Post Category: News and Economic Reports
May 12, 2016
Economic News – Canada: House prices up 1.2% in April

OPINION: For those living in Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto and Hamilton, the housing boom continues. Quite a contrast with the seven other metropolitan areas covered by the Index, where prices have on average declined on a y/y basis over the last ten months (top chart). Within the group of four hot housing markets, Vancouver is in a league of its own, with a y/y price gain of almost 20%. It must be said that the resale market in that metropolitan area is very tight judging from active listings and sales published by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (middle chart). While some will keep blaming foreign capital for the housing boom in Vancouver and Toronto, it’s worth noting those cities are also blessed with the strongest labour markets in the country and hence are able to accommodate large migration flows (bottom chart – left panel). Especially in Vancouver, existing home sales are at a historically high level while supply is at a trough. Fortunately, real estate promoters and homebuilders are aware of that situation. Consequently, housing starts in Vancouver since the beginning of the year were almost 50% above the highest levels of the previous 15 years (bottom chart – right panel). This reaction in new housing construction should sooner or later help alleviate the price pressure on Vancouver’s housing market.

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