What’s the most exciting part of starting a new year?

Well if you’re real estate nerds like us, it’s seeing if all the predictions that economists and market experts made about 2012 during the previous year actually come true.

Even though we’re a couple weeks into 2012, that hasn’t stopped Royal LePage from making a few more predictions for the year (is that cheating?). Their forecast? The Canadian market will continue to be strong. In fact, the brokerage firm predicts that property values will rise in all major markets.

Royal LePage’s forecast called for prices across the country to rise 2.8 per cent by the end of 2012, following stronger gains last year.

In a statement, Royal Lepage’s CEO Phil Soper addressed those who have predicted that a price correction will occur this year.

“Widespread calls for a major real estate correction in 2012 simply can’t be justified,” he said. “The industry has significant momentum entering the year, and buoyed by the stimulative effect of very low interest rates, we expect the market to continue to expand — albeit at a slower pace.”

Don’t go nuts thinking this will be another banner year just yet, Soper had an important caveat to Royal LePage’s forecast:

“We believe calls for falling prices and more affordable housing in 2012 are unlikely to materialize. While this will comfort the 70 per cent of Canadians who are homeowners, there is cause for concern when house price growth outpaces increases in wages and salaries for an extended period of time.”

Hungry for more predictions? Check out our uber-comprehensive Market Outlook 2012 infographic! You shan’t be disappointed.

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