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  #461  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2013, 3:52 PM
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I agree with CoalMineCanary and don't see a sharp correction here (speaking of lower city Hamilton). I really think that it is seen as a cheap alternative to Toronto now. Kirkendall is a pricey neighbourhood but at $300-400k its a bargain to Toronto and walkable to downtown, the GO Bus, Go Train station, and has Locke. Throw in some good schools in the district and I can see it holding value although maybe not rising as much as say the Bayfront. Then you look at neighbourhoods like St Clair or Stinson or East of Gage Park or that thread of housing stock between Main and King in the East and the houses are $200-$250 for beautiful homes. And if you can't afford $200k, there is a tonne of stock for under that here that isn't necessarily dilapidated.

And because it is so cheap, I can't see 900 condos being sold at the Connaught. My friends just literally bought a house with brand new appliances, finished attic, and all the character an older home has for $200k. Even with maintenance costs and higher property taxes a $300k condo doesn't seem as attractive.
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  #462  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2013, 4:10 PM
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I too doubt that we'll see a major price drop, but equity stagnation is possible. The fact that Hamilton's residential growth has been dependent upon GTA price exiles will also have some sort of impact. If prices are right-sized for every metropolitan area, Hamilton stands to lose one of its key selling points: being the Value Village of real estate. Then there are the ripple effects that would result through other economic sectors.

Were the condo market to collapse dramatically, it could stagger high-density development in Hamilton. If you put stock in the major market correction predicted in the Canadian Business article, that could dampen enthusiasm for mainstream condo development for a generation. In the face of high risk and reduced returns, the city's default development mindset (suburban single-detached) might be viewed as a comfort zone. Or the City might surprise everyone and embrace a more progressive vision of urban revitalization.
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  #463  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2013, 4:46 PM
coalminecanary coalminecanary is offline
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I have always said that low real estate prices will only take us so far. We need to work on other factors to attract people here. I'll offer two lists and let the readers decide which list is more likely to attract new residents (who will in turn attract new small businesses and medium-to-large employers, easing the tax burden on all of us):
  • Casinos
  • Convention centres and hotels
  • Fast flowing traffic
  • Streets that are difficult for newcomers to navigate
  • Malls/Big Boxes/Plazas/Chain restaurants
  • Vacant lots and buildings (incentivized through property tax credits)
  • Football Stadiums
  • Aerotropoli
  • Fewer neighbouhood schools (in favour of centralized mega-schools)
  • A sparse population paying higher taxes
  • Smaller schools within walking distance of childrens' homes
  • Pedestrian friendly neighbouhoods
  • Pedestrian friendly commercial strips
  • Mixed-use neighbourhoods that put amenities close to home
  • Natural areas that are easily accessible
  • Fast, frequent and affordable local transit
  • Convenient access to regional transit
  • A complete cycling network for commuting, errands and recretion
  • Lots of small independent businesses and eateries
  • A dense population paying lower taxes

Which items will attract more people, and which items cost taxpayers the most money?

A lot of the stuff in the second list could be accomplished for very little money - or free - through bylaw rewrites.

In other words, why are we investing so much public money on projects and infrastructure that won't attract people or businesses to our city?
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  #464  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2013, 5:51 PM
movingtohamilton movingtohamilton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coalminecanary View Post
..I'll offer two lists and let the readers decide which list is more likely to attract new residents (who will in turn attract new small businesses and medium-to-large employers, easing the tax burden on all of us):

  • Smaller schools within walking distance of childrens' homes
  • Pedestrian friendly neighbouhoods
  • Pedestrian friendly commercial strips
  • Mixed-use neighbourhoods that put amenities close to home
  • Natural areas that are easily accessible
  • Fast, frequent and affordable local transit
  • Convenient access to regional transit
  • A complete cycling network for commuting, errands and recretion
  • Lots of small independent businesses and eateries
  • A dense population paying lower taxes
I'm a big believer in list #2. It will attract residents. In our neighbourhood (St. Clair), there is nothing like the local "high street" of a Toronto neighbourhood. We can't walk to a grocer, there are no cafes, there isn't a hardware store, etc. Instead, there is a vast expanse of boarded-up buildings on Main Street. "For rent" signs are everywhere.

The conundrum for me is this: I have a couple of business ideas, but there is no way I would take a flyer on opening one in my area. I want to be in an area already taking off, like James North. That growth will radiate to surrounding streets (We can see it on King William). So even though the rent in a Main Street storefront would likely be reasonable, the business would seem like an oasis surrounded by a desert of abandoned properties.

I think it will be an uphill battle to get small and medium-size business to invest the very large amount of capital needed to revitalize the lower city. The money is there, but who will be the pioneers?
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  #465  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2013, 1:09 PM
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The one all-important factor in attracting new residents is the availability of well-paid jobs easily accessible from where they wish to live. Any public policy that promotes and encourages the creation of jobs should be at the top of any list.
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  #466  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2013, 1:14 PM
coalminecanary coalminecanary is offline
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haha that was the idea. I think most people looking to move would be looking for things in the second list. Do people move to a city because it has a casino? Do they care about convention centres? Do they see a city building a football stadium and think "oh golly, that would be a great place to live!" Do they calculate the number of parking spaces or measure the speed of traffic to make sure their dive times are below a certain threshold? Do they give a shit about any of the things that we seem to obsess over - things that don't contribute to the success of the city at all?

We need to do things make Hamilton more attractive to new residents. For the most part this means attracting people who are just entering the workforce or those who have not started families yet, as they are making decisions to settle down and once settled elsewhere they'll be hard to attract.

We need a strategy to capture the changing demographic rather than catering to boomers and their kids who've already settled in and aren't going to move or change their habits.

How about we set a goal to retain some percentage of mohawk and mcmaster grads? If we built the city as if we loved it, we'd create a lovable city and we we'd have grads that want to stay - and employers will notice these things.

Once we start to be perceived as a better place to live, THEN we can worry about the bigger projects to cash in on this success. Once we are a good city to live play and work in, the employers will follow, and then the convention centres, hotels, towers and other big projects will succeed naturally.
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  #467  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2013, 2:29 PM
markbarbera markbarbera is offline
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A city Hamilton's size definitely requires convention and hotel facilities. I am at a loss as to why you would dismiss them. The average resident may not require their use regularly, but their existence brings tourists to the city and helps promote the city's image worldwide. More importantly, they also offer a significant number of decent-paying employment positions for local residents.

From what I hear out there, Hamilton is already being perceived as a better place to live. The proposed condominiums and hotels as well as those already under construction demonstrate the renewed interest in downtown.
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  #468  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2013, 5:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by movingtohamilton View Post
coalminecanary, are there "hot spots" in the lower city where price growth has been too rapid and a correction is coming?

Also, I assume the Connaught hotel condo project is counting on out-of-towners moving here. Can 900 units be sold to locals?
The number of exchange students and the rate of growth Mac continues to be on, it gives me confidence 900 units is not a pipe dream. Lets not forget all the other colleges around us too.
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  #469  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2013, 5:34 PM
coalminecanary coalminecanary is offline
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I'm not dismissing these facilities outright. I'm merely pointing out that we need to prioritize projects that attract permanent residents and businesses because without those, any gains in tourism by these huge expensive projects will be modest at best.

Tourism is generated by great cities with unique offerings. We need to start with the basics otherwise we are wasting time, money and resources.
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  #470  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2013, 10:27 PM
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Sean is trying to point out some low hanging fruit here. Hotels and conventions are nice but you need to find private investors and there has been a real stalemate between those willing to build hotels and those willing to bring in conventions. Which hopefully is over now that we have a couple more hotels and a convention operator who says they know what they're doing.

Projects like two way street conversions, bike lanes and wider sidewalks and some of our punitive bylaws are low cost and are entirely within the jurisdiction of city government.
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  #471  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2013, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by movingtohamilton View Post
I'm a big believer in list #2. It will attract residents. In our neighbourhood (St. Clair), there is nothing like the local "high street" of a Toronto neighbourhood. We can't walk to a grocer, there are no cafes, there isn't a hardware store, etc. Instead, there is a vast expanse of boarded-up buildings on Main Street. "For rent" signs are everywhere.

The conundrum for me is this: I have a couple of business ideas, but there is no way I would take a flyer on opening one in my area. I want to be in an area already taking off, like James North. That growth will radiate to surrounding streets (We can see it on King William). So even though the rent in a Main Street storefront would likely be reasonable, the business would seem like an oasis surrounded by a desert of abandoned properties.

I think it will be an uphill battle to get small and medium-size business to invest the very large amount of capital needed to revitalize the lower city. The money is there, but who will be the pioneers?
That is a tough one for that area. The Main Street streetfront is sort of broken up around there with standalone buildings, huge driveways, apartments etc. King Street may be a better option, but yeah it takes the pioneers.

As an aside in the 80s early 90s there was a grocery store in the neighborhood. The Shoppers on Sherman used to be a Mr Grocer grocery store, but like most neighbouhood grocers, they are gone.
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  #472  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2013, 3:21 PM
movingtohamilton movingtohamilton is offline
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The problem isn't just in my immediate area. It's all over very large portions of the lower city, notably east of the core. The number of abandoned and/or "for rent" buildings on Main, King, and Barton is shocking. Storefront after storefront is vacant.

So we end up with a "suburban" lifestyle in the heart of a city: there is no local everyday commerce in the neighbourhood, so we jump in a car and leave where we live to shop, go to a gym, get a haircut...and so on.

Bizarre.
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  #473  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2013, 6:42 PM
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Absolutely, I couldn't agree more with your "suburban" lifestyle in the heart of a city comment. The walkability was a major reason why we chose a house off Locke Street instead of St Clair. My brothers both live near Rosedale but if you want anything you are totally jumping in the car. Anyway, really just echoing what you said.

Barton has amazing streetfront for commercial, but the housing stock isn't as strong. King Street near Sherman/Wentworth isn't bad (from memory) on the north side and the housing stock is pretty good there between King and Main. Would love to see more businesses there.
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  #474  
Old Posted Feb 7, 2013, 12:44 PM
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Speculative entertainment via RAHB PR:

Average Sale Price, Listings on the Rise in January

(February 6, 2013 – Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 763 property sales through the RAHB Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) for the month of January, representing a 6.4 per cent decrease in sales over the same month last year. RAHB also reported a 6.1 per cent increase in listings compared to the same month last year. The average sale price for all property types was up over January of last year by 6.2 per cent.

Seasonally adjusted sales of residential properties were 10.2 per cent lower than the same month last year, with the average sale price up 3.9 per cent for the month. Seasonally adjusted numbers of new listings were 3.5 per cent higher than the same month last year....

Actual overall residential sales were 6.7 per cent lower than the previous year at the same time. Residential freehold sales were 7.6 per cent lower than last year; the condominium market saw a decline in sales of only 2.9 per cent. The average sale price of freehold properties showed an increase of five per cent over the same month last year, while the condominium market saw an increase of 4.6 per cent when compared to the same period last year.

The average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all residential properties sold. Average sale price information can be useful in establishing long term trends, but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value.


Average Sale Price, Jan 2013 vs Jan 2012

Flamborough: up 21.5% ($97,076) to $549,100
Waterdown: up 18.8% ($72,786) to $459,438
Grimsby: up 18.5% ($15,935) to $369,438
Caledonia: up 9.0% ($22,873) to $275,667
Hamilton East: up 8.8% ($17,353) to $213,036
Hamilton Centre: up 6.8% ($10,461) to $164,590
Ancaster: up 6.2% ($26,623) to $454,429
Stoney Creek: up 5.3% ($15,864) to $316,795
Burlington: up 4.5% ($19,744) to $454,906
Dundas: up 3.4% ($11,443) to $347,085
Hamilton Mountain: up 3.4% ($8,719) to $266,543
Hamilton West: down 0.4% ($1,119) to $310,908
Glanbrook: down 9.1% ($30,172) to $303,606
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Last edited by thistleclub; Feb 22, 2013 at 3:22 PM.
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  #475  
Old Posted Feb 7, 2013, 1:32 PM
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A glimpse of what the neighbours are up to...

Region to defend development charges bylaw at OMB meeting
(Milton Canadian Champion, Julia Le, Feb 6 2013)

Halton Region’s development charges (DC) bylaw will be “vigorously defended” when they go before the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) later this month.

Regional council approved a resolution in a 21-1 vote directing staff to take any and all action necessary to defend the Region’s position and interests to the OMB when it comes to its DCs bylaw.

The resolution was passed, with only Burlington Councillor Jack Dennison voting against it, following a confidential session where councillors received a legal update by regional staff on the appeals of the DCs bylaw, which was approved by council last April.

The OMB will begin hearing the appeals put forward by developers on February 25 at the Regional Centre over the course of 10 days.

In reading out the resolution, which was moved by Oakville Mayor Rob Burton and seconded by Milton Local and Regional Councillor Colin Best, Regional Chair Gary Carr said defending its DCs bylaw will ensure that growth continues to pay for itself and that existing taxpayers and businesses are not impacted by the costs associated with new residential growth beyond the minimum requirement by Provincial legislation.

It will also ensure the Region’s AAA Credit rating is maintained and is not impacted in any way by the cost of new growth in the Region, he read.

DCs are imposed on lands being developed to recover growth-related costs associated with the infrastructure that is needed and pays for services like water and wastewater, roads, policing, social housing and services for seniors.
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  #476  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2013, 2:23 PM
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Will be interesting to see what ripple effects this causes.

Toronto considering doubling development charges for new projects
(Toronto Star, Susan Pigg & Wendy Gillis, Feb 21 2013)

City of Toronto officials are proposing a doubling of development charges on new condo and housing projects across the 416 region, a move that is sending shock waves through the already precarious condo industry.

The suggested fee hikes — a year earlier and far beyond anything expected by condo developers already spooked by slumping sales and prices — could see development charges on a one-bedroom condo jump from $8,356 to $17,351.

Those charges, which builders say they’ve been told could kick in as early as May 1, are usually passed on to buyers....

Deputy city manager and chief financial officer Roberto Rossini called them “very, very draft numbers” and said it’s “erroneous” to suggest any hikes would kick in May 1.
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  #477  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2013, 3:02 PM
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From the CMHC's Q1 2013 Housing Market Outlook - Canada, Ontario Overview:

Ontario housing activity will moderate in 2013 before posting modest growth into 2014. After reaching 76,742 unit starts in 2012, residential construction will decline to 60,800 units in 2013. Better supplied resale markets and a high level of apartment units under construction will dampen starts activity in the immediate term. However, residential construction will stabilize in early 2014 as stronger economic and migratory conditions support housing demand in Ontario, resulting in an increase in residential construction to 62,900 units next year.

Single Starts: Single-detached starts will reach 23,300 and 24,600 units in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Low inventories and tighter resale market conditions for single-detached housing will allow construction in this market segment to hold up better over the forecast horizon relative to higher density housing construction.

Multiple Starts: Multi-family home construction, led by the apartment sector, has captured a growing share of new home construction in recent years. Multi-family starts, however, will moderate to 37,500 units in 2013, as a result of slowing new condo sales through 2012. Furthermore, a record high level of apartment units under construction will limit the industry’s ability to break ground on new units given labour constraints. Still, new condo sales and apartment starts will be supported by increasing demand from aging baby boomers and more cost conscious younger first-time homebuyers aged 25-34. Multi-family starts should stabilize by 2014 to 38,300 units.

Resales: Existing home sales peaked early in 2012 and are not expected to post further growth until later in 2013. After reaching 196,383 units last year, sales will moderate to 191,300 units in 2013. Sales are expected to ramp up in the latter part of 2013 and into 2014 as first-time homebuyers enter the market as a result of improving employment and affordability conditions, particularly in 2014, leading to higher sales of 201,100 next year.

Prices: After growing by over 5 per cent in 2012 to $385,519, Ontario home prices will remain relatively stable in 2013 and 2014. Moderating sales and a high level of home listings will keep Ontario’s resale markets in balance. In addition, as housing demand is expected to continue to shift away from expensive to relatively more affordable housing, this will also exert downward pressure on average prices. However, downward pressure on home prices in combination with modest income growth will support housing affordability by the second half of 2013. This will help boost sales and price levels later in 2013 and into 2014. The point forecast for the average MLS® price is $382,200 for 2013 and $390,000 for 2014.


Single-Detached Housing Starts
2010: 28,089
2011: 26,884
2012: 25,567
2013(F): 23,300
2014(F): 24,600


Multiple Housing Starts
2010: 32,344
2011: 40,937
2012: 51,175
2013(F): 37,500
2014(F): 38,300


Multiple Housing Starts by Type:

Semi-Detached
2010: 3,006
2011: 3,142
2012: 3,397
2013(F): 3,300
2014(F): 3,500


Row
2010: 10,255
2011: 9,288
2012: 10,577
2013(F): 10,500
2014(F): 11,500


Apartment
2010: 19,083
2011: 28,507
2012: 37,201
2013(F): 23,700
2014(F): 23,300



Local Market Indicators: Hamilton

Total Housing Starts
2012: 2,969
2013(F): 2,350
2014(F): 2,800

Single Detached
2012: 1,389
2013(F): 1,200
2014(F): 1,300

MLS® Sales / MLS® Average Price
2012: 13,035 / $360,059
2013(F): 12,600 / $362,000
2014(F): 13,000 / $369,200

Rental Vacancy Rate (3+ units, all bedrooms)
2012: 3.5%
2013(F): 3.0%
2014(F): 2.8%

Average Rent (3+ units, two bedrooms)
2012: $886
2013(F): $900
2014(F): $920
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Last edited by thistleclub; Feb 23, 2013 at 3:20 PM.
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  #478  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2013, 6:43 PM
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Canadian home prices overinflated by 20 per cent: Fitch
(Globe and Mail, Tara Perkins, Mar 4 2012)

Canadian home prices are overvalued by about 20 per cent, Fitch Ratings says.

The rating agency’s estimate of how inflated prices are was included Monday in details of a new financial model that it is proposing to use to estimate the potential losses on pools of residential mortgages, which form the backbone of a number of securities that Fitch rates.

The agency said that, based on its sustainable home price model, it estimates “at the time of publication, that prices are overvalued by approximately 20 per cent in real terms across Canada, with regional variations.”

But “because of the effects of inflation and price momentum, it is not expected that prices would drop by this amount,” it added. “If growth halted and prices began to drop, it would be expected to take several years for home prices to revert to their sustainable values, depending on a number of factors such as government support and credit availability. With this timeframe, the actual observed decline in prices could be as low as 10 per cent.”

The agency noted that prices have continued to climb, with small corrections, since 1996, “and specifically since 2008 have risen when underlying fundamentals suggest that growth is unsupportable.”

“This story is similar throughout Canada,” it added. Its estimates of the overvaluation in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec are 21 per cent, 15 per cent, 26 per cent, and 26 per cent respectively....

Generally, while low rates have kept payments down for all borrowers, higher home prices have led to larger mortgages, eroding much of the benefit for new buyers, Fitch said.

“Price-to-rent ratios are now 60 per cent higher than their 30-year averages,” it added. And the average property price is now five times average disposable income, up from the long term average of 3.5 times.
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  #479  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2013, 4:32 AM
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BMO announced today a new record low five year term rate of 2.99%.
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  #480  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2013, 4:42 PM
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From TD Economics' Long-Run Rate of Return for Canadian Home Prices, out today:

"With the slowdown in the Canadian housing market well entrenched, many are worried about the future value of their homes. The housing market is prone to cyclical ups and downs, and Canada is expected to embark a gradual, modest, downward adjustment over the next three years. A string of lacklustre performances will mean that the annual rate of return for real estate in nominal terms will be roughly 2% over the next decade. In other words, real estate gains are set to match the pace of inflation. Looking beyond 2015, home prices should rebound and record a 3.5% annual rate of return. After netting out headline CPI inflation, the expected price performance will represent a 1.5% annual gain for homeowners. This represents a weaker real return than what has been recorded since 1980. These projections are based on past housing price performances and the long-run trends assumed in several macroeconomic indicators....

Looking back in time, Canadian residential home prices grew by an average 5.4% per year during 1980-2012. The timeframe for this historical review was chosen for two reasons. First, it is long enough to capture several business cycles, eliminating the possibility of the numbers being skewed by cyclical highs or lows. Second, 1980 is the first year that the Canadian Real Estate Association began to consistently publish average residential home prices. Headline inflation in Canada averaged 3.3% per year during this same period. When we account for inflation, we see that the annual real rate of return generated from real estate was 2.1%...

Macroeconomic fundamentals drive trends in home prices over the long-run. Our analysis suggests that the rate of return for Canadian real estate will come at roughly 2% over the next decade. The long-run cruising speed for price growth is projected to be 3.5%. There are several structural changes on the horizon including an ageing populace and population growth increasingly driven by immigration. The relationship between these trends and housing demand is not yet agreed upon. Differences in regional economic climates also mean that some metro areas will likely experience greater returns on real estate than others."
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