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Home prices to keep rising — up 5.5% on average — in 2021: Royal LePage

Click to play video 'Canadian home prices forecast to rise 5.5% by the end of 2021' Canadian home prices forecast to rise 5.5% by the end of 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic is having an impact on the housing market with pent-up demand pushing Canadian home prices higher. Bindu Suri has details on Royal LePage’s new market survey forecast. – Dec 14, 2020

Canadian real estate brokerage Royal LePage expects home prices to rise 5.5% in 2021, building on unexpectedly strong growth this year, driven by a shortage of properties for sale and record low interest rates.

The forecast is at odds with others, including government-backed mortgage insurer Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, which predicts price decline in 2021, and some of the country’s biggest banks, which foresee more muted growth.

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“The upward pressure on home prices will continue,” supported by lack of supply to meet surging demand and policy makers promise to keep interest rates at record low, Royal LePage Chief Executive Phil Soper said.

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The average Canadian home price rose more than 15% in October from a year earlier to an all-time high, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Lenders Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Nova Scotia said in their fiscal 2020 annual reports they expect house price growth of 0.6% and 0.4% over the next 12 months, citing economic uncertainties spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, weakness in condominium markets and constrained housing affordability.

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Royal LePage expects the shift to larger homes, which has driven a surge in sales and prices of single-family houses this year, will moderate as “life returns to normal,” easing some of the pressure on condo markets.

READ MORE: A mortgage rate of less than 1% now available in Canada

Condominium demand is expected to be healthy in most of Canada’s biggest cities, except Toronto, where softer demand is seen continuing in the city center, the group said.

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Ottawa and Vancouver are expected to lead the country, with increases of 11.5% and 9% respectively, while Calgary and Edmonton are set to lag with growth of 0.75% and 1.5%. Toronto prices are expected to rise 5.75%.