Canadian housing market expected to remain active for the remainder of 2020 due to pent-up demand and low inventory levels, say RE/MAX brokers and agents

Canadians showing more interest in suburban and rural homes for sale, as work and life dynamics shift

  • Canadian housing prices anticipated to increase by 4.6% in the third and fourth quarter according to RE/MAX brokers and agents. This is compared to the earlier prediction by RE/MAX brokers and agents of +3.7% at the start of the year.
  • 32% of Canadians no longer want to live in urban centres, opting for rural or suburban communities instead.
  • Canadians are almost equally split in their confidence in Canadian housing market, with 39% as confident as they were before the pandemic, and 37% slightly less confident.

Leading indicators from RE/MAX brokers and agents across the Canadian housing market point to a strong market for the remainder of 2020. According to the RE/MAX Fall Market Outlook Report, RE/MAX brokers suggest that the average residential sale price in Canada could increase by 4.6 per cent during the remainder of the year. This is compared to the 3.7 per cent increase that was predicted in late 2019.

The pandemic has prompted many Canadians to reassess their living situations. According to a survey conducted by Leger on behalf of RE/MAX Canada, 32 per cent of Canadians no longer want to live in large urban centres, and instead would opt for rural or suburban communities. This trend is stronger among Canadians under the age of 55 than those in the 55+ age group.

Not only are Canadians more motivated to leave cities, but changes in work and life dynamics have also shifted their needs and wants for their homes. According to the survey, 44 per cent of Canadians would like a home with more space for personal amenities, such as a pool, balcony or a large yard.

Pent-up demand causing sellers’ market-like conditions in recreational markets

When it comes to recreational property markets in Canada, the regions surveyed for the report experienced a slight decrease in sales activity in March, similar to most major cities in Canada; however, similar to other markets, this picked up quickly by May. Muskoka, Peterborough and the Kawarthas, and Whistler are all experiencing sellers’ market conditions, with pent-up demand and low inventory driving a modest increase in pricing. According to RE/MAX brokers, average prices in these recreational markets are estimated to remain stable for the remainder of 2020.

In lockstep with the Leger survey revealing increased consumer interest in relocating to rural areas, as well as 48 per cent of Canadians wanting to living closer to green space, RE/MAX brokers and agents have reported that many buyers in Toronto and Vancouver, who are now working remotely, have expressed interest in regions like Muskoka and Peterborough and the Kawarthas, and Whistler, in search of more space and access to nature.

Canadian Housing Market Outlook (Fall 2020)