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Canadian Real Estate Forecast Predicts Market Stability for Homes Over $1 Million into Fall 2014 for Key Metropolitan Centres

Sotheby's International Realty Canada offers insight into performance of Canada's top-tier real estate markets

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 09/04/14 -- Following analysis of Canada's largest metropolitan real estate markets and examination of key macro-economic indicators, Sotheby's International Realty Canada is forecasting overall balance in the high-end segment through the fall and into early 2015. Positive momentum is anticipated across several product categories, while the performance of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) market is expected to outpace that of other urban centres.

As indicated in Sotheby's International Realty Canada's July 2014 Top-Tier Real Estate Report, all major markets experienced year-over-year growth from 2013 in the first half of the year, with sales of homes over $1 million (condominiums, attached and detached single-family) up 34% in Vancouver, 17% in Calgary, 34% in the Greater Toronto Area and 11% in Montreal. Historically low interest rates, positive economic and employment growth and relative political stability are expected to contribute to stable gains through to the end of the year. Fuelled by high consumer demand and low inventory, exceptional market gains are anticipated to continue in the GTA, the only urban centre that experienced growth across every residential product category during the first half of the year.

According to Ross McCredie, President and CEO of Sotheby's International Realty Canada, "With the country experiencing positive economic gains and lending conditions remaining favourable, we expect Canada's high-end housing market to see consistent growth through to early 2015."

National Highlights


--  The Bank of Canada's September 2014 decision to hold the key overnight
    interest rate at 1.00% will have a positive impact on the high-end real
    estate market. The move facilitates consumer borrowing towards
    homeownership, offsets the impact of price gains on affordability and
    underscores a conservative approach to fiscal policy that is attractive
    to foreign investors.
--  With the creation of 42,000 jobs and marginal improvement in the
    unemployment rate to 7% in July 2014, and with Canadian companies
    reporting the strongest profits in nearly three years, Canada's economic
    fundamentals remain strong, leading to levels of consumer confidence
    that are expected to have a positive effect on real estate sales over $1
    million.
--  Consumer demand will continue to outpace available inventory of single-
    family homes over $1 million in major markets. The strongest gains are
    expected in the GTA and Vancouver, with more balanced growth anticipated
    in Calgary and Montreal.
--  The market for condominiums and attached homes over $1 million is
    expected to remain strong in the GTA and Vancouver, as price gains in
    the single-family home market spur consumers to seek alternatives,
    particularly in or near the downtown core. Demand for Calgary and
    Montreal luxury condominiums is expected to remain balanced.
--  In spite of recent and upcoming provincial and municipal elections, the
    political landscape is expected to have nominal impact in Canada's
    largest urban centres this fall, as other market factors are anticipated
    to be more influential.

Vancouver

Heading into fall 2014, Vancouver will continue to experience modest but positive momentum in the sales of homes over $1 million, driven primarily by low interest rates, high consumer confidence and favourable economic conditions. From January 1 to June 30, 2014, sales over $1 million increased to 1,664 units for condominiums, attached and detached single-family homes combined, 34% more than the units sold in the first six months of 2013. With the greatest gains experienced in single-family home sales, up 38% to 1,317 units sold in the first half of the year, this category is expected to lead the high-end market to the end of the year. Additionally, over the summer months, a significant increase in $1 million home sales was seen in the attached homes category, a trend that is expected to continue into the fall as low inventory in the single-family market creates demand for alternatives.

Calgary

After leading Canada's high-end real estate market in nearly every category in 2013 and 2014, Calgary's market is expected to balance in the final quarter of 2014. Through the first half of 2014, Calgary's $1 million plus real estate market posted a 17% increase in home sales over $1 million compared to the same period in 2013. Low inventory in the beginning of the year drove bidding wars and price increases in a market that favoured sellers. Over the summer months, new inventory over $1 million emerged to meet strong consumer demand, particularly in the condominium market, a trend which is expected to continue into the fall. At the same time, Calgary's robust economy is expected to sustain demand for luxury real estate, and notable growth is expected in the $4 million single-family home market throughout the fall and into 2015 as this category has already outpaced 2013 sales numbers.

Toronto (GTA)

Following a 34% year-over-year increase in homes sales above $1 million in the first six months of 2014, the Greater Toronto Area (Durham, Halton, Peel, Toronto and York) is expected to lead Canada's high-end real estate in every category: single-family homes, attached homes and condominiums. Throughout the summer, Toronto experienced record-setting sales with July numbers representing one of the strongest months of the year. The $2 million plus price range performed exceptionally well, with a greater number of homes sold over $2 million than within the $1.5-$1.75 million range. The market is expected to favour sellers into fall 2014, driven by lack of inventory and strong consumer demand for single-family homes. In turn, this is expected to impact condominiums, as buyers priced out of the attached and single-family home market look for alternatives, and migration and immigration into the urban core continues. Demand is expected to remain consistent despite the upcoming municipal election.

Montreal

Balance is anticipated for Montreal's high-end real estate market in fall 2014 due to the city's recent return to political and economic stability following the spring election of a Liberal majority government. Subsequent consumer confidence in the real estate market and economy prompted increased market activity in the million dollar-plus real estate segment in the spring and into the summer. In the first half of 2014, Montreal properties (condominiums, attached homes and detached single-family homes) over $1 million increased by 11% year over year with 228 homes sold. The high-end market is expected to remain consistent in terms of both sales volume and selling prices in the fall, with the majority of sales anticipated in the $1-2 million single-family market.

To download the full report on Canada's luxury real estate market performance for the first half of 2014, please visit: http://sothebysrealty.ca/blog/en/2014/07/07/2014-mid-year-top-tier-real-estate-report/

For more information and details on Sotheby's International Realty Canada visit www.sothebysrealty.ca.

About Sotheby's International Realty Canada

Combining the world's most prestigious real estate brand with local market knowledge and specialized marketing expertise, Sotheby's International Realty Canada is the leading real estate sales and marketing company for the country's most exceptional properties. With offices in over 25 residential and resort markets nationwide, our professional associates provide the highest caliber of real estate service, unrivaled local and international marketing solutions and a global affiliate sales network of approximately 600 offices in more than 45 countries to manage the real estate portfolios of discerning clients from around the world.

Disclaimer

(i)The information contained in this report references market data from MLS boards across Canada. Sotheby's International Realty Canada cautions that MLS market data can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in widely divergent neighborhoods or account for price differentials within local markets. This report is published for general information only and not to be relied upon in any way. Although high standards have been used in the preparation of the information and analysis presented in this report, no responsibility or liability whatsoever can be accepted by Sotheby's International Realty Canada or Sotheby's International Realty.

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