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Canadian housing market to remain active in 2020 and interest in rural properties up: RE/MAX Canada

Canadians showing more interest in suburban and rural communities as work and life dynamics shift


September 11, 2020
By Ground Water Canada

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Toronto and Kelowna, B.C. – A report from RE/MAX Canada points to a strong housing market for the remainder of 2020 and a shift to rural living, with 32 per cent of Canadians saying they prefer living in a rural or suburban community to living in a city.

In the RE/MAX Fall Market Outlook Report, brokers and agents estimate 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 choose rural or suburban communities. This trend is stronger among Canadians under the age of 55 than those in the 55-plus age group.

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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.

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.

“While COVID-19 lockdowns slowed Canada’s housing market at the start of a typically busy spring market, activity bounced back by early summer in many regions, including Vancouver and Toronto,” said Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president of RE/MAX for Western Canada.

“Despite the tragic impacts of the pandemic, our optimism in the strength of Canada’s housing market has always remained, and current market activity further exemplifies this. Many homebuyers are now exploring different neighbourhoods that better suit their new lifestyles, and real estate agents are getting busier and working more with buyers from different major cities. According to our brokers and agents across the RE/MAX network, Canada’s fall market is expected to see spring market-like activity.”

Looking ahead: The housing outlook across the country

RE/MAX brokers across Canada were asked to provide an analysis on market activity during COVID-19 lockdowns, assessing how their regions have bounced back with easing restrictions. They also provided a prediction of market activity for the remainder of 2020. Unsurprisingly, most provinces experienced a slowdown in March and April, with significant drops in activity up to 70 per cent year-over-year. Prices, however, have remained stable across the country. Heading into fall, 50 per cent of RE/MAX brokers and agents surveyed anticipate a modest increase in average residential sale prices.

Read the full report.