January 7, 2011
2011 is Winnipeg’s year. That’s the view articulated by real estate experts in an article in today’s Globe and Mail. (Full disclosure: Your intrepid reporter is an unabashed, homegrown Winnipeger who is gleeful at the thought of some well-deserved Peg City praise – Go Jets Go.)
According to the Royal LePage House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast, released yesterday, the average price of a home is forecast to increase by 3% to $348,600 in 2011. Winnipeg is expected to mark a 7% gain, more than doubling the national average.
Winnipeg is joined by other mid-size cities like Fredericton, Regina and Saskatoon in expecting strong price increases in 2011. The logic is sound: Many first-time buyers are already priced out of Canada’s largest urban centres and with interest rate increases expected and stricter mortgage-eligibility rules in effect, affordability has naturally come to dominate purchasers’ decision-making processes.
The average home in Winnipeg costs just under $300,000 whereas the same house in Toronto and Vancouver would sell for $594,231 and $1,007,500 respectively.
In addition to affordability, many of the mid-sized cities lure buyers with solid economic prospects and unemployment figures well under levels in Vancouver and Toronto. Winnipeg, says the president and chief executive of Royal Lepage, is “the Canadian poster-child for a well-diversified economy.”
He also added some always welcome trash talk:
“[Winnipeg] is not a one-trick pony like Calgary or St. John’s, where you see really dramatic upswings, but a really solid reliable economy over the last decade.”
Calgary and St. John’s are you gonna take that?