Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

A construction worker works on the ICE Condominiums development site by Cadillac Fairview and Lanterra Developments in Toronto in this file photo.

MARK BLINCH/REUTERS

A new report from the Conference Board of Canada predicts that the much-watched condo sector will avoid an ugly downturn, even in Toronto.

Economists and policy-makers are keeping a close eye on condos, especially in the country's most populous city, where cranes dot the sky. A number of economists say that too many units are being built, a development that would put pressure on prices. The Bank of Canada has highlighted the risks that this market could pose to the economy.

Condo sales plunged in most Canadian cities last year, and are expected to be down again this year.

Story continues below advertisement

But Wednesday's report, which was done for mortgage insurer Genworth Canada, argues that the market will not sink too low, and will be propped up in part by population growth and modest employment gains.

While the report does say that higher mortgage rates could cool things off later this year or early next year, it adds that "a flood of foreclosures, and subsequent sharp supply increases, is simply not in the cards."

Homeowners are taking advantage of low interest rates to pay down their mortgages, offering a cushion when it comes time for them to renew, it says.

"Markets in Toronto and Montreal are cooling, but we think they will avoid major downturns, partly because, on the demand side, demographic requirements remain decent," the report says. "Also, the banks will continue to require builders to have healthy pre-sale levels before advancing construction financing, keeping supply somewhat in check."

Vancouver's condo market, it notes, is already well into a slowdown.

"While regional markets clearly vary in strength, all will benefit from an expanding population and a rising share of condominium-loving empty-nesters aged 55 or more," the report adds.

It also says that "weak pricing will help affordability." It predicts that principal and interest payments will drop in at least five major cities this year, led by a 2.5 per cent decline in Victoria.

Story continues below advertisement

While payments are expected to rise in Alberta, the report says that Calgary and Edmonton are still the most affordable condo markets when local incomes are taken into account, with mortgage payments taking only about 9 per cent of household income. "By contrast, we expect payments to eat up roughly 20 per cent of Vancouver incomes," it says.

The report forecasts a 0.5 per cent drop in Vancouver resale condo prices this year, to $364,593. Victoria and Montreal are also expected to record price declines, with Montreal's average resale price dropping 0.7 per cent to $265,344. Toronto is forecast to see its average price remain flat this year, at $305,239.

The report predicts that all cities will see some price growth, ranging from 1.4 to 3.6 per cent, in 2014.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies