Post Category: News and Press Releases
September 18, 2020
Home prices rise as the housing market catches up to pent-up demand

The Composite index of resale home prices continued to rise in August. Indeed, 10 of the 11 markets were showing an increase in the month with the exception being a flat print in Calgary. The increases in August were consistent with conditions present in the home resale market. Looking at the active-listings-to-sales ratio as published by CREA, half of the provinces were solidly a “sellers’ market” with B.C. and Manitoba very close to showing that same status. This was the result of a new record level of home sales at the national level. The underlying data for the Composite House Price Index was consistent with the sharp rebound in activity. Indeed, the Teranet-National Bank HPI uses a sales-pair methodology to track home prices and the latter were down a mere 1.3% from a year earlier, in sharp contrast after three months of 12-month declines exceeding 20%. It must be said that there was a lot of catching up to be done given the pent-up demand from months of confinement. What’s more, mortgage interest rates have reached a record low and are an additional incentive for those looking for a property. When we seasonally adjust the unsmoothed composite index, August would be up a significant 1.7% from July, the highest monthly change in the last 40 months. Nonetheless, the housing market is facing several challenges in the months ahead. The tapering of income assistance programs in a still-depressed labour market combined with weaker immigration flows should translate into headwinds for housing demand.

September 2020

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