“2013 was a year of pleasant surprises for Canada’s housing market,” begins a special report released today from BMO. “Far from extending last year’s deep sales dive on mortgage-rule turbulence, the market pulled up sharply and is cruising at an above-normal altitude.”
The report examines the real estate markets of Canada’s four biggest cities: Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal & Calgary.
Of the cities ranked, Calgary came out on top and was the only “Sellers” market. Below is the summarized version:
Calgary: Gaining Altitude
After correcting several years ago, Calgary has regained its title as the strongest major housing market in the country. In the three months to October, home sales have run 23 per cent above year-ago levels – nearly twice the national rate, though preliminary figures suggest some slowing in November. Despite heady price gains, valuations remain reasonable, with prices about four-times median family income and mortgage service costs consuming a manageable 23 per cent of earnings.
Immigrants and young Canadians are flocking to the city, drawn by better job prospects, faster wage growth, and healthier housing affordability than Vancouver and Toronto. Propelled by a steady influx of people and strong energy exports, Alberta is the only provincial economy likely to grow faster than 3 per cent in the next two years. Strong economic and population growth will encourage an upward trend in Calgary’s house prices, though higher borrowing costs will moderate the gains.
You can download the entire report here