In 2018, we predicted that 2019 would be a tough market, but that we’d also see some significant relief — and we were nearly perfect in our estimations.
Here are the three real estate market trends we predicted for 2019 in Canada and what actually happened.
Trend #1: New residences must evolve to meet new social needs
Our initial prediction saw 2019 real estate trends in favour of telecommuters and self-employed folks in need of home office space. Developers were already ready to make the necessary changes to keep up with demands, and this continued into 2019. The New York Times reported that home offices are becoming just as important to buyers as kitchens. Social needs also bled into commercial real estate as co-working spaces such as We Work advanced quickly across Canada and continue to grow. Many remote workers are interested in the social aspect of their work environment that they can’t get at home, which is where these commercial spaces come into play.
Smart home technology was also on the rise, with remote operations that operate essential functions in homes, such as lights and home security systems. With a more digital economy, one example of dwellings that homebuyers now want is eco-friendly homes that use new technologies to enhance their sustainability.
In case anyone is keeping score, we get a big checkmark on predicting the influence of this trend, as it made many waves throughout 2019.
Trend #2: Technology’s increasing role in the real estate market
Similar to the desire for homes that can correlate with telecommuter needs and other social needs, another growing real estate trend in 2019 was the role of technology in the real estate market. Proptech, or the intersection between technology and real estate, continues to emerge. Place technology, such as co-working and co-living, or companies like Airbnb are one example of this. Alongside place technology, you’ll also see construction technology, which includes software that creates 3D models and printing, all the way to drones.
According to Tracxn, there are over 154 real estate technology start-ups as of September 2019, and that number isn’t slowing down. In 2018, the prop-tech industry grew to be a $7.3 billion industry in North America, and that is evidence that it’s still on the up.
Mark it down, as so far our 2019 predictions are two for two.
Trend #3: Housing affordability and shifting demographics
Due to rising interest rates and property taxes, we predicted a 2019 real estate trend that would host investors and buyers moving from the major markets like Toronto and Vancouver, into other cities. In 2018, Montreal and Quebec City saw substantial increases, and this stayed true in 2019. However, other cities that we predicted would see growth were Winnipeg, Halifax, Edmonton, and Saskatoon — and we were sort of right. According to an RBC Housing Affordability report, Halifax was hot and affordable in 2019.
The remaining cities stayed within a historical norm as far as growth and affordability go. Although Saskatoon, Winnipeg, and Edmonton have a good supply and remain affordable, buyers felt no urgency to jump into these markets for other reasons, such as provincial economy or high-interest rates.
As much as we’d like to pat ourselves on the back for 100% of our real estate market trends and predictions to be spot on, this one didn’t end up being all that we thought. However, this might be the perfect way to end our analysis of the 2019 Canadian real estate market. Predictions of trends come from analyzing statistics and speculation – which is a highly dangerous game – especially when it comes to your financial future.
A busy year for real estate, 2019 proved to be an exciting and eventful year, and we expect nothing but the same in the coming year – but you’ll have to check out what the 2020 real estate market trends might be to find out.