The crash never came and we’re at the tail end of another good year. Year-over-year house sales were down, but we weathered new government regulations designed to cool us off, and demand continues to outstrip supply.
Believe it or not, some pundits, including Royal LePage, are predicting another strong year to come, with their forecast including a price hike of nearly 7%. TD senior economist Michael Dolega said a couple of months ago that he expects the market to show some signs of weakness around mid-2018, but it would rebound yet again.
Although affordability continues to be a major story, I’d call 2017 the year of the condo. Prices were up 23%, even though sales tapered off by about 15%.
I spoke to a broker a couple of years ago who told me that condos were the last bastion of semi-affordability, but it wouldn’t last much longer. Boy, was he right. If you were thinking about getting onto the property ladder last year, I hope you were able to make it happen.
My crystal ball may not be completely reliable, but if I had to guess, I’d say 2018 will be a year of reinvention. I think we’ll see trends that mean a sea change in the way we think life should be, especially family life.
A strong condo market will have us looking at the downtown core as a viable place to raise kids. I think the trend towards mixed developments and mixed neighbourhoods will continue to benefit us all, and we’ll see yet more developments that are whole-lifestyle enhancing, like our Canary District.
We’ll live our lives within our own neighbourhoods even more, supporting local businesses and directing our energies towards making life better for all those with whom we share ours. I hope we’ll see some interesting new architecture, and that our developers will find increasingly diverse ways to balance their portfolios.
We’ll see more 3-bedroom condo units and larger units overall, as buyers stop looking at a condo purchase as a first step and consider it a longer-term housing solution. I think we’ll see renting as a viable, even desirable, lifestyle choice that frees up some funds for, say, vacation homes, and as a result we’ll see prices climb in some outlying areas such as Collingwood.
I think we’ll see Vancouver and Toronto continue to lead the house-price pack, but that we’ll also see the Montreal market gain momentum.
I don’t think we’ll see any bubbles bursting in 2018, and if you’re planning on making a purchase next year, do so with confidence. Buying a home can be one of the most rewarding things you ever do, and not just financially.
This is it for me for 2017. We’re going to take some time off to celebrate those we love. Whatever you’re up to and whomever you’re with, I hope you’re looking back on 2017 with fond memories and looking forward to a happy and prosperous 2018.
As always, it’s been a pleasure to be part of your life, and we hope you’ve found newinhomes.com to be a helpful partner on your new home search.
From all of us to all of you, we wish you the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of holiday seasons.