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AUHF Set to Hold 2019 Housing Finance Course for Sub-Saharan Africa in September

African Union for Housing Finance (AUHF) – an association of mortgage banks, building societies, microfinance institutions and banks, housing corporations and other organizations involved in the mobilisation of funds for shelter and housing on the African continent has announced the official date of the 2019 Housing Finance Course for Sub-Saharan Africa.

This year’s edition of the annual housing finance course of one week for Sub Sahara Africa in Cape Town, South Africa will hold from 29th September to 5th October, the association has revealed.

According to Kecia Rust, Executive Secretary of the association, the course, is in collaboration with International Union for Housing Finance.

The courses will focus on; The role of housing in an economy; The role of finance in housing markets; Building blocks of a housing finance system; The state of housing finance in Sub-Saharan Africa; Overview of housing finance products; The business of housing finance; Profitability, risks and risk management; Funding sources for housing finance: Role of capital market funding; Safety and soundness of financial institutions: the regulatory environment; Expanding housing finance to underserved markets: housing micro finance; Using subsidies to expand housing markets & housing finance systems.

The AUHF was established as a member based body of housing lenders in 1984. Today, AUHF comprises of 49 members from 16 countries across the continent.

As an industry body, the AUHF promotes the development of effective housing finance markets, and the delivery of affordable housing across Africa, working in the interests of both the members and the industry as a whole.

The association supports its members in realising their vision, through networking and deal facilitation, information collection and dissemination, lobbying and advocacy, and capacity building and training.

Closing date for application is 1st of September 2019.

How Nigeria’s Minister of Housing Can Attract Foreign Investment for the Sector

Stakeholders and professionals in the Nigeria housing and construction sector are unanimous in the observation that one of the greatest challenges faced by the sector is the lack of adequate funding to transform ideas into practical solutions.

While access to housing is an unprecedented global challenge growing fast with rapid urbanisation, the housing problem is more pronounced in emerging markets like that of Nigeria.

The biggest challenges faced by emerging markets like that of Nigeria are fragmentation and inability to meet unprecedented volumes of housing deficit; Inability to align stakeholders and catalyse grassroots impact; challenges in making the economics work, and in a number of cases, housing initiatives are driven by governments who face enormous treasury challenges.

Foreign Direct investments, as important as they are, are attracted more by regions where domestic capital is already being applied to unbridle the potential in these economies. It is therefore very important for Nigeria’s minister of works and housing, Babatunde Fashola to get the ball rolling in terms of seeing that local investments are up and running in the sector.

In addition to strong economic fundamentals, local capital is required to de-risk opportunities and prove their viability to international investors

The application of local capital ahead of FDI plays an important role for the sustained growth of local enterprise in an economy.

According to some stakeholders, transforming the huge housing need in Nigeria into bankable opportunity will require public and private sector involvement

FDI they say, has to be deployed in key areas of the value chain to have the most impact in order to stimulate home production and ownership.

Foreign capital when applied appropriately can improve an economy’s capacity to create affordable mortgages. The creation of mortgages has a huge multiplier effect in stimulating the production of lower middle income and affordable housing because it gives investors a clear exit path.

Foreign capital is better attracted to opportunities where local capital (public or private sector) has been used to de-risk them.

The first tenure of Babatunde Raji Fashola saw him undertake a pilot National Housing Programme which led to a nationwide housing construction in various states of the federation. According to the minister, while giving account of his service mentioned that construction works at these project sites are an ecosystem of human enterprise where artisans, vendors, suppliers and craftsmen are direct beneficiaries as well as contributors to nation building. It is therefore important that unlike previous housing programmes in Nigeria, this one should not be abandoned, but reinvigorated and adapted to prevailing challenges in a way that more results can be achieved and more houses built for the poor who needs them the most. According to Housing Development Advocacy Network, the projects that are ongoing should be completed and new ones initiated, and must be affordable for those that genuinely need the houses.

Another fundamental issue that if addressed can boost the confidence of investors is that of enabling policies that need to be either amended or introduced. For example, it is very important for the land use act to be amended to make land administration and its access easy for investors and developers. This has been an ongoing argument, and it is time for a headway. There is also need to pass the foreclosure law to enable a legal framework for addressing challenges relating to mortgage default etc. The issue of policy framework is not limited to these two, as there are pending policies that if passed or amended can greatly improve the working environment for investors. The minister therefore needs to engage in a lobby process that will enable the passage and amendment of these and many more policies.

This will be very critical for the kind of progress needed in the housing sector and macro-economic policy that supports liberalisation play an important role in attracting foreign capital inflows.

Why Fashola’s Second Term As Minister Should Focus on Low Cost Housing

Why has the multiple housing initiatives implemented by Nigeria over the years failed to be of any significant impact to the country’s humongous housing needs? A lot of people blame it on corruption, others blame it on bad policies, and they are both right. As a matter of fact, the two influences each other.

A housing policy that is not well thought out and measured to satisfy the needs of the majority who needs those houses wouldn’t achieve much. A lot of experts in the housing policy sector believe that most housing projects in Nigeria over decades have only served the need of the minority rich, in disregard of the majority poor. That is where the problem lies.

Majority of Nigeria’s 200 million people live in urban slums and unfit houses, while the rich occupy overpriced estates in a few cities. While the equation presents a recipe for social disaster, the political elite do not feel the urgent need to turn things around for the better.

It has become increasingly important for the government, both at the federal and state levels to strengthen housing and urban development policies to accommodate households’ social demographic characteristics.

A lot of stakeholders have expressed concerns over the present approach and policy, which allowed unfettered market forces in determining housing consumption. Some have also warned that the policy would not achieve the desired results of access to decent, safe and affordable housing for all Nigerians.

The call is for the introduction of more social housing schemes like Family Homes Funds to take care of the needy that cannot take care of their housing needs on their own. The social housing scheme must be vigorously pursued for the sake of the vulnerable that are majority in the country.

The first tenure of Babatunde Raji Fashola saw him undertake a pilot National Housing Programme which led to a nationwide housing construction in various states of the federation. According to the minister, while giving account of his service mentioned that construction works at these project sites are an ecosystem of human enterprise where artisans, vendors, suppliers and craftsmen are direct beneficiaries as well as contributors to nation building.

It is therefore important that unlike previous housing programmes in Nigeria, this one should not be abandoned, but reinvigorated and adapted to prevailing challenges in a way that more results can be achieved and more houses built for the poor who needs them the most. According to Housing Development Advocacy Network, the projects that are ongoing should be completed and new ones initiated, and must be affordable for those that genuinely need the houses.

President Buhari has frequently spoken about his passion for the poor, and many believe that the greatest way to show this, especially under the Next Level government is to address one of the most important, yet near impossible needs of the poor masses – housing.

There is high expectation for the government and the minister of works and housing to implement policies and projects that will enable the construction of mass affordable housing for the poorest majority in the country. Only this can trigger the most revolutionary growth needed in the country’s economic sector, which will in turn attract local and foreign investments.

Nigerian government reaffirms commitment to housing delivery


The Nigerian Government has reiterated its commitment to provide affordable housing especially among public servants in the country.The Executive Secretary, Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board, Dr Hannatu Fika stated this when she led a delegation of the board members on a courtesy visit to the Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN, Mr Ahmed Kangiwa, in Abuja.

Dr Fika said that the visit was to allow the Loans Board and FMBN to talk and find ways of ensuring that more public servants owned decent houses.

“Each time you listen to Mr President talk about social welfare issues, housing is always mentioned. So, how do the two of us, FMBN and FGSHLB come together to support the programmes of the present government especially at this next level?,” she asked.

She noted that the partnership between the two bodies had been a success story especially the 2.6 billion naira approved and released to 3,034 public servants in loan, for renovation of houses.

“In 2015, you know, we started off and since then happily for the civil servants, you know they are the recipients, around 3,034 public servants as of today, have had 1million naira and slightly below, approved for them which the aggregate comes up to about 2.6 billion naira. It’s a very heart warming thing and we thought having been successful in this partnership, we thought it was ideal for us to come back to the Federal Mortgage Bank where we started. Thank you very much for making this available to the public servants,” Dr Fika added.

The Executive Secretary however said despite the achievements recorded, there is more to be done in the provision of housing for public Servants.

“I am aware that you have this project of Rent-to-own product which you have started practicalising, however, you know more civil servants will own homes if we are able to partner, because we have been brainstorming in it and we found out that when you give a house to a civil servant and then you are expecting them to pay in something, in form of rent so that they can be reducing the balance that is outstanding against them, there will be some challenges, so we thought why don’t we continue with our partnership because we are already successful partners we can also come up with this” she said.

The Managing Director, FMBN, Mr Kangiwa said that the visit was timely owing to the increasing demand by public servants to own houses adding that it was part of the strategic focus of the bank to strengthen the partnership with stakeholders in order to promote the mutual understanding for the achievements and purpose for which the bank was established.

“The FGSHLB is a critical stakeholder in the National Housing Fund because it partners with the bank through intermediation between the bank and Federal civil servants, especially for the home renovation loans that was well conceived,” he explained.

He encouraged more civil servants to key into the National Housing Fund to own a house through mortgage.

“The FGSHLB being the housing outfit for the civil servants is of interest to the FMBN and we will continue to support you to get loans for the civil servants”.

“Any federal civil servant that belongs to a cooperative can approach the bank through a selected developer to get their construction loan,” the Managing Director assured.

Mr Kangiwa also said the bank has introduced the Rent-to-own product with houses in over 20 States of the Federation and is available and accessible to all State and Federal civil servants.

“Its one of the housing projects we have off loaded under the Federal Integrated Staff Housing Programme, FISH.” he added.

by HousingNews

Dubai launches new initiative to open up property investment market

Real Estate Investment Opportunities initiative aims to attract ‘a larger segment of investors, both inside and outside the UAE’

Dubai Land Department (DLD) on Tuesday announced the launch of a new initiative which aims to attract a wider range of real estate investors to the emirate.

Under the Real Estate Investment Opportunities (REIOs) initiative, several investment products will be launched including collective real estate investment funds, partial title deeds procedures to register units owned by a number of partners, a lease-to-own system and investment portfolio applications.

A law is currently being drafted for real estate investment portfolios that is still under accreditation and review by the concerned parties, DLD said in a statement.

The launch comes as Dubai witnessed an 8 percent increase in real estate transactions during the first quarter of 2019 to AED119 billion compared to the year-earlier period.

DLD added that the number of active investors reached 2,800 during the quarter with a “large number of new investors” entering the Dubai real estate market for the first time.

Sultan Butti bin Mejren, director general of DLD, said: “We are proud to launch a new investment package that enhances the attractiveness of Dubai’s real estate environment, reaching a wider horizon of global leadership through which we will formulate new visions, especially with Expo 2020 around the corner.

“Unveiling REIOs reflects the positive impact of innovative ideas in the real estate sector.”

A special office has been approved at DLD to facilitate and unify all registration and follow-up procedures for this initiative, he added in a statement.

DLD said it will also approve a set of special privileges relating to real estate registration and its terms, and a special electronic contact website will be established.

Marwan bin Ghalita, CEO of Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), said: “This initiative will help us emerge from the traditional patterns of property buying, selling, and registration. These processes require us to embrace technology and change, both of which paved the path to launching real estate products with the participation of developers to attract new investors.

“Previously, the real estate market targeted a certain class of investors – the wealthy. Today, however, through these four products, we seek to cover a larger segment of investors, both inside and outside the UAE, and allow them to own properties in Dubai and benefit from high returns on investments.”

Source: arabianbusiness

NMRC Bags Market Information Data Award at Nigeria Housing Awards

The Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) has bagged a Housing Market Information Data Registration Award at the just concluded Nigeria Housing Awards (NHA) 2019 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

The prestigious award was in recognition of NMRC’s innovative market innovation with respect to housing market information and data.

While receiving the award on behalf of the Managing Director, NMRC’s Head of ICT and Business Process Operations, Mr Taofeeq Olatinwo noted that the accomplishment was an industry wide testament to NMRC’s contributions to Excellence in Housing Finance & Construction.

NMRC has been in the forefront of driving housing market intelligence as a key area of activity and focus, within which it has developed a Mortgage Market Information Portal (MMIP). The NMRC MMIP portal is a decision-making tool that supports the growth of affordable housing and housing finance markets in Nigeria. The NMRC MMIP, is currently the repository for the National Real Estate Data Collation Programme making it a primal point of call for industry stakeholders seeking relevant and timely data on Nigeria’s housing sector.

As part of the Company’s attainment in Housing Data, NMRC had earlier in 2016 partnered with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to execute a first of its kind Housing Market survey across six geopolitical zones and involved data gathering, policy evaluation and impact assessment for decision making and investment in the mortgage and housing industry.

NMRC is a CBN-licensed mortgage liquidity facility with the core mandate of developing the primary and secondary mortgage markets. NMRC raises long-term funds from the capital market for mortgage refinancing and by extension promotes affordable housing development and home ownership in Nigeria. NMRC was incorporated on 24th June 2013 and obtained its final license to operate as a non-deposit taking financial institution from the CBN on 18th February 2015.

The Nigeria Housing Awards marked the end of the 13th Abuja International Housing Show which hosted over 30 international speakers from at least 15 countries. The award which held on the 26th July 2019 celebrated a number of excellent performers in the industry in the year under review.

Private renters living in hazardous homes thanks to ‘weak regulations’, says Citizens Advice

Hundreds of thousands of tenants in England are living in hazardous homes with problems such mould or faulty fire alarms due to “weak and confusing” regulation, according to Citizens Advice.

The charity found that almost one in three tenants surveyed said their house did not have a carbon monoxide alarm despite requiring one. That equates to 900,000 homes across the UK.

Three-fifths of tenants identified disrepair in their home during the last two years that was not caused by them and that their landlord was responsible for fixing. One in six of those said the disrepair was a major threat to their health and safety.

Citizens Advice also polled landlords, finding widespread gaps in knowledge of their legal responsibilities to tenants.

A quarter of landlords failed to ensure that there was a smoke alarm on each floor of all of their properties.

Almost half (49 per cent) did not know they face a penalty of up to £5,000 for not checking smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in working order on the first day of the tenancy. The same proportion didn’t know the penalty for not carrying out a gas safety check.

“Too many private renters live in hazardous homes – often with potentially fatal flaws,” said Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice.

“Weak and confusing regulation means landlords can struggle to understand their legal obligations, while tenants find it hard to get problems in their homes resolved.

It suggests creating a home “MOT”, setting a “fit-and-proper-person” test for landlords and standardising rental contracts.

The government has made reforms in the private rented sector in recent years, such as laws to ensure all rented homes are fit to be lived in, banning most tenant fees, and proposed the abolition of “no-fault” section 21 evictions.

But Citizens Advice claims that renters still lack the power they need to ensure standards are consistent, and landlords and tenants lack the knowledge they need for standards to be upheld.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “It is truly alarming that so many private renters are living in homes which aren’t up to scratch and compromise their safety. A safe home is a basic standard that every renter has the right to expect.

“It’s critical that every landlord is aware of their responsibilities and stays in step with the new Fitness for Human Habitation Act, which sets out standards to keep renters safe.

“But if landlords don’t follow these rules, renters should be armed with the power to challenge their poor behaviour.

“That’s why the government’s planned ban on no-fault evictions must become law as quickly as possible, so that private renters can speak up about safety concerns without living in fear of a revenge eviction.”

Indian property Group Shapoorji Pallonji Targets Middle-Class Kenyan Housing Market

Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate (SPRE), the property arm of one of India’s largest conglomerates, this week launched “Mi Vida Homes”, a $117m housing joint venture with growth-markets investor Actis that will target the middle income housing market in Kenya.

The pair have already delivered thousands of such homes in India.

In Kenya their first project will a 624-unit scheme at Actis’ Garden City mixed use development in Nairobi, consisting of one-, two- and three bedroom apartments.

Construction of the first phase comprising 208 units will start in the third quarter of this year.

“Over the last 15 years we have established that there is a notable lack of institutional quality homebuilders with the expertise, capital and consumer trust to truly address the opportunity at scale,” said Actis director Koome Gikunda. “We are therefore confident that this venture is designed to bridge this gap and offer a great investment opportunity for local home buyers within the middle income market.”

SPRE chief executive, Venkatesh Gopalkrishnan, said: “There is a huge demand for middle-income homes and as partners we are committed to bridging the gap in this market and to exceed customers’ expectations.”

Chris Coulson, managing director of Garden City, has been appointed chief executive of Mi Vida Homes.

“This is a great time to launch and bring the much needed buyer confidence into the local residential market,” Coulson said at the 3 July launch in Nairobi.

Designed to promote healthy lifestyles, Mi Vida, which means “my life” in Spanish, will have health and sports facilities.

Actis is the largest real estate private equity investor-developer in sub-Saharan Africa.

Source: globalconstructionreview

Halfway Into 2019, How Is The Housing Market Holding Up?

Hard to believe we’re already halfway through 2019.

Headed into the year, all eyes were on the housing market as it showed signs of softening for the first time in recent memory. A sharp rise in inventory, talk of more rate hikes and shrinking home price gains in the fourth quarter of 2018 created a cloud of uncertainty.

Six months in, it’s safe to say that the sky isn’t falling. But you might think of the real estate market right now as behaving like a C student that isn’t living up to its full potential.

“The housing market is doing fine,” said Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors. “But it certainly can do better given what’s happening with job creation and the historically low mortgage rate that is currently in place.”

To make sense of this transitional period, it’s time for a midyear market pulse check. Here’s how leading industry economists are piecing together the first stretch of 2019 and what they say is in store for the future of housing.

Affordability challenges yank back price growth 

“For the first time in a long time, we’re starting to see prices correct,” said Skylar Olsen, Director of Economic Research at Zillow. “And the big thrust that’s changing that narrative is the affordability challenge.”

She explains that when home values outpace incomes so aggressively, the two “have to snap back together eventually,” which is in effect what’s happened.

In April, the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index dropped for the 13th month in a row. To be clear, home values are still going up nationally; they’re just rising at a more moderate rate. Annual gains for April clocked in at 3.5%, down from 3.7% in March.

But in some markets the shift has been far more dramatic.

Take Seattle. For two years price growth accelerated faster there than anywhere else in the country. Then between April 2018 and April 2019, the year-over-year price change shrunk from 13.8% growth to a 0.0% flatline. Over the same time frame, San Francisco fell from 10.9% to 1.8% annual gains.

Notice a trend? The markets with the fastest growth fell the hardest. Some exceptions bucking the norm have been Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tampa, their resilience due to how hard they were hit by the 2008 housing crisis.

“I would say the price appreciation of 3% is a healthy development,” added Yun.

Mortgage rates drop, but buyers aren’t jumping the gun

After four benchmark rate hikes in 2018, the Federal Reserve signaled it planned on two more increases this year. That gave analysts every reason to believe mortgages were well on their way 5.5%.

But in March the Fed moved away from that intent and showed signs of even lowering the interest rate (whether that will happen is still TBD). As expectations changed, mortgage rates dropped from 5.09% to 4.09% between November 2018 and June 2019.

However, low interest rates aren’t like an immediate caffeine jolt for the housing market. “It doesn’t impact the down payment,” said Olsen. “And that’s the real struggle, right? Just because mortgage rates dropped doesn’t mean I can suddenly reenter the housing market.”

Demand is also tied to homebuyer sentiment, which isn’t necessarily strong right now. In June, consumer confidence dropped 9.8 points to the lowest level since September 2017 as a result of tensions surrounding the trade wars, according to the Conference Board.

“Consumers are picking up on that lack of certainty about the economic outlook,” said Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com. “And that’s not necessarily going to inspire them to make large purchases like a house.”

Inventory challenges persist on the low-end price points 

Overall inventory has started to creep up a bit this year, though it’s deceiving to try and judge the state of affairs without seeing how the market is truly split in half.

“There is plentiful inventory on the upper end market, so the housing shortage is really on the mid-priced and low ends,” said Yun. “Because the property tax deduction has been limited, there is less desire or greater financial burden from owning than before, so the upper-end market appears to be generally softer.”

In addition experts say builders have faced a number of obstacles to ramping up new construction, including high land prices, labor barriers, material costs, and the onerous process to obtain permits.

All this puts pressure on profit margins so when builders do construct a new house, it tends to be more on the luxury end.

Finally, as people move less often and more boomers decide to age in place rather than downsize, “that’s just kind of holding up a lot of the inventory that otherwise would be lubricating the whole system,” Olsen added.

So together these dynamics have created a tale of two markets.

“If you’re selling an entry level home, you’re probably still looking at a pretty competitive market in most places,” said Hale. “But if you’re selling a more expensive home you probably have to adjust your expectations.”

Cost of living and taxes sway local market conditions 

Nationally, housing conditions could be described as a seller’s market that’s gradually moving more in favor of buyers.

Drill down to the regional or local level though, and it varies. For one, some metro areas outside of major cities have stayed warmer as they catch the spillover of priced-out buyers (see: Tacoma). Strong job creation and reasonable cost of living has kept Midwest markets like Louisville and Indianapolis thriving, along with markets that resemble the Midwest in affordability. Rochester, New York is a prime example.

But there’s always exceptions. Go to Chicagoland, and you’ll hear agents tell a very different story.

“It’s definitely a buyer’s market here,” said Kim Alden, a Realtor with Baird & Warner in the Chicago suburb of Barrington, Illinois. “Inventory is a lot higher. Buyers are negotiating harder than ever because there’s a lot of people who want to sell their house and they’re using that to get the lowest price that they can.”

Alden says that 65%-75% of her listings come from people who want to leave the state of Illinois altogether to escape new and existing state tax laws.

With supply high, she’s seeing sellers experience disappointment that they can’t get as much money for their house as they expected, with one exception: updated, smaller homes are “flying off the shelves.”

“I listed a little three-bedroom, bath and a half for $178,000, and in the first weekend we had 33 showings,” Alden recalled.

Apparently anywhere, an affordable turn-key home remains a hot commodity.

But high-end sellers will need to bust out the paint and spruce up their curb appeal to attract buyers.

What about the rest of the year? 

Real estate experts remain optimistic about housing’s prospects for the latter half of 2019. Olsen expresses that even if GDP growth weakens and wages slow, it’s likely that the market is primed for some kind of a rebound.

The biggest reason for this is that as huge waves of millennials continue to reach peak home-buying age, that will put pressure on demand not only this year but in the years to come. And it’s hard to argue with long-term demographics. If a recession does hit at some point as part of the economic cycle, housing would therefore be impacted though perhaps not devastated.

Ultimately after a long post-recession hot streak, housing was due to break fever. The hope is that the market will heat up a little slower next time and create some normalcy. For now, consider it a short-term correction, and hope that more homes will come on the market that people can actually afford.

“The perfect scenario going forward,” Yun said, “even off into the next couple of years, is if there can be a robust increase in new home construction, the housing market will be more of a bright spot for the broader economy.”

The 10 Best Places to Retire in Canada

Retiring in Canada

Canadian seniors are generally more satisfied with their lives than those in younger age groups. Older Canadians are especially appreciative of their safety, the quality of their local environment and their personal relationships, but are generally less satisfied with their health, according to a Statistics Canada report. However, life satisfaction among Canadians also varies by metro area and ranges from 7.8 out of 10 in Vancouver, Toronto and Windsor, to 8.2 in St. John’s, Trois-Rivières and Saguenay, according to a Statistics Canada analysis of Canadian Community Health Survey and General Social Survey data about average life satisfaction from 2009 to 2013. Here’s where Canadians are the most likely to be satisfied with their current lifestyle.

Chicoutimi City and the Saguenay River

Saguenay, Quebec

Saguenay is best known for its dramatic fjord leading into the St. Lawrence River, which can be enjoyed at Saguenay Fjord National Park. Residents of Saguenay rate their life satisfaction as an average of 8.2 out of 10, Statistics Canada found. Some 77.8% of Saguenay residents report their life satisfaction as 8 or higher, more than any other metro area in Canada. Only 8.6% of the survey respondents in Saguenay say their life satisfaction is 6 or lower.

Trois-Rivières is a city in the Mauricie administrative region of Quebec, Canada, located at the confluence of the Saint-Maurice and Saint Lawrence Rivers. Trois-Rivieres has a population of 119,693 making it the 9th biggest city in Quebec

Trois-Rivières, Quebec

Located at the junction of the Saint Maurice and Saint Lawrence rivers, the city’s name means “three rivers” in English, due to the three streams of water where the rivers meet. It was founded in 1634 and settled by French colonists. Foreign language skills will be helpful in this French-speaking city. While many of the French structures were destroyed in a fire, you can still stroll among a few of the original buildings, including the Musée des Ursulines and the Manoir Boucher de Niverville. The average life satisfaction in Trois-Rivières is 8.2 out of 10, according to Statistics Canada. Just over three quarters (76%) of residents rate their quality of life as an 8 or higher, but 9.8% of people say it is 6 or lower.

St John's Harbour in Newfoundland Canada.   Panoramic view, Warm summer day in August.

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

North America’s easternmost city is also one of the continent’s oldest European settlements. The city has colorful houses that line the sides of steep hills, and you can hike up Signal Hill to Cabot Tower for dramatic views of Atlantic Ocean waves crashing against the cliffs. People who live in St. John’s rate their life satisfaction as an average of 8.2 out of 10, with 74.3% of residents giving a score of 8 or higher. There are 12% of residents who rate their life satisfaction as 6 or less.

Float plane taking off Ramsey Lake Sudbury Ontario
 Greater Sudbury, Ontario

Sudbury has 330 lakes within the city limits, the most of any city in Canada. A popular science museum, Science North, includes two snowflake-shaped buildings connected by a tunnel that contains evidence of an ancient meteorite impact and passes through a geological fault. The science center sits atop glacially carved bedrock and overlooks Ramsey Lake. Greater Sudbury residents have an average life satisfaction score of 8.2 out of 10, and 72.7% of residents list a score of at least 8. Only 11.3% of residents rate their life satisfaction as 6 or lower.

Old Quebec City view Canada

Quebec City

This atmospheric city on the Saint Lawrence River is among the oldest in North America. Quebec has quaint cobblestone lanes reminiscent of a city in Europe, as well as the Canadian pleasures of poutine and maple syrup. The locals speak French, although many are bilingual. The average life satisfaction score in Québec is 8.1 out of 10, Statistics Canada found. Three quarters of residents report life satisfaction of 8 or higher, compared to just 9.3% giving a rating of 6 or lower.

Photo of Saint John, New Brunswick, from a park near the Reversing Falls Bridge. An empty wooden bench is in Foreground.

Saint John, New Brunswick

Located on the Bay of Fundy, Saint John is a major port city. There’s a scenic drive along the Bay of Fundy between Saint John and the U.S. state of Maine, and it’s about a 3-hour drive to Bangor. Retirees with an interest in geology can work or volunteer at the Stonehammer UNESCO Global Geopark. Some 72.9% of Saint John residents rate their life satisfaction as an 8 or higher, versus 13.2% who list their satisfaction as 6 or less. The average life satisfaction rating is 8.1 out of 10.

Photo Taken In Canada, Sherbrooke

Sherbrooke, Quebec

Sherbrooke has trails for downhill skiing, cross country skiing and snow tubing right in the center of town at Mont-Bellevue Park. Locals get to enjoy the fresh maple syrup the region produces. The city is also known for its fresco murals that decorate the downtown buildings. The average life satisfaction score is 8.1 out of 10. Three quarters of residents rate their life satisfaction as 8 or higher, compared to 11.8% who say it’s 6 or lower.

 Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Thunder Bay, Ontario

Hockey fans can cheer on the Lakehead Thunderwolves and the Thunder Bay North Stars, or play a game at one of the city’s many outdoor rinks. Located on the southeastern shore of Lake Superior, Thunder Bay is also an ideal retirement spot for those interested in boating, fishing and swimming during the summer months. The scenic sites surrounding the city include Mount McKay, the Sleeping Giant and Kakabeka Falls. Most Thunder Bay residents (72.5%) rate their life satisfaction as 8 or higher, with 14.1% giving a score of 6 or lower. The average life satisfaction score is 8.1 out of 10.

Moncton Downtown

Moncton, New Brunswick

Moncton is known for its scenic beauty and unique natural features. The city is within an hour’s drive of two national parks, Fundy National Park and Kouchibouguac National Park, the Hopewell Rocks and the Joggins Fossil Cliffs. The average life satisfaction rating among residents is 8 out of 10. Some 69.9% of people in the metro area rate their life satisfaction as 8 or higher, while 14.1% say it is 6 or lower.

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

The South Saskatchewan River cuts Saskatoon in half, but several bridges unite the city. This college town is home to the University of Saskatchewan. The city is named after an edible berry, often enjoyed locally in pies and jams. The new Remai Modern museum provides a unique space where retirees can enjoy and create art, including an extensive collection of linocuts by Pablo Picasso. The majority of residents (72.1%) rate their life satisfaction as 8 or higher, but 12.7% report a satisfaction score of 6 or lower.

Sunrise in Quebec city, Canada. Chateau Frontenac.

The 10 Best Places to Retire in Canada

  • Saguenay, Quebec
  • Trois-Rivières, Quebec
  • St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Greater Sudbury, Ontario
  • Quebec City
  • Saint John, New Brunswick
  • Sherbrooke, Quebec
  • Thunder Bay, Ontario
  • Moncton, New Brunswick
  • Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
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