n a world struggling to manage unprecedented debt levels and economic upheaval, Canada enjoys a stable real estate economy, its real estate markets moving along in a state of near-perpetual equilibrium — at least compared with other volatile regions, including most obviously the U.S. From Vancouver’s Pacific gateway and Alberta’s oil sands in the west to Toronto’s global financial centre to Halifax’s shipbuilding in the east, Canada is well positioned to maintain its economic consistency.
The rest of the world has taken notice. U.S. retailers are expanding into the dependable Canadian market, immigration waves stoke growth in housing and condo sales and foreign investors try to gain footholds (most unsuccessfully) in property sectors against difficult odds: Canadians tend to buy and hold long term.
But that does not mean that Canada is the perfect real estate haven. Canadians struggle against complacency and must remain focused on the reality that as the world’s tenth-largest economy it can be dragged down by everyone else. For 2013, a balanced outlook is expected. While Canada may do well compared to other economies, growth trends will be mediocre. But in this case “mediocre” should be viewed as the new “good” as real estate players need to scale back their expectations.