NIAGARA - Niagara’s real estate market will not be immune from a national housing cool-down, with price rises and sales slowing through the winter.
That’s the verdict of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. in a fall housing market outlook released Tuesday.
Locally, Canada and Mortgage and Housing Corp. says housing sales will moderate through to early 2013.
That, before recovering by the second half of next year.
Meanwhile, it said housing starts will decline through to early 2013, but stabilize for the balance of that year.
Across the country, the CMHC calls for a weaker, but still relatively healthy housing sector moving into 2013, with the pace of home-building moderating.
It comes in the heels of data showing the real-estate market cooling, but nowhere near a US-style crash.
This is due to factors like tighter mortgage lending rules in Canada, consumer debt concerns and a natural winter slowdown.
The Niagara Association of Realtors, however, is not seeing any trend to pronounced softening of the local real estate market.
“We’re still up — average sale prices are up and units (sold) are up,” said Brad Johnstone, president of the Niagara Association of Realtors. “That’s year-to-date, across the region.”
Johnstone sees housing price corrections in bigger markets like Vancouver and Toronto but would be surprised to see much decline in housing numbers.
“My feel for the whole region is we’re leveling off, but I don’t see it as being a negative,” he said.
“To investors or realtors, I’m saying ‘guys this is a great market, because you know you can count on it. You’re going to have nice, sustained steady growth (in residential real estate value).
“Don’t come here looking for those 10% increases, because we don’t get these either.”
Paul Tessaro, a CMHC market analyst, paints a slightly rosier outlook than the official CMHC release for Niagara.
Tessaro says 2013 growth is forecast for Niagara “at a more modest pace than 2012 ... about 2% or so.”
“There are balanced (real-estate) conditions in the area, so modest price growth is consistent with those conditions as well.”
Tessaro said decent recent employment growth, and low interest rates are also supporting local housing-price growth.
“But (sales and price growth) will be slower than it was in the past few years,” he added.
CMHC analyst’s housing price growth forecast for Niagara in 2003- about 2%
CMHC estimated sales for St. Catharines-Niagara to early 2013- will “moderate”
Sales second half of 2013- to increase
Housing starts to early 2013- to decline
Starts from middle to end of 2013- to stabilize
Niagara Association of Realtors
* Unit sales across the Niagara have fluctuated over the last eight years.
* Average sale prices in the Niagara have steadily risen.
* In 2003 the average sale price was $156,294 and for 2011 $226,670.
* In eight years the average home in Niagara has increased in value by $70,376.