Canadians On The Move: Not An Exodus, But The Re-Location Trend Across Canadian Housing Market Is Real
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.
According to the RE/MAX broker network in Ontario, market activity across the province is estimated to remain very steady in 2021, with the potential for average sale price increases of between seven and 12 per cent in regions like London (10 per cent), Kitchener-Waterloo (seven per cent), Hamilton-Burlington (seven per cent), Niagara (12 per cent), and Kingston (10 per cent), Cornwall (10 per cent) and Thunder Bay (10 per cent). This is being attributed to high demand and low supply, coupled with shifting home-buying trends toward local liveability factors such as more space, larger yards and closer proximity to amenities like parks.
Move-up and move-over buyers are also impacting luxury segments in the province. Cities such as Ottawa and Hamilton-Burlington have seen a massive spike in demand for luxury homes since the start of the pandemic. This is expected to continue in 2021.
The urban-to-suburban buyer interest in Ontario has impacted Toronto’s downtown core, specifically for condos, which is currently a buyer’s market. Supply levels throughout Toronto are continuing to drop and are not expected to improve in 2021, which will impact average home prices. Immigrants are also expected to drive some market activity next year, which alludes to those coming to Toronto for education purposes, along with the expected influx of immigration from outside the country. Similar to Ottawa and Regina, Toronto’s luxury market remains unimpacted by COVID-19 and is driven by move-up buyers.
Additional findings from the 2021 RE/MAX Canadian Housing Market Outlook Report:
- More than one-third (36 per cent) would prefer to work with realtors who use technology/virtual services to enhance the buying/selling process
- 15 per cent of Canadians have spent more time researching/monitoring the real estate market during the first and second wave of the pandemic
About the 2021 RE/MAX Canada Housing Market Outlook Report
The 2021 RE/MAX Canada Housing Market Outlook Report includes data and insights supplied by RE/MAX brokerages and local real estate boards. RE/MAX brokers and agents are surveyed on market activity and local developments. Regional summaries with additional broker insights can be found at blog.remax.ca.
Leger is the largest Canadian-owned full-service market research firm. An online survey of 1,534 Canadians was completed between November 6 and 8, 2020 using Leger’s online panel. Leger’s online panel has approximately 400,000 members nationally and has a retention rate of 90 per cent. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.51 per cent, 19 times out of 20.