crea housing forecast

Photo: Judy van der Velden/Flickr

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has revised its housing market predictions, upping the sales figures largely due to the strength of the markets in Ontario’s Golden Greater Horseshoe and throughout British Columbia.

Sales of existing homes are now expected to 481,300 units in 2014, an annual increase of 5.1 per cent. Though that figure is eight per cent below the market peak reached in 2007, the 2014 tally is the highest amount since then.

By end of year, the country-wide average price is projected to jump six per cent, year-over-year, to $405,500, thanks again to gains in British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta.

Here’s how CREA expects sales and prices to play out for the remainder of 2014 and looking ahead into 2015:

2014

  • The highs experienced in the West are expected to continue with a projected increase of 14.5 per cent in British Columbia, followed by a 9.3 per cent boost in Alberta.
  • Ontario is anticipated to see a 3.6 per cent increase compared to 2013.
  • Modest year-over-year increases are expected in Saskatchewan (1.8 per cent) and Manitoba (0.8 per cent) while PEI isn’t expected to register any change.
  • Slight declines are projected in Quebec (0.1 per cent) and New Brunswick (0.8 per cent) while bigger drops are anticipated in Nova Scotia (-3.9 per cent) and Newfoundland and Labrador (-4.7 per cent).

2015

  • Since sales are expected to peak nation-wide in 2014, the increase in home sales between 2014 and 2015 is expected to be a bit more modest at 0.8 per cent, with a total of 485,200 units changing hands.
  • Maritime provinces such as Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are expected to lead with annual increases of 2.6 per cent and 2.9 per cent, respectively.
  • Modest growth is anticipated in Quebec with a year-over-year boost of 1.2 per cent, followed by Ontario (1.1 per cent), British Columbia (0.5 per cent), and Alberta (0.1 per cent).
  • Saskatchewan and Manitoba sales are expected to see very small declines at seven-tenths of one per cent and nine-tenths of one per cent respectively.
  • In 2015, the national average price is expected to increase by 0.9 per cent from 2014 to $409,300.

Though the year ahead forecast appears to be fairly positive with small increases throughout the country, CREA did name a number of factors that could potentially derail home sales in the future.

Eroding affordability in British Columbia and Ontario could keep sales in check, especially for single family homes. In the Prairies, as oil prices drop, consumer confidence and job growth might also stall, depending on how far commodity prices decline and for how long.

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