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‘Wild card’ props up Canadian housing markets over past decade

Tighter inventory levels helped to make the last decade one of the healthiest periods on record for Canadian real estate, insulating markets in major centres from the peaks and valleys characteristic of past decades, according to a report released by RE/MAX.

The RE/MAX Housing Barometer Report measured monthly sales-to-new listings ratios in 18 major centres across the country from January 2000 to December 2010. The report found strong seller’s/balanced conditions prevailed for much of the time frame, prompting significant gains in housing values. The lone exception was when the market dipped into buyer’s territory during the latter half of 2008 and early 2009. However, fewer listings served to offset diminished demand and provided greater stability.


Despite relentless talk of bubbles and busts, residential real estate in the Greater Toronto Area has posted one of the healthiest decades on record.  Balanced market conditions prevailed for much of the 11-year period, with sellers markets making up the vast majority of the remaining time frame. Only during the recession did Canada’s largest housing market truly slip into buyers territory. Housing values in the GTA have also steadily increased over the decade, rising from $243,255 in 2000 to $431,463, for a compounded annual return of 5.35 per cent. Stability has been the hallmark of the housing market in the GTA over the 11-year period and the trend will continue in 2011. The sales-to-new listings ratio, which has consistently remained within balanced territory, will hover in and around the 11-year average of 59.7 per cent with conditions leaning slightly in favour of the seller.

Provided by RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada