Canadian Housing Market Outlook 2021

RE/MAX Canada expects average residential prices to rise 4% to 6% in 2021

  • 35% of RE/MAX brokers indicate that “move-over” buyers from other cities and provinces will continue to spark market activity in 2021
  • 45% of RE/MAX brokers indicate that move-up buyers will likely be a primary driver of the housing market demand in 2021
  • Half of Canadians (53%) are confident that Canada’s housing markets will remain steady in 2021
  • 52% of Canadians believe real estate will remain one of the best investment options in 2021

RE/MAX Canada is anticipating healthy housing price growth in 2021, with move-up and move-over buyers continuing to drive activity in many regions across the Canadian housing market. An ongoing housing supply shortage is likely to continue, presenting challenges for homebuyers and putting upward pressure on prices. Due to these factors, the 2021 RE/MAX Housing Market Outlook Report estimates a four to six per cent increase in the average residential sales price nation-wide.



 

“We’ve seen a lot of anecdotal evidence since the summer that households are considering significant lifestyle changes by relocating to less-dense cities and neighbourhoods,” says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “This has sparked unprecedented sales this year in suburban and rural parts of Canada and we expect this trend to continue in 2021.”


Despite the disruption of the virus, consumers are feeling optimistic, according to a Leger survey conducted on behalf of RE/MAX Canada, with 52 per cent of Canadians eyeing real estate as one of the best investment options in 2021, and expressing confidence that the Canadian housing market will remain steady next year.

The impacts of COVID-19 on the Canadian housing market

While many economists predicted employment disruptions would negatively impact the Canadian housing market, the pandemic directly influenced only six per cent of Canadians to sell their home, according to the survey. Furthermore, 40 per cent of Canadians realized that their home needed renovations during the pandemic, and 29 per cent discovered that they need more space.

When it comes to where Canadians would prefer to live – urban, suburban or rural – they are evenly split, with roughly three in 10 preferring to live in each area. In fact, many suburban markets across the country have been heavily impacted by out-of-town buyers, a segment that is expected to drive market activity in 2021. This was a trend that was evident in many regions across the country, including North Bay, Kingston, Moncton and Greater Vancouver, among others.

Unsurprisingly, younger Canadians (under age 35) are significantly more likely to have realized that they need more space and are motivated to move out of their current neighbourhood.

“Despite the tragic impacts of the pandemic, our optimism in the strength of Canada’s housing market has always remained,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “While we’ve seen a significant shift in buyer preferences this year, we believe factors such as the supply issue, pent-up demand and historically lower interest rates will continue to fuel activity in 2021.”

A deeper dive: 2021 Canadian housing market insights

RE/MAX brokers and agents were asked to provide an analysis on their local market activity in 2020, as well as an outlook for 2021. Heading into the new year, 84 per cent of RE/MAX brokers and agents surveyed are anticipating sellers’ markets.


WESTERN CANADA


Vancouver and Greater Vancouver are good examples of the steady activity that’s anticipated to continue in 2021. According to the RE/MAX broker network in western Canada, sellers’ markets are likely in both regions next year, driven in large part by low inventory levels, low interest rates and high demand, as was the case in 2020. In Greater Vancouver, suburban neighbourhoods such as Pitt Meadows, Ladner and Maple Ridge are expected to be top neighbourhoods next year due to affordability and easy access to more outdoor space. Both regions are expected to see average residential prices increase by four and five per cent respectively in 2021.


Markets in Calgary and Edmonton, on the other hand, are currently balanced, which is anticipated to continue into 2021. The luxury market in Edmonton continues to be strong, with seemingly no impact felt by the pandemic. Both regions are predicting to see average residential prices increase by two and three per cent next year.

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