Photo: Ville Miettinen/Flickr
A new report released today by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Urban Land Institute (ULI) paints a positive picture of the Canadian real estate market heading into 2015.
The report’s authors pointed to the stable growth in the Canadian economy that has created “an ideal low-risk environment for real estate developers and investors.”
In a section titled “Emerging Trends in Canada,” urbanization was described as a key force shaping the country’s real estate markets. Echoing last year’s PwC/ULI annual report, the authors identified the ongoing population boom in the cores of Canada’s cities as an important trend driving development. Employers and retailers are taking note and following people back into city centres, resulting in new office and commercial development, the report said.
Urbanization is also spurring more “mixed-use” development, with more commercial and residential developers collaborating on new properties.
On a regional level, western Canada is “the place to be” with Calgary’s office boom and significant development in Edmonton’s downtown core supporting the real estate market in the country’s “economic engine.”
In Vancouver, the report noted the city is on the cusp of an economic resurgence while its housing market continues to attract foreign investment.
To the east, the report described Toronto’s condo market as “strong and stable” with homebuyers and renters continuing to flock downtown and retailers following “eager to deliver the services and amenities that core-dwellers demand.”
Montreal’s market has seen a slowdown in condo development as unsold inventory continues to be absorbed and its office market “will continue to coast along.”
In a section on demographics in Canadian cities, the report’s authors questioned whether the housing preferences of today’s young urban singles and couples will change.
“Will they move out of the city core in search of larger homes, schools, and services, or will they — like their counterparts in other parts of the world — simply adapt to smaller living spaces?”
While this question will be answered as Generation Y ages, the major takeaway is that convenience will be a key consideration to both urban and suburban residential and commercial development in Canada in the years ahead.
“While the move to the urban core is more visible, choosing the proper location is also important in the suburbs,” the report said.
“Interviewees commented that any new development or re-development in the suburbs will be aimed at making it convenient for workers to get to the office. An interviewee noted, ‘People want to live mid-downtown. The subway/transit corridor is golden for developers.'”