What real estate agents in Canada should expect in 2020

What real estate agents in Canada should expect in 2020

Holiday season is here. And so is the end of the year. It’s also high time that while you drown yourself in seasonal festivities, you should also start making your real estate marketing and sales plan for 2020.

Listing down your assets will be a great start: Do I have a real estate website? If I do, does it have IDX listing? Is it search engine optimized? Do I have a lead generation plan to bring in high-quality leads? And manage leads and their status once they start coming in?

If you can answer those, it’s a great beginning. Meanwhile, you can prepare yourself with key insights about Canadian real estate industry. Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has predicted lower sales for 2020. Although such estimates depend on multitudes of factors and one detail can change the number significantly, it’s advisable to know what industry experts are saying.

We cover the key predictions for 2020 and their implications for real estate agents in Canada.

Which markets will be hot

“This year’s Canadian real estate trends are about navigating uncertainty” reads the report Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2020 report by PwC.

According to the same report, Toronto and Vancouver will again lead in terms of real estate investments. In the PwC report, Toronto went ahead Vancouver to become the top market to watch. However, Vancouver, expected to grow at 2.3% in 2020, will still be the hottest market for retail as well as commercial investment.

How social media should look like for a real estate agent
How social media should look like for a real estate agent

What will affect different property types

Condos and Single-family residential

Affordability is going to be the most pressing factor influencing real estate market in 2020.

That said, the scenario across the country is still too wide to categorize. For instance, while in Toronto single family house affordability is difficult, international migration makes the city highly lucrative for selling condominiums to millenials and young couples. Since 2007, most of the hottest markets in Canada have seen an increase in under-construction condo inventory, up 35%. And this is even when pricing of condominiums have been rising without leash.

Pricing in some markets that enjoy better affordability will remain tight. Maritimes, Quebec and Manitoba are prime examples. For single-family residential, although concern is rising about the sheer number of new condo projects in major urban centres, demand will remain strong as long as population growth and economic expansion continue and house prices remain out of reach for so many.

Retail and Office

The market of office inventories is expected to be a regional story--as it had been in the past. In almost all the markets in Canada, it will be driven by tenant expectations. Developers of office complex, on the other hand, planning ahead for the years. For instance, unlike the past, they are not focusing on parking anymore, responding to millenials reliance on ride-sharing and car rentals.

On the other hand, retail sector will continue to face disruptions. Rental models and coworking spaces had a major impact on retail sector in 2018 and will continue to do so. Many owners are trying to shift towards this model and their success will depend upon right location and customer acquisition channels? They would need a mix model of digital media, to generate online leads, and traditional method to get foot traffic.


This forecast will give you a heads-up on where to invest, which sectors and markets offer the best prospects, and trends in the capital markets that will affect real estate.

While economic and demographic fundamentals remain strong in most parts of the country, policy changes in 2017 and 2018 have impacted homebuyers’ access to mortgage financing in many housing markets.

Notably, the new federal mortgage stress test was intended to keep home sales in check, and will succeed in doing so through to 2020.


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