 2013 and 1.7% in 2012, according to the IMF.


Canada's economy poised for another year of solid growth in 2012

he RBC Economic Outlook issued early today predicts Canada’s real gross domestic product to increase by 2.6 per cent in both 2012 and 2013.

It says burgeoning signs of strength in the U.S. economy, low interest rates, solid corporate balance sheets and elevated commodity prices are setting the stage for continued expansion.

The pace of consumer spending eased to 2.2 per cent in 2011, from 2010′s rapid 3.3 per cent rise. RBC predicts consumer spending this year and next will grow at a rate comparable to 2011, with durable goods accounting for about a quarter of the increase.

Regionally, RBC expects western Canada to top the growth rankings in 2012, with Saskatchewan and Alberta leading the way and Manitoba close behind.

Newfoundland and Labrador, British Columbia and Ontario are expected to grow at rates close to the national average. Quebec continues to experience some challenges and, along with the remaining Atlantic provinces, is positioned to grow below the national average.

“Canada’s economic growth clocked in at 2.5 per cent in 2011, shaking off a few speed bumps in the middle of the year and ending the fourth quarter with only moderate real GDP growth of 1.8 per cent,” said RBC senior vice-president and chief economist Craig Wright.

“The country’s main engines of economic activity from the early days of the recovery — consumer spending and residential investment — are likely to play supplementary roles as the economy shifts into slightly higher gear on the road ahead.”

High commodity prices and strong balance sheets are expected to boost business investment’s overall contribution to growth by just under one percentage point this year and next. As the U.S. economy grows, Canada will also benefit from improving demand for exports such as autos, machinery, and lumber.

RBC forecasts real exports will return to the pre-recession peak level in 2013, but adds that an anticipated tightening in fiscal policy will likely have a restraining effect on economic growth.


Atlantic Canada deemed most cost-competitive region for business

Cities in the region take four out of the top five spots, according to KPMG’s Competitive Alternatives 2012 study released today.

Cities in Atlantic Canada take four out of the top five spots as the most cost-competitive cities for business in the country, according to KPMG’s Competitive Alternatives 2012 study released today.

Topping the list is Moncton as the most cost competitive place for business in Canada. Fredericton (2nd place), Halifax (3rd place) and Charlottetown (5th place) round out the top five list among 16 “featured” Canadian cities featured in the study. On a global scale, Moncton ranks in second place among all 103 cities featured in nine mature-market countries, with only Manchester, UK having lower business costs.

The KPMG study examines 26 key business cost elements, including labour, taxes, real estate and utilities, in 16 featured Canadian cities and compares more than 110 cities in 14 countries around the world.

“Atlantic Canada is becoming an increasingly attractive location for international business,” said Brent Spencer, Office Managing Partner for Moncton and Saint John with KPMG in Canada. “Each city included in the study showcased strengths for particular sectors, but with a common thread of a very competitive labour force.”

In terms of cost competitiveness for individual cities, sectors, and industries, Moncton leads all Canadian cities in both the R&D and corporate services sectors. Meanwhile, Fredericton edges out Moncton in the rankings for the manufacturing sector, Halifax ranks first among the Canadian cities for low costs in the digital services sector, and Charlottetown and Halifax tie for low costs in aerospace manufacturing. In St. John’s, the energy boom has resulted in rising business costs, causing St. John’s to rank 11th among the Canadian cities in this study, down from 7th in 2010.