Here, gauging the real estate market in 2016

If you’re intending to buy a new home this year, downsize to a condo or get out of the market altogether and rent your digs, you’ll want to know where real estate prices are heading for 2016.

While predicting real estate values is at best a shot in the dark – fraught with guesswork, assumptions and plain old dumb luck – a good start is to gauge what effect future economic factors could exert on the market.

For example, Canada’s GDP is expected to grow slightly in 2016, which should, in theory, boost home values. Also, our low dollar (good for tourism and manufacturing), stable employment rates and continued low interest rates should all exert upward pressure on prices.

On the downside, the alarming lack of 20-somethings in the housing market, high levels of household debt, depressed oil prices, unpredictable stock markets or even the threat of domestic terrorism, could all conspire to put a damper on real estate. Many groups, including the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (Canada’s federal mortgage insurer), RBC and TD are predicting that hot real estate will cool off in the next few years in many regions across the country.

Click through for a cross-country look at the 2016 forecast.

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