Western Canada and the Prairies
There was robust market activity across much of Western Canada during the first three months of the year. In what was a tale of two winters, Vancouver and Victoria saw year-over-year price gains during an unusually mild January and February.
At the same time, below average temperatures in cities such as Edmonton, Calgary and Saskatoon were not enough to cool local market sales, where house prices also continued to climb. And while Winnipeg and Regina did experience market slowdowns, Re/Max says both regions show signs of increased activity as warmer temperatures spur activity.
At the end of March, Vancouver’s market had posted a 5.4 per cent year-over-year average price increase, but with the cost of a typical single family house reaching $1.36 million, many younger buyers have found themselves priced out of the market.
Meanwhile, many potential homebuyers in Alberta have been be frustrated by low inventory. This is particularly true in Calgary, Re/Max says, where a typical home spent less than 35 days on the market. Those looking to rent while waiting for the Calgary housing market to balance out have also struggled with a rental vacancy rate of one per cent. In a situation similar to Toronto, desirable rental properties in Calgary’s core are now attracting multiple offers, creating additional frustrations for those waiting to buy.
But despite all that, Re/Max says Western Canada is poised for strong housing market activity during the all-important spring and summer sales season.
“With Winnipeg’s healthy agricultural and manufacturing sectors, sturdy job markets in Regina, Saskatoon and across Alberta, as well as the cultural and economic draw of Victoria and the Greater Vancouver Area, our RE/MAX agents across the West expect to be busy in the months ahead,” said Re/Max’s Elton Ash.