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.
In August the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM was up 0.6% from the previous month, a gain just short of the 22-year average of 0.7% for the month of August. If the typical seasonal variations are taken out (seasonal adjustment), the resulting index for August is by our estimate up 0.4%, following consecutive […]
Housing affordability in Canada`s large urban centres improved in the second quarter of 2020 after having deteriorated in the two prior quarters. Higher incomes helped in Q2 but the largest portion of the improvement came in the form of lower interest rates. Indeed, the latter declined 19 basis points in the quarter, reflecting the easing from the central bank. Combined, income and mortgage rates were more than enough to offset the increase in home prices. Still, the decline in interest rates on a quarterly average basis does not completely reflect the change in 5-year mortgage rates since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The February to June decline in mortgage interest rates was a much more significant 41 basis points. Looking ahead, the preliminary data for rates shows additional improvements in the third quarter of the year (cumulatively they are down over 70 bps). While we expect this to help affordability, home prices should remain resilient based on the latest resale market data showing record sales volumes. Homebuyers have rushed back to the market after having delayed purchases and are now being offered record-low interest rates. Once pent-up demand is exhausted, the Canadian housing market will still have to face high levels of unemployment and reduced household formation due to lower immigration.
As the Canadian real estate market continues to evolve and expand, we aim to provide you with data that gives you a better picture of the national market. In order to do so, we are pleased to announce as of this month’s release, we have expanded our data set for the 26 CMAs to now include data from 6 additional CMAs: Lethbridge (AB), Bellville (ON), Trois-Rivières (QC), Sherbrooke (QC), Saint John (NB) and Moncton (NB). Make sure to check out this new and improved data offering and compare the monthly changes between any six of the new and current CMAs.
The July rise of the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM confirms the slowing of the housing market in the wake of the pandemic. The 0.3% increase from June was the smallest July rise in 15 years. If typical seasonal variations are taken out (seasonal adjustment), the index would show two consecutive monthly declines, […]
The progression in the Composite index last month was the lowest for a month of July in 15 years. This marks a second month of signs that the economic lockdown had an impact on slowing activity in the housing market. It should be noted that the official Teranet-National Bank House Price Index is smoothed using a 3-month moving average and employs land registry data. This means that it currently reflects home price evolution while the sector was still on slow motion. The seasonally adjusted raw index for July is rather showing a 0.9% rebound following two consecutive declines, a development consistent with the strong rebound in home sales happening since April. Does this mean that the housing market will be spared from difficulties in this recession? Not so fast. Pent-up demand accumulated during confinement boosted June and July sales numbers. A look at the 5-month moving average shows that activity on the resale market was rather weak since March. In that sense, we still think that the housing market is facing some challenges. Indeed, households have not yet suffered the consequences of the current economic difficulties. Consumers have benefited from deferred debt payments, and the income assistance programs established by the various levels of government have more than offset labour market losses. The end of those programs and a still healing labour market could mean some headwinds for the housing market at some point.
In June the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM was up 0.7% from the month before, a rise half the average for June over the previous 10 years and the lowest June advance in 17 years. And if the index were corrected for seasonal pressures (seasonal adjustment), it would show a slight decline of […]
Last month’s advance in the Composite index was the lowest for a month of June since 2004. This adds to other signs already witnessed in May of a slowing of activity on the housing market due to COVID-19. For instance, the number of sales pairs from which June indexes were derived was the lowest for a month of June since 2001. As in May, a low level of sales pairs was recorded in all the 11 metropolitan areas comprised in the Composite index. Also, June marks the second monthly decline in a row of the seasonally adjusted raw Composite index. The raw index declined in June in six of the 11 metropolitan areas. True, According to CREA, overall Canadian home sales returned to a more normal level, and this should be soon reflected in land registries. But question marks still lie ahead. We expect the Canadian unemployment rate to remain elevated for a while. In this context, demand for housing may decrease due to a reduction in immigration and would-be first-time homebuyers not being able to qualify for a mortgage loan. That said, the homeownership rate is low among workers in sectors hardest hit by COVID-19.
In May the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM was up 1.1% from the previous month, a rise equal to the average for May over the last 10 years. Leading that countrywide average were the metropolitan markets of Ottawa-Gatineau (2.2%), Toronto (2.1%), Halifax (1.8%) and Hamilton (1.6%). Advances lagging the countrywide average were reported […]
There are two signs that data from land registries reflect the slowdown in home sales activity that started in the second half of March. The first is the 22% y/y decline in the number of sales pairs from which May indexes were derived. This was the largest y/y decline since April 2013 and a clear break in the upward trend that was taking place earlier. There were declines in sales pairs in all the 11 metropolitan areas. The second sign is the slowdown in the seasonally adjusted raw Composite index, which rose only 0.2% in May after three months of gains topping 0.8%. The raw index declined or was unchanged in five of the eleven constituent metropolitan areas. In our view, declines in home prices lie ahead. The Canadian unemployment rate went from 5.6% in February to 13.7% in May, and is expected to remain elevated at least up to the end of next year. In this context, demand for housing may decrease due to a reduction in immigration and would-be first-time homebuyers not being able to qualify for a mortgage loan. At the opposite, supply may be fuelled by homeowners unable to meet mortgage payments and for that reason will look to sell their home.