Recovery linked to economic stability next year
Global economic uncertainty weighed heavily on residential real estate activity in most major Canadian centres during the latter half of 2008. Although the forecast for 2009 promises more of the same, most markets are expected to weather the storm, says RE/MAX.
Housing market performance will clearly be contingent on economic performance at a local, provincial, and national level in 2009. Issues affecting the overall economy are impacting housing markets across the country and the situation is not expected to be remedied until consumer confidence is restored. If inventory levels remain stable, pent-up demand kicks into gear, and lower interest rates stimulate home-buying activity, we could see a bounce back as early as spring.
The RE/MAX Housing Market Outlook for 2009 examined residential real estate trends in 22 markets across the country and found that average price held up remarkably well in 2008, despite 13 centres reporting double-digit declines in home sales. Solid gains earlier in the year likely served to prop-up housing values at year-end. The prognosis for housing activity in the first six to nine months of 2009 is somewhat static, given continued volatility in financial markets and the threat of recession, but as stability returns, housing markets are expected to recover.
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