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

Post Category: News and Press Releases
August 20, 2020
New CMA data is now available!

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.

Post Category: News and Press Releases
August 20, 2020
Mixed signals in the pandemic housing-market

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.

August 2020

Post Category: News and Press Releases
July 20, 2020
Confirmation of housing-market slowdown due to COVID-19

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.

July 2020

Post Category: News and Press Releases
June 17, 2020
First signs of housing-market slowdown

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.

June 2020

Post Category: News and Press Releases
May 20, 2020
A swan song before Covid-19 infects HPI?

Based on home sales reported in land registries, resale prices rose at the fastest rate for a month of April since 2010. Moreover, if we consider the 11 metropolitan areas included in the Composite index and 14 other metropolitan areas for which a HPI is available, the index increased in 22 of these 25 regions, the highest diffusion of monthly gains in nine months. Of course, given that the Canadian economy entered into a recession following sanitary measures taken in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is not likely that this momentum will persist. The Canadian unemployment rate went from 5.6% in February to 13% in April, 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 fueled by homeowners unable to meet mortgage payments and for that reason will look to sell their home. In other words, a lasting high unemployment rate could mean downward pressure on house prices.

May 2020

Post Category: News and Press Releases
April 20, 2020
Covid-19 likely to infect national HPI

At the national level, resale home prices were still gaining momentum in March. But this is based on home sales reported in land registries. Home sales reported by real estate boards are timelier, being recorded soon after the sale becomes unconditional. The most important real estate boards all mentioned a clear break of activity during the second half of March due to measures to contain propagation of COVID-19. This was confirmed when CREA reported a monthly drop in home sales from February to March in 25 of the 26 major Canadian markets, with sharp declines in most of the markets covered by the Teranet-National Bank HPI. This cooling of activity should soon be reflected on the house price indexes. We expect the loss of momentum to be more prevalent in the metropolitan markets located in Central and Eastern Canada (Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa-Gatineau, Montreal and Halifax) which so far have pulled the national HPI up.

April 2020

Post Category: News and Press Releases
March 18, 2020
Home resale market was gaining momentum prior to Covid-19

At the national level, resale home prices were gaining momentum in February. The 0.4% monthly gain in the Composite index was double the average of the previous ten years for a month of February. In particular, after 12 consecutive monthly declines, Vancouver HPI rose in each of the last five months, reflecting the fact that Vancouver resale market recently returned to balance. Sure, we still saw weakness in other regions, such as the Prairie Provinces (Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan) where markets were still favorable to buyers. But CREA just reported a rather generalized increase in home sales in February, including for Calgary and Edmonton. Unfortunately, then came the outbreak of Covid-19 and its impact on oil prices and disruptions in the supply chain. The unprecedented sanitary measures imposed by the authorities to tackle the pandemic will severely impact business activity and jobs over the coming months. In that situation, the home resale market should be heavily curtailed for the coming months.

March 2020

Post Category: News and Press Releases
February 20, 2020
National index pulled up by Central and Eastern markets

Canada’s resale home prices continued to rise in January. The HPI of five of the six markets located in Central Canada or in the East (Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa-Gatineau and Halifax) performed well over the last year, the exception being Quebec City. At the opposite, the five righthand charts show negative (Vancouver, Calgary Edmonton) or barely positive (Winnipeg, Victoria) y/y HPI growth. The sub-index for Central and Eastern Canada grew 5.2% over the last 12 months, against a 2.5% fall for the Western sub-index. This is consistent with the various conditions prevailing on the regional markets in Canada. Based on the active-listings-to-sales ratio published by CREA, home resale markets in the Prairie Provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta) are buyers’ markets, while markets in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes Provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island) are sellers’ markets. Recently, the Vancouver market went from favorable to buyers to balanced. The behaviour of Vancouver Teranet-National Bank HPI, which rose over the last four months, is consistent with this improvement in market conditions.

February 2020

Post Category: News and Press Releases
January 20, 2020
Home prices trending up except in the Prairies

The last two monthly gains in the national HPI might seem moderate, but they are in fact larger than usual for this time of the year when resale activity is typically low. For instance, the 0.2% increase in December compares to an average of 0.1% for this month over the last 11 years. Indeed, after seasonal adjustment, the national HPI ended the year with a 5-month string of gains, including a strong 0.7% rise in December. This is quite a turnaround from the weakness experienced in the first half of 2019. Indexes for Toronto, Hamilton and more recently Vancouver, Victoria and Quebec City contributed to this trend reversal, while indexes for Ottawa-Gatineau, Montreal and Halifax performed well throughout the year. Only the indexes of the largest metropolitan areas in the Prairies, namely Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg remained lethargic over the second half of the year. This is consistent with end-of-year CREA
data showing that the home resale market in the Prairie Provinces is still favorable to buyers. At the opposite, markets are favorable to sellers in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime Provinces, and balanced in B.C. For 2020, expect home prices to accelerate in all these regions except the Prairies.

January 2020

For further information about upcoming reports, please contact:

Kan Zhu
Leader, Data & Advisory Solutions
Teranet Inc.
Phone: 416-360-8863 x 2270
Email:
Michael Pertsis
Director, Mortgage Derivatives
National Bank Financial
Phone: 416.869.7124
Email: