Housing affordability in Canada worsened by 4.9 points in Q1’22, marking a fifth consecutive quarterly deterioration. The first quarter of 2022 was also the worst quarterly deterioration in over 27 years. Over the last 12 months, the worsening in affordability was the nastiest in 40 years. For the first time since 1994, it would make more than 50% of income for a representative household to service the mortgage on a representative home in Canada’s main urban centres.
YEAR-OVER-YEAR The Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM, covering eleven CMAs around the country, recorded an annual gain of 18.3% in May, less than the record 18.8% increase recorded the previous month. Gains were seen in all eleven cities in the composite index in May, with Halifax, Hamilton and Victoria recording the largest year-over-year […]
Despite the monthly increase, annual growth in the composite index fell from its peak of 18.8% in April to 18.3% in May. This deceleration comes as the housing market is experiencing a sharp slowdown due to rising interest rates and deteriorating affordability in recent months. Indeed, there is now a significant gap between the increase in property prices and the borrowing capacity of buyers. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the composite index has grown by 38.7% from February 2020 to May 2022, while borrowing capacity has declined by 5.8%, representing a 44.5% gap. With the continued normalization of monetary policy, we estimate that property prices could decline by 5% to 10% by the end of 2023 to be more in line with the financial reality of households. Even if a decrease in prices is still not observed on the Teranet-National Bank HPI, seasonally adjusted monthly growth was already less vigorous in May, falling from 2.0% in April to 1.6% during the month. Moreover, using the seasonally adjusted, unsmoothed index, which is more sensitive to market fluctuations, prices instead remained relatively stable in May with a small increase of 0.2%.
YEAR-OVER-YEAR The Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM, covering eleven CMAs around the country, reported a 18.8% annual gain in April, breaking the record growth of 18.4% observed the previous month and in August 2021. Halifax, Hamilton, and Victoria reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 11 CMAs in April. Halifax led the way […]
After tying the annual growth record last month, the year-over-year price increase reached a new high of 18.8% in April. This new record is peculiar, as only Halifax, which is included in the Composite 11 index, also experienced record annual growth this month. This new high is therefore the result of robust growth in all regions. In fact, of the 32 markets tracked, 87% experienced year-over-year price growth of 10% or more in April. The Teranet-National Bank HPI also had some of its most robust month-over-month growth in April thanks to the strength in the resale market in previous months. However, these strong price increases should begin to fade. Indeed, the resale market has slowed significantly over the past two months and the monthly growth in the index appears to have reached a ceiling. Since the Teranet-National Bank HPI is compiled from transactions recorded in the land register, there may be a lag of one or two months with the statistics published by the real estate boards, which are recorded at the time of the purchase offer. We should therefore see a stabilization of prices in the coming months.
YEAR-OVER-YEAR The Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM, covering eleven CMAs around the country, reported a 18.4% annual gain in March, matching the record growth seen in August 2021. Halifax, Hamilton, and Victoria reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 11 CMAs in February. Halifax, Hamilton, Victoria and Toronto recorded the largest year-over-year increases […]
Since the beginning of the pandemic two years ago, household preferences for housing have changed dramatically, pushing demand up and the supply of properties for sale to a historic low. As a result, the Teranet-National Bank HPI jumped by 31.2% between March 2020 and March 2022 and by 18.4% in one year, a record! Vertiginous price increases have been recorded in many cities included in the index over the past two years, including a 65.0% increase in Halifax, 55.4% in Hamilton and 39.8% in Ottawa-Gatineau (left chart). Judging by the current market conditions, characterized by limited supply, and continued strong demand, prices should continue to rise during the strong spring period – especially since many buyers can still get the mortgage rates that they were guaranteed before the recent increases. However, the upward trend in prices is expected to fade in the second half of the year. Indeed, in the face of the worst affordability conditions on record and the sharp rise in mortgage interest rates in recent weeks, we expect demand to be less robust and price increases to be much more modest.
YEAR-OVER-YEAR The Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM, covering eleven CMAs around the country, reported a 17.7% annual gain in February, up from the 16.6% the previous month. Halifax, Hamilton, and Victoria reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 11 CMAs in February. Halifax led the way with 32.5% year-over-year price increase, followed by […]
Home prices in 2022 continue to come in strong as the Teranet-National BankTM HPI saw a seasonally adjusted monthly growth of 1.7% between January and February. This monthly increase now marks twenty consecutive months of rising housing prices. The recent momentum in home price growth was robust. Indeed, looking on a 3-month annualized basis, home prices registered at 20.5% in February, a level not seen since last summer. The current surge in valuations is likely stemming from strong demand in the resale market which has been favourable towards sellers for a while. There is also reason to think that borrowers who had locked in a lower rate are exercising that option in anticipation of higher mortgage interest rates. The widespread rise in home prices lends some credence to that thesis with prices rising in all 11 markets for a successive month. While this current wave may weaken as buyers are increasingly under pressure from tighter monetary policy, high immigration quotas (432K) should allow for a soft landing. That figure could also be significantly increased by Ottawa’s decision to allow a potentially “unlimited” number of Ukrainian refugees. All in all, while we do think the housing market could lose some momentum during 2022, the aforementioned factors may keep demand persistent.
Housing affordability in Canada worsened by 2.1 points in Q4’21, marking a fourth consecutive quarterly deterioration. Over the past year, affordability has worsened at the fastest pace in more than 26 years. As a result, it would take 48.6% of income for a representative household to service the mortgage on a representative home in Canada. This level is a bit more than the last cyclical high seen in 2018Q4 and marks the worst affordability since the mid-90’s with Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa and Halifax showing levels not seen since the start of this century. While home price growth had its fair share in contributing to declining affordability in Q4, the larger driver was rising mortgage interest rates. Our 5-year benchmark mortgage rate used by our affordability metrics rose 28bps in the last quarter of the year which was the largest one quarter change since 2017Q3 when the central bank raised the overnight rate twice in the same quarter. With investors now anticipating a more rapid increase in policy rates, our benchmark rate has increased by another 30 bps in the current quarter for a cumulative 100 bps since the 2020Q4 rate trough. All else being equal, such an increase would have translated into a 10.7% decline in purchasing power. However, homebuyers opted for variable rate mortgages in a record high proportion (53%) in the second half of 2021. By selecting this option instead of the typical 5-year fixed mortgage, mortgage holders increased their purchasing power by 10% in the fourth quarter. But this escape route is about to vanish in the coming months with the Bank of Canada policy rate on the rise (we expect a 125 basis points increase in 12-months).