crystall ball

Oh boy.  I’ll be honest, as soon as I wrote this post title, I regretted it.

For the last decade or so, predicting real estate has been a bit of a chump’s game.

If I had a dollar for every time an economist, business magazine or bank predicted the collapse of the Canadian real estate market, I would have enough money to buy a detached home in Toronto.  Well, I would have, if the price of detached homes hadn’t risen by 11.8% in the last 12 months alone.

Still, I admire those people who have the confidence, year after year, to come up with predictions about where the real estate market is going.  In particular, I admire their resilience to do it again the following year when they were spectacularly wrong.

One of the best examples of this is the magazine Canadian Business.  I’ve had a subscription to the magazine for years.  I recently went through some old issues and took a picture of the cover from February, 2013.

CB Cover

As many of you recall, 2013 was not, in fact, the year that Canadian real estate plummeted by 20%.

As a Realtor with the Toronto Real Estate Board, the detailed data I have access to is for the GTA.  When I looked at what had happened in 2013, I saw this.


Instead of plummeting 20%, it went up 9% in the GTA.  As for staying down for years, well, the average sale price, across all types of homes, is up over 20% since February, 2013.

So why am I jumping into the prediction game if it is such a difficult thing to get right?

I’m giving my prediction on what will happen to the real estate market this year because it matters to my clients.  Whether it is a client I help buy a semi-detached home in Toronto, a client I help sell a condo in Mississauga, a client I help find an investment property in Brampton – it matters what happens to the real estate market.

So here’s my prediction, short and sweet.

Across the GTA, housing prices will continue to rise.  Semi-detached homes will see the biggest average price increase as the increasing unaffordability of detached homes pushes buyers down the property ladder.  Condos will absorb the lower budget buyers and see modest (under 5%) gain over the year.  As mortgage rates rise by small amounts (up half a percent this year), some buyers will postpone their purchase until they can better afford what they want, keeping rental rates steady.

There.  I promise to update you in a year and see how I did.  Unless I’m horribly wrong, in which case I will delete this post and deny ever writing it.

Regardless of what happens to the real estate market this year, my focus with clients is on making sure their real estate has the right fundamentals to do well in any market.  If you or someone you like needs help with real estate, I’d love to be responsible for what comes next.