Forecast: no 'aggressive government intervention' this year

It depends how much stock you put in Realtor forecasts, but a new market survey suggests brokers have little to fear from the federal government this year, despite continuing rumour to the contrary.

Forecast: no 'aggressive government intervention' this year
It depends how much stock you put in Realtor forecasts, but a new market survey suggests brokers have little to fear from the federal government this year, despite continuing rumour to the contrary.

“We believe aggressive government intervention, such as further restrictions on first-time buyer’s access to insured mortgage financing, or significant increases in interest rates, is unlikely to occur in 2014,” says Royal LePage head Phil Soper in the company’s recently published House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast. “Our forecast assumes a continuously improving economy, both at home and abroad.”

The report states that home prices continued their ascent across Canada in 2013, with a year-over-year jump of 3.6 per cent for standard two-storey homes and 3.8 per cent for detached bungalows in the fourth quarter, respectively. The price growth was above average, according to Royal LePage.

“A few short months ago, the country’s housing market emerged from a year-long correctional cycle of dramatically slowed sales volumes. Later 2013 was marked by a transition to buoyant sales volumes and above-average price growth,” Soper said. “In the absence of some calamitous event or material increase in mortgage financing costs, we expect this positive momentum to characterize 2014.

“In fact, we expect a market tipped decidedly in favour of sellers for the first half of the year, after which we project a shift to a more balanced market.”

Home prices in Toronto – which is believed to be one of the most inflated markets in Canada – are expected to jump by 3.9 per cent in 2014, which will continue the upward trend in Canada’s most populous city.

“A supply shortage of detached homes in Toronto led to steady increases in the average price for these types of properties, with standard two-storey homes increasing 2.7 per cent to $686,250 and detached bungalows increasing 3.9 per cent to $580,151,” the report stated. “Over the same timeframe standard condominium prices were up slightly, increasing by 1.0 per cent to $360,272.”

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