2022 home price forecast increased after exceptionally strong first quarter


Happy couple sits on a couch with their young daughter looking at a laptop in a room with several plants

Royal LePage has increased its 2022 forecast following record price gains in the first quarter of 2022. The aggregate price of a home in Canada is expected to be 15% higher in the fourth quarter of this year compared to the end of 2021, following a supercharged start to the year. As we enter the spring market, buyer hopefuls continue to be challenged by tight competition, due to a chronic shortage of supply, despite a slight increase of inventory hitting the market in some regions. 

“Entering 2022, we had anticipated a strong first half, and moderating real estate markets thereafter. Call it buyer fatigue or easing demand, these periods of uncomfortably high home price appreciation do run their course. We are seeing the first signs of moderation in some regions, as more inventory is becoming available and competition eases slightly,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage. “The first quarter of the year was so strong, however, that we are bumping up our 2022 outlook. And, home prices will continue to climb in the months ahead as a result of our relentless low supply-high demand imbalance.”

While some properties may be attracting fewer bids than last year, and buyer behaviour is beginning to shift – given the recent increase in interest rates and the expectation of several more to come – listings in popular neighbourhoods that are priced appropriately continue to draw multiple offers and are selling above the list price. 

Nationally, the aggregate price of a home increased 25.1% year-over-year to $856,900 in the first quarter of 2022; the highest gain on record since the Company began tracking aggregate prices. When broken out by housing type, the national median price of a single-family detached home rose 26.7% year-over-year to $906,100, while the median price of a condominium increased 19.7% year-over-year to $612,900.21.

Read Royal LePage’s first quarter release for national and regional insights. 

First quarter press release highlights:

  • Early signs of moderation appear as some urban markets unveil improved conditions for buyers
  • Promising new federal and provincial policies aimed at tackling housing availability and affordability not expected to provide relief in 2022
  • Kingston, Ontario, posts highest year-over-year aggregate and detached home price gains in Canada for the second straight quarter 
  • Four markets in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe region report median single-family detached home prices above $1 million for first time

Canada’s aggregate home price increased 21.4% year-over-year, while slowed third quarter growth offered hope to buyers


Modern living room with ivory couch and teal accent pillows and blanket

Home prices continued to rise in the third quarter of 2021, but at a significantly slower pace than we saw earlier in the year. According to the recent Royal LePage House Price Survey, 68% of regions studied posted quarter-over-quarter gains of less than 2% in Q3, compared to just 14.5% of regions in the second quarter. As the weather warmed, Canadians turned their focus to other things, especially as increased vaccination rates led to a reduction in pandemic health restrictions. 

“During the third quarter, the torrid pace of home price appreciation moderated as both demand and inventory waned, a typical summer market trend in a very atypical year. With easing pandemic restrictions, there was finally something to talk about other than real estate, and people began travelling and socializing again,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage. “In addition, a year of relentless competition for too few properties drove some would-be purchasers to the sidelines as buyer fatigue set in.”

While the rate of appreciation may be slowing, prices continued to increase as a result of a chronic shortage of housing stock right across the country. Nationally, the aggregate price of a home increased 21.4% year-over-year to $749,800 in the third quarter of 2021. When broken out by housing type, the national median price of a single-family detached home rose 25.2% year-over-year to $790,000, while the median price of a condominium increased 13% to $533,600 during the same period.

Read Royal LePage’s third quarter release for national and regional insights. 

Third quarter press release highlights:

  • Royal LePage maintains its 2021 forecast, with the national aggregate home price expected to rise 16% in Q4, compared to a very strong Q4 2020
  • Very low inventory pushes potential buyers to sidelines amid national housing supply crisis, resulting in pent-up demand
  • Condominiums continue price rebound in urban centres as return to ‘new normal’ allows Canadians to enjoy more aspects of city life 

South Okanagan named top place in Canada to visit post-pandemic by Vacay.ca

Post-COVID travel top pick

The South Okanagan is the place to be post-pandemic, according to Canadian online travel magazine Vacay.ca.

The site has launched a list of the 20 best destinations to travel to in Canada in 2021, once restrictions lift, and the South Okanagan nabbed the number one spot.

They note that unrestricted travel will likely begin just as the fall harvest season kicks off, and note the South Okanagan as a perfect spot to enjoy the end of summer and early autumn.

“This year, given what the world is going through, the South Okanagan was a clear choice for the number one spot in our rankings because of all of the outdoor activities it offers and the sense of safety you feel once you’re there,” Vacay.ca co-founder Adrian Brijbassi said.

Vacay points to the likelihood that road trips and nature escapes to smaller destinations will still be popular this summer as vaccines roll out but social distancing is still in place, making communities like Naramata, Oliver, Summerland, Okanagan Falls and Kaleden particularly enticing.

“We are thrilled to receive this recognition,” said Brad Morgan, marketing director of Travel Penticton and managing partner of Visit South Okanagan.

“The diversity of experiences and the connectivity of the partner communities is what attracts visitors to the South Okanagan. We have something for everyone and the scenic route that connects us makes for a day-tripper’s paradise. We look forward to welcoming visitors when the time is right.”

Vacay notes the more than 70 wineries that operate in the 100-kilometre stretch between Penticton and Osoyoos as a particular selling point.

The ranking consists of data from a survey of travel journalists country-wide.

Kelowna also made the list, coming in at the 19th spot. B.C. destinations earned five spots, more than any other province.

The full ranking is as follows:

1. South Okanagan, BC
2. Cape Breton Island, NS
3. Banff National Park & Lake Louise, AB
4. Dawson City, YT
5. Victoria & Cowichan Valley, BC
6. Prince Edward County, ON
7. Gaspereau & Annapolis Valleys, NS
8. Quebec City-to-Tadoussac, QC
9. St. John’s & Irish Loop, NL
10. Charlottetown, PEI
11. Golden & Revelstoke, BC
12. Niagara Region, ON
13. Georgian Bay, ON
14. Gaspesie, QC
15. South Shore, NS
16. Shediac-to-Saint John, NB
17. Tofino & Pacific Rim National Park, BC
18. Saskatoon & Prince Albert National Park, SK
19. Kelowna, BC
20. Pukaskwa National Park, ON

Local woman help Indigenous communities thrive in businesses and research

Helping First Nations thrive

A local West Kelowna woman is out to change the narrative of Indigenous research in Canada.

Candice Loring, 36, a member of the Gitwangak band from the Gitxsan nation, is the first Indigenous person to be hired by Mitacs — a national innovation organization that fosters growth by solving business challenges with research solutions from academic institutions

“Historically, research was done ‘on’ Indigenous people, not ‘for’ or ‘with’ Indigenous people,” explained Loring, director of business development and Indigenous community engagement for Mitacs.

An initiative launched by the company allows Indigenous-owned businesses and organizations to connect with the academic talent to help them achieve their innovation goals.

“I’m working for an organization that’s not only hearing my voice but is my voice, helping to make real change within Indigenous research and academia,” said Loring, who joined Mitacs in August 2019.

“To have a seat at the table in an organization that truly believes in advancing the Indigenous portfolio because it’s the right thing to do is one of the most profound moments of my life.”

According to Statistics Canada, the Indigenous population is the fastest-growing in the country, increasing by 42.5 per cent between 2006 and 2016.

Loring believes given the same opportunities as non-Indigenous people, their communities can significantly boost the Canadian economy.

“Our team is committed to empowering Indigenous innovation in Canada,” said John Hepburn, CEO and Scientific Director of Mitacs.

“Mitacs consults with Indigenous organizations to identify and solve their research challenges, and to leverage available funding; we also make the research connections and enable real job experience that Indigenous students rely on to advance their careers,” he added.

To qualify, the organization must be 50 per cent owned by an individual who self-identifies as Indigenous, or the selected intern must self-identify as Indigenous. Partner organizations need to invest only one-quarter of the project’s cost.

“This is the most aggressive call we’ve launched to date. The societal impact will go far beyond research because an entrepreneur’s success with their business really lifts up an entire community,” she added.

Through a partnership with EcoTrust Canada, Mitacs Indigenous interns are currently working on hydroponic innovations to boost local food production and security, programs to help small businesses pivot amid COVID-19, self-sustaining restorative farming solutions, art programs that encourage youth to share their voices, and much more.

Canada’s Average House Price Soars 17.5% In ‘Very Strange Year’ For Real Estate

Home sales soared 45.6 per cent from a year earlier, the Canadian Real Estate Association says.

Canada’s housing market has come racing out of the pandemic lockdowns this spring, setting a third consecutive monthly record for home sales in September.

The association says September home sales were up 45.6 per cent compared with the same month last year. Compared with August, CREA says home sales were up 0.9 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Month-over-month gains in Ottawa, Greater Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Calgary and Hamilton-Burlington, Ont., were mostly offset by declines in the Greater Toronto Area and Montreal.

The actual national average home price also set another record in September at $604,000, up 17.5 per cent from the same month last year.

CREA says excluding sales in Greater Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area, two of the most active and expensive housing markets, lowers the national average price about $125,000.

“Many Canadian housing markets are continuing to see historically strong levels of activity as we enter into the fall market of this very strange year,” CREA chair Costa Poulopoulos said in a statement.

“Along with historic supply shortages in a number of regions, fierce competition among buyers has been putting upward pressure on home prices. Much of that was pent-up demand from the spring that came forward as our economies
opened back up over the summer.”

The Ontario Real Estate Board earlier this month requested that open houses be suspended during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many economists who chimed on in the latest CREA numbers said the aggressively strong market can’t continue.

“We doubt that this recent sizzling strength can persist amid some of the building headwinds, which should at least somewhat tame market conditions in the months ahead,” Bank of Montreal chief economist Doug Porter said.

“The underlying economic conditions simply do not support such a piping hot market over a sustained period.”

HuffPost Canada, with files from The Canadian Press

How to Decorate With Style While on a Budget

Image: Photographee.eu / Shutterstock.com

Decorating with a big budget may be the dream, but you can still have a beautiful home without spending a lot. You just need a bit of creativity and a little insider know-how to make your home look like a million bucks, even though you only spent a few! Here are seven great decorating tips that will help you have a stylish home on a tight budget.

Paint is Your Secret Weapon

Paint is probably the most versatile item in your budget decorator’s toolkit. Simply painting your walls the right color can take a room from ho-hum to Hello! But don’t stop at the walls. Everything from floors, to furniture, to cabinets, right up to the ceiling, can be made more beautiful with a coat (or two) of paint.

Here are the most important secrets to successfully using paint in your decorating:

    1. Do your prep work. Take the time to clean, sand and prep all surfaces carefully. It will make all the difference between a perfect finish and one that never looks quite right
    2. Make sure you use the right type of paint. If you’re painting the floor, get good floor paint and be sure to use a topcoat. Or, if you’re painting cabinets, get paint designed specifically for your type of cabinets. Although it may cost a bit more, the results are absolutely worth it.

Print Your Own Art

Big artwork can make a big impact, but it can also cost big bucks. Instead of waiting to buy a big piece, why not turn your own photos into art? There are plenty of local and online printers that can turn pictures into posters for a minimal cost.

Or, if you prefer artwork over photos, there are a variety of sites that offer high-quality royalty-free downloads. Additionally, many libraries and museums have impressive collections of public domain images that would make beautiful and unique artwork.

Upgrade Your Hardware

It might seem like a small detail, but new hardware can completely transform a set of cabinets or a piece of furniture. Take an out-of-date kitchen up a level with sleek new cabinet handles and drawer pulls.

Moreover, if you’re dreaming of adding character to a standard builder’s kitchen, shop flea markets and antique stores for vintage hardware that will add instant charm. You can also give an ordinary dresser a fresh new look by upgrading the knobs to something a little fancier.

Wallpaper Always Makes an Impact

The power of wallpaper should not be underestimated! While it’s true some wallpapers can run a pretty penny, you can also get rolls that range from $30-$50 at many home retailers. And one roll will generally cover around 25-35 feet. Which means you can dramatically transform a powder room or entryway for minimal cost. You can also use wallpaper to create an eye-catching feature wall or turn a plain piece of furniture into a stylish custom piece.

Cover It Up

Do you have a comfortable couch or chair you love that has seen better days? Don’t give up on a good piece of furniture just because it’s a little bit worn or dated. Consider a slipcover instead of splurging for a replacement.

Not only will a slipcover give new life to an old sofa, but it can also protect a new sofa from inevitable spills and messes. You can get them in almost any color to coordinate with your decor. Or, opt for classic white and have that beautiful white sofa without all the risk.

Don’t Be Afraid to Get Thrifty

While it may not be quite as convenient as ordering online, thrift stores and vintage shops are a great way to get beautiful, unique decor at a fraction of the cost. With a bit of patience, you can find well-made pieces with beautiful details that will add charm and character. And if you’re willing to put in a little effort, you can turn a vintage find that has lost its luster into a favorite piece.

Shop Your House

The most economical and environmentally friendly way to update your decor is to use what you already have. With a bit of creativity, you can give your home a whole new look without spending a cent.

Start by swapping a few big pieces between rooms. Then dig through closets and storage spaces to find decor items you haven’t seen in a while. If you don’t have a stash of back-up decor, try using unconventional items in unique ways.

Get the look you want for less with these tips for decorating on a budget. And don’t worry, no one else needs to know how little your fabulous looking home cost!

How to Create the Perfect Outdoor Entertainment Area

Image: imging / Shutterstock.com

Autumn might be right around the corner, but finding new ways to spend more time outside has never been as important as it is right now. And what better way to spend some time with friends and family than toasting marshmallows over the fire, talking and having a drink?

This is why an outdoor kitchen or small entertainment area in the backyard could make all the difference. Outdoor kitchens and entertainment areas can easily turn your garden into a functional space, as well as combine cooking and socializing with friends for the ultimate summer (and then autumn) experience. So if you’re looking to go beyond the typical BBQ grill and patio chairs, here’s how you can create the perfect setup for you and your friends.

Pick the Right Spot

Ideally, your outdoor kitchen and entertainment area shouldn’t be located too far from your house, so that you can have access to electricity and running water. This will also allow you to make a quick dash inside for any last-minute items you might need, but also give your guests easy access to facilities such as the bathroom. If your garden already has amenities such as a pool or a kids’ play area, setting up your outdoor kitchen close by is a good call.

Work with the Space You Have

Outdoor kitchens are very versatile and customizable, so even if you don’t have a lot of space in your garden, there are ways you can make it work. Large backyards can accommodate a sprawl of countertops, appliances, cabinets, fridges, and a dining area that could put a restaurant to shame. For smaller gardens, a circular design for prepping, cooking and dishing-up will work just as well, and you can even create a counter space with high stools for a cozy dining area. Also, make sure that your setup doesn’t isolate you from the party, and go for one that allows you to socialize with the guests as you cook.

Designate Areas

Your outdoor kitchen should be designed with the same flow and functionality as your indoor one. To avoid any unnecessary back-and-forth, designate your areas in advance, and set up your appliances accordingly.

Prep Space

This should include a counter for preparing the ingredients, a sink, a fridge, as well as prepping utensils, such as knives and chopping boards. If you use the fridge in the prep space for storing items such as raw meat, it’s best to have a separate fridge for drinks.

Cooking Area

Place your cooking area in the middle, so that you can easily move between the prepping and serving spaces. This is where you should install your cooking appliances, as well as all the accessories that go with the job, from tongs and spatulas, to heat-proof gloves, maybe even a chef’s hat.

Plate-up Space

Ideally, this should be placed close to the cooking area, so that you and your guests can have easy access to the food as soon as it’s done. Use this space for storing plates and cutlery, and if the space allows it, you can have a designated counter for dishing-up, complete with trays where the food is kept, or a warming drawer.

Lounge and Entertainment Zone

Although your cooking area can act as a focal point, especially when your guests are hungry, your outdoor entertainment area should come with a separate spot for dining and relaxation. What you set here depends entirely on your budget and imagination. Apart from tables and chairs, you can include an outdoor cinema system, a minibar, a lounging area with recliner chairs, and even a fire pit.

Selecting the Right Appliances

The appeal of an outdoor kitchen isn’t just the fact that you can cook outside, but rather, the fact that you can cook dishes that aren’t suitable for cooking indoors. So when picking cooking appliances, think outside the four walls. A barbecue setup or a stainless steel grill are always a great choice, or if you really want to impress, why not go for a wood-fired pizza oven? Having a fridge on site for drinks and ingredients is a must, as well as a spacious sink. In fact, you can go the extra mile and install a minibar, complete with a beer keg and tap system.

Finding Fantastic Furniture

When it comes to furniture, it all depends on you and your guests’ personality. Are you the type to keep it simple with some bean bags and picnic blankets, or do you want to recreate al fresco dining in all its splendor? Whichever you go for, remember that functionality and durability are key features for your outdoor furniture.

Prepare for Rain and Shine

Just because you’re the perfect host doesn’t mean that wind and rain should be welcome at your dinner party. Weatherproofing your outdoor kitchen and entertainment area should also make its way on your to-do list, and it’s not as difficult to implement as you’d think. A pergola or retractable canopy will see you covered against rain and sun, as well as extend the lifetime of this exciting addition to your backyard.

Rising House Prices And Tanking Rental Market Show Pandemic’s Economic Divide

But the weakness in the rental market risks infecting the housing market.

High-rise condo towers at Humber Bay Park in the Toronto borough of Etobicoke. House prices in many parts of Canada are rising amid the pandemic, even as rental rates drop.

MONTREAL ― The COVID-19 lockdowns have exposed a divide in Canada’s job market, with low-income earners getting hit much harder than high-income earners in the wave of layoffs that has taken place since March.

Now that divide is making itself felt in the housing market. As those on the lower rungs of the income ladder struggle to make rent, middle and higher-income Canadians are jumping back into the housing market.

The result? Rental rates rates are falling steeply across Canada, even as the housing market shows signs of life, with prices even rising in some markets.

Rental rates across Canada have fallen for three straight months and are down 7.8 per cent, on average, from before the pandemic, rental site Rentals.ca reported this week.

“Tenants have been more dramatically impacted by pandemic-related job loss than homeowners, and are not currently looking for apartments or other rental accommodation,” Bullpen Research president Ben Myers said in a statement. “This sharp drop in demand has resulted in landlords dropping their asking rents in most major markets across the country.”

Rental rates have come down in many municipalities, according to this chart from Rentals.ca, with Victoria, B.C., and suburban cities in Greater Toronto leading the way.

Larger cities have been hit particularly hard. Rents per square foot have dropped steeply in Toronto since the pandemic and are now 9.5 per cent below their levels from a year ago, Rentals.ca reported.

Average asking rents jumped 3.8 per cent in May in Vancouver in May, but on a per square foot basis, condo rents fell 2.4 per cent in May, and are 5.4 per cent lower than a year ago, Rentals.ca said.

House prices rising in many markets

It’s a different story in the housing market, where real estate agents say they are seeing a sharp pick-up in activity since lockdowns started lifting. Buyers and sellers have become more comfortable with virtual tours and with social distancing measures taken during viewings, they note.

Many people pulled their houses off the market during the lockdowns, and as buyers come back, pressure is building on the market.

“The story lately has been a lack of overall inventory,” Toronto real estate Doug Vukasovic wrote in a recent report looking at the local housing market.

“For the year to date, a downward trend in pricing has already been corrected. … Even now, most properties are ripe for bidding wars, and many are getting snatched up within a few days of their being listed.”

Will the barrier break?

But the divide between the rental and housing markets could soon break down. That’s because a significant chunk of Canada’s homes, particularly condos, is in the hands of investors who rely on the rental market to pay their mortgages.

That could be a problem, especially for those investors who bought their properties in recent years at high prices. A recent report from TorontoRentals.com found that units in many of Toronto’s new condo buildings are losing money at current rental rates.

Some experts have warned that if this continues long enough, it could lead to forced selling in the housing market, driving up the supply and pushing down prices.

That could also happen if tourists don’t return to Canada’s cities, economists at National Bank of Canada wrote in a report at the end of May.

“Tourism is likely to be slow for some time, and the possibility cannot be excluded that lodgings currently marketed to tourists on short-term-rental platforms such as Airbnb will be put up for sale for lack of revenue,” economists Matthieu Arseneau and Alexandra Ducharme wrote.

Arseneau and Ducharme are forecasting a 10-per-cent drop in the Teranet house price index over the next year, which would make it the steepest one-year drop in Canadian house prices in decades.

Economists at National Bank of Canada predict a steeper house price decline in this downturn than in the previous three recessions.

Among major cities, the National Bank economists predict that Toronto will see the steepest price decline, with its price index dropping 13 per cent.

House prices will also fall in Vancouver (down 12 per cent), Calgary (down 10 per cent) and Montreal (down 7 per cent), they forecast.

However, prices could fall more than that if immigration to Canada comes in below expectations after the pandemic, Arseneau and Ducharme wrote. Immigration has fallen after three of the past four recessions, they noted.

They also noted that prices could fall further than expected if Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) tightens standards for mortgage insurance.

Days after the report came out, CMHC did just that, tightening the standards for the maximum amount of debt borrowers of insured mortgages can carry.

Experts estimate the change will reduce the maximum purchase price for a home with an insured mortgage by up to 12 per cent. Canada’s two privately-run mortgage insurers, Genworth and Canada Guaranty, have said they will not follow the CMHC’s move.

Mortgage Deferrals ‘Buying Time’ For Canadians, Bank Of Canada Says

The pause in mortgage payments are giving people a chance to get back to work.

A view of Metro Vancouver is seen here at twilight on July 18, 2020, from Burnaby, B.C. Softening population growth from immigration could start to weaken house prices in the future.

TORONTO — A Bank of Canada economist says the current economic recovery could be different than the recovery from the financial crisis of 2008.

Mikael Khan, the Bank of Canada’s director of financial stability, said that while the employment rate has fallen due to the pandemic, house prices are recovering and keeping homeowners from filing for insolvency.

Khan said breaks from mortgage payments have bought homeowners some time to get back to work amid the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn.

“The fact that these deferrals have been available is really, really important,” said Khan. “Ultimately, what matters most when it comes to defaults is people having a job, having their incomes. What the deferrals are doing is they’re essentially buying time for that process to unfold.”

Khan, who spoke at the Move Smartly Toronto Real Estate Summit on Monday, has been studying mortgage defaults. He compared the COVID-19 pandemic to a natural disaster, such as the 2016 wildfires in Fort McMurray, Alta., which also involved a mortgage deferral recovery plan.

Bank of Canada research found that while the wildfires caused a bigger spike in employment insurance filings than the 2008 recession, the EI trend reversed much faster after the fires than in 2008.

The 2008 conditions set off a lengthy recession due to “an underlying fragility in the global financial system,” the research suggested. But the wildfires, like the COVID-19 pandemic, were a sudden shock.

“One thing that’s always very important when you’re facing a large negative shock is the initial conditions,” said Khan.

“In Fort McMurray, when the wildfires hit, that’s an area that had already been struggling for some time with the decline in oil prices that had occurred about a year or so prior, so financial stress was quite high,” Khan said.

“Now, at the national level, what we’ve been concerned about for many, many years is the high level of household debt. That’s the No. 1 pre-existing condition that was there when the pandemic struck.”

While there are some parallels, the rebuilding process from a pandemic remains more uncertain compared to a wildfire, the research said. Khan cited increased savings rates as an example of a fundamental shift with potential to affect how quickly the economy recovers from COVID-19.

Over the past few months, some have warned that it could lead to a deferral cliff once benefits —such as Canada Emergency Response Benefit and mortgage deferrals — run out.

“When it comes to bumpiness in the recovery … this question that has been in the background of most of our discussions is, ‘To what extent will we see defaults or insolvencies?’” said Khan. “I think it’s reasonable to expect some sort of increase. What we’d be concerned about, there, is a very large-scale increase.”

Khan said that when a mortgage is in default, it can be caused by a “dual trigger” of both unemployment and large decline in house prices. Home prices in many areas have recovered since the start of the pandemic, Khan said. The job market’s recovery will be key to determining the impact of mortgage deferrals, said Bank of Canada research cited by Khan.

Softening population growth from immigration could start to weaken house prices in the future. But for now, Khan said, it wouldn’t make sense for homeowners with healthy home equity to file for insolvency.

“Even in cases where a homeowner simply can’t make their mortgage payments anymore — as long as they have equity in their homes and the housing market is relatively stable — there’s always the option to simply sell without kind of resorting to those sorts of measures,” said Khan.