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Apartment buildings in Downtown Vancouver. Right: A 'house for sale' sigh marked 'sold over asking.'

Apartment buildings in Downtown Vancouver. Right: A 'house for sale' sigh marked 'sold over asking.'

Purchasing real estate in Canada is an intimidating situation, especially for first-time buyers. But, what does the future of the Canadian housing market look like over the next five years?

While property costs are at an all-time high, a lot of Canadians are still interested in finding a place to call their own. But, with such a hard-to-predict market, planning for the future, or even for right now, can be a bit difficult.

So, Narcity sat down with realtor and real estate expert Trish MacKenzie to better understand what the future of Canada's housing market looks like and to figure out the best time for young people to get on the property ladder.

How supply could affect the market

MacKenzie says that the biggest problem facing the Canadian housing market right now is supply — "hands-down."

"But how it is solved is the key question," said MacKenzie.

"There is potential for more homes to be added quickly," continued the real estate expert. "Specifically, due to the Housing Accelerator Fund and expanding the Rapid Housing Initiative for an extra year to expedite affordable housing while building housing faster."

But that supply might not grow as fast as some want it to.

With the expected rise in interest rates happening this year and the rising costs of building materials, creating new supply has only become more expensive,

"I expect we will begin to see more flipping connected to condos in the coming years, especially now that areas typically considered less valuable have gotten more attractive in terms of transit access and overall needs for affordability," she said.

MacKenzie also thinks that with the popularity of working from home, smaller city centres might expand, plus multi-generational homes could become much more prevalent thanks to new tax credits.

Advice for potential homeowners

So, what does MacKenzie suggest folks do to prepare themselves for the next five years of the Canadian housing market?

"If you are ready to get into the market, make moves now," said the realtor. "The reality of our market, even with the crash in the '80s and in '09, is that over time, the value of real estate increases, and increases at a rate higher than average household income."

This means that you shouldn't wait if you can afford to act now. The price of housing is likely only going to increase, so buying sooner rather than later is a good move.

And if you're ready to make some moves right now, MacKenzie has some great general advice for you.

"In general, my advice to homebuyers now, yesterday and tomorrow, is to make sure you have the right team supporting you," she said, pointing out that an informed realtor and lender can do wonders for your buying experience.

She also recommends that buyers rethink their idea of a home.

"Yes, [a home] is where we live and work and play, but our homes are also tools to add additional wealth to your portfolio. So, while what you can afford right now may not be the dream house, it is a step towards the final goal."

Housing in Canada continues to be on the rise in places like Vancouver and Toronto, but there are some places out there for sale that might just surprise you with how affordable they still are.

Good luck!

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