The average price of a Canadian home was up by two and four per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with the same time last year, according to the latest Royal LePage report on Canadian real estate.
Compared to 2012, fewer homes are expected to trade hands in the first half of 2013, which should slow the pace at which home prices are rising, the report says. However, by the end of 2013, Royal LePage expects the average national home price to be one per cent higher compared to 2012.
“Our sturdy domestic economy and encouraging employment trends have emboldened sellers, and some have opted to let market conditions adjust before listing,” Phil Soper, Royal LePage’s president and chief executive, stated in a release.
“Simply put, fewer home owners listed their properties in the second half of the year, which kept inventory levels lower, and supported home values,” he said.
Royal LePage expects the trend towards slower sales volumes seen in the second half of 2012 to continue through the first half of 2013. Expectations are that year-over-year comparisons will begin to show improvement in the third quarter 2013, with sales volumes that are relatively flat versus 2012, and return to growth in the final quarter of the year.
“Canada is a realm of sizable, fairly independent regional economies. Some housing markets, such as those in Alberta and Saskatchewan, are poised to expand significantly in 2013. We will see a decline in unit sales and a flattening of home prices in our largest urban markets of Vancouver and Toronto and that will have a significant dampening effect on reported national averages,” said Soper.
Broken down by region – provincially or by city – here’s what the Royal LePage report sees for the end of 2013:
- Average house prices in Halifax are forecast to be 1.5 per cent higher than 2012.
- Average house prices in Montreal are forecast to be 3.8 per cent higher than 2012.
- Average house prices in Ottawa are forecast to be 1.3 per cent higher than 2012, but only one per cent higher in Toronto, specifically.
- Average house prices in Winnipeg are forecast to be one per cent higher than 2012.
- Average house prices in Regina are forecast to be four per cent higher than 2012.
- Average house prices in Calgary are forecast to increase 2.5 per cent, while Edmonton house prices are expected to increase by 0.6 per cent compared to 2012.
- Average house prices in Vancouver are forecast to decline three per cent compared to 2012.
For a closer look at how last year’s key housing types closed out in your region, click on the below image to enlarge the 2012 fourth quarter chart: