Post Category: News and Economic Reports
August 19, 2021
Price growth remains strong, but slows in July

In July, the Teranet-National Bank HPI was up 2.0% compared to the previous month. While this is still very robust growth, it is now the second consecutive month that the monthly price increase is lower than the previous month. This slowdown coincides with a decrease in activity in the resale market. In fact, home sales have been decreasing for four months in a row now. With this moderation in sales seemingly well underway, price growth may continue to slow in the months ahead. However, the real estate market continues to be strong on a historical basis, so we do not see prices decreasing in the near term, even though the gains over the past year are staggering. Indeed, the composite index continues to break records, recording 17.8% year-over-year growth in July. The recent records are characterized by widespread price increases across the regions covered by the index. Indeed, prices were up 10% or more from the same period last year in 87% of the 32 urban markets surveyed. In addition, price growth was up 30% or more in an unprecedented 48% of markets.

August 2021

Post Category: News and Economic Reports
July 20, 2021
The 12-month rise of home prices in June broke the 2017 record

In June the Teranet-National Bank HPI was up 16.0% from a year earlier, the largest 12-month gain on record. The record is the more impressive for beating the 14.2% rise of June 2017, which preceded the coming into effect of macroprudential measures to restrain home prices. At that time the price rises were concentrated in the markets of Vancouver and the Golden Horseshoe region including Toronto and Hamilton. This month’s new record is based on countrywide rises across the regions covered by the index. Prices were up 10% or more in an unprecedented 90% of the 32 urban markets for which an index exists and 30% or more in an equally unprecedented 42% of these markets. The June monthly gain of 2.7% in the national composite index was its 20th consecutive monthly rise and the second largest since the beginning of the index in 1999. However, it was the first deceleration from the month before (May rise 2.8%) since January. This cooling coincides with a slowing of growth in existing home sales – their number declined in June for a third straight month. The moderation of the pace of sales could mean a slowing of price rises in the coming months. However, since the market remains vigorous by historical standards, we do not anticipate a decline of prices in the near term.

July 2021

Post Category: News and Economic Reports
June 17, 2021
Record rise of home prices in May

The Teranet-National Bank HPI jumped 2.8% in May to an all-time high. It was the 19th straight monthly increase and the largest ever since the index began in 1999. Its recent vigour coincides with historically high numbers of home sales in most regions of Canada, combined with limited supply. Market conditions accordingly remain very much in favour of sellers and price growth. After seasonal adjustment the monthly jump of the unsmoothed HPI was slightly smaller at 2.1%, bringing the unsmoothed index to a spectacular cumulative gain of 17.0% since last June. Home price growth remained rapid in the great majority of Canadian cities: June prices were up 10% or more from a year earlier in an unprecedented 90% of the 32 urban markets surveyed and by 30% or more in 42% of those markets. The 12-month price growth for single-family homes continues to outpace that of the condo segment. The latter continues to lag as buyer preferences shift from small dwellings in city centres to larger homes in the suburbs. This divergence may not last long, as affordability has decreased in the non-condo segment.

June 2021

Post Category: News and Economic Reports
May 19, 2021
Home prices continue their relentless advance in April

The Teranet-National Bank HPI jumped 2.4% in April to a new all-time high. This marks 18 straight monthly increases. Its recent vigour coincides with historically high numbers of home sales in most regions of Canada, coupled with limited supply. As such, market conditions remain very much in favour of sellers and consequently price growth. After seasonal adjustment the monthly jump of the unsmoothed HPI was slightly weaker – 2.0%, bringing the unsmoothed index to a whopping cumulative gain of 14.3% since last June (left chart). The rapid pace of home price growth continues in the great majority of large Canadian cities, with prices up 10% or more from a year earlier in an unprecedented 87% of the 32 urban markets surveyed (right chart). It should be noted that annual price growth for single-family homes continues to outpace the condo segment. The latter continues to lag as the shift of preferences has tilted buyers from small dwellings in city centers to larger homes in the suburbs. This divergence may not last for long as mortgage interest rates have increased, and affordability has deteriorated in the non-condo segment (link).

May 2021

Post Category: News and Economic Reports
April 20, 2021
Big jump in home prices in March

The Teranet-National Bank HPI jumped 1.5% to a new high in March, its 17th straight monthly rise. Its recent vigour coincides with historically high numbers of home sales in most regions of Canada, coupled with limited supply. The monthly jump of the unsmoothed HPI was even bigger – 2.7%, the most of any month since July 2006, taking the unsmoothed index to a cumulative rise of 11.9% since last June. The rapid rise of home prices continues in the great majority of large Canadian cities, with prices up 10% or more from a year earlier in an unprecedented 81% of the 32 urban markets surveyed. However, the magnitude of the price rise varies with category of dwelling. In the main metropolitan markets the rise was much smaller for the condo segment than for single-family homes. Among the reasons for the difference is a shift of preferences away from small dwellings in city centres toward larger homes in suburbs.

April 2021

Post Category: News and Economic Reports
March 17, 2021
Home prices up in February for a 16th straight month

The Teranet-National Bank HPI rose to a new high in February. Its 0.5% gain from January was its 16th consecutive monthly rise. This recent vigour coincides with historically high numbers of home sales in most regions of Canada, coupled with limited supply. As a result, prices were up 10% or more from a year earlier in an unprecedented 77% of the 32 urban markets covered. However, the magnitude of the price rise varies with the category of dwelling. In the largest metropolitan markets, the rise was much smaller for the condo segment than for single-family homes. Among the reasons for this difference is a shift of preferences away from small dwellings in city centres toward larger homes in suburbs. Apart from the pandemic factor, there is reason to believe the condo segment is feeling the effect of low immigration inflows and persistently high unemployment among young workers.

March 2021

Post Category: News and Economic Reports
February 18, 2021
Home prices at a new peak in January

The Teranet-National Bank HPI rose 0.3% in January, reaching an all-time high. The new record coincides with a historically high volume of home sales in most regions of Canada, coupled with limited supply. The seasonally adjusted unsmoothed Composite HPI has surged 7.8% since July. However, the uptrend of home prices does not encompass all categories of dwellings. In Toronto, the rise in sales volume was concentrated in single-family dwellings outside the downtown area, and did not take in condos. In the Greater Montreal market, a very large rise in condo listings on Montreal Island contrasts sharply with the peripheral areas of that market. In the Greater Vancouver and Victoria markets, as in Toronto and Montreal, price increases for single-family homes have significantly outpaced those for condos. Apart from a shift in preference induced by the pandemic, there is reason to believe the condo segment is affected by low immigration inflows and a persistently high unemployment rate among young workers.

February 2021

Post Category: News and Economic Reports
February 04, 2021
Rising home prices posing a challenge for affordability

Housing affordability in Canada improved in the fourth quarter of 2020, marking a third amelioration in a row. That said, the improvement this quarter was much less impressive. Higher incomes and record low interest rates were almost completely offset by a substantial rise in home prices. Indeed, prices for the national composite rose 4.5% in the quarter, the highest quarterly gain in 11 years. While a 29 basis points decline in our 5-year benchmark mortgage rate has helped keep housing affordable this quarter, the nearly 100 basis points decline for rates since the start of the pandemic is surely propulsion for the current appreciation in home prices. Although the confluence of all these factors has resulted in home affordability having never been better since 2015, there is another hurdle for potential homebuyers. The rise in home prices has translated into a higher down payment. At a national level, there has never been a worse time to accumulate the minimum down payment. Assuming a savings rate of 10% of total median household income, it would now take 60 months (5 years) to save for the minimum down payment (approximately 6%) on the representative home. Still, with interest rates unlikely to rise soon, vaccine rollout ushering a return to normal and market conditions in favour of sellers, home prices are on track to keep growing in 2021. As a result, affordability is likely to
deteriorate on both a mortgage payment as a percentage of income and down payment basis going forward.

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Post Category: News and Economic Reports
January 20, 2021
Home prices continued to rise in December

The Teranet-National Bank HPI rose 0.6% to a new high in December. This record coincides with a historically high volume of home sales in most regions of Canada coupled with limited supply. The seasonally adjust unsmoothed Composite HPI has surged 6.8% since July. However, December was the second consecutive month in which index growth was slower than the month before. Moreover, the uptrend of prices did not apply to all categories of dwellings. In Toronto, the rise in sales volume was concentrated in single-family dwellings outside the downtown, not in condos. In the Greater Montreal market, a very large rise in condo listings on Montreal Island contrasted sharply with the peripheral areas of that market. In Greater Vancouver and Victoria, price increases for single-family homes also far outpaced those for condos. Apart from a shift in preference induced by the pandemic, there is reason to think the condo segment is affected by low immigration inflows and a still-high unemployment rate among young workers.

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Post Category: News and Economic Reports
December 22, 2020
Home affordability improved significantly in the third quarter of 2020

Housing affordability in Canada`s large urban centers improved in the third quarter of 2020, a second improvement in a row. Higher incomes helped in Q3, but the largest portion of the improvement came in the form of lower interest rates. Indeed, our 5-year mortgage benchmark rate declined 43 basis points in the quarter, driven by central bank easing and improving financial conditions. Combined, income and mortgage rates were more than enough to offset the slight increase in home prices. Our benchmark rate experienced a 62 basis point decline since the start of the pandemic, but that was the second leg of a decline that started in early 2019. As a result, affordability improved substantially in Canada with Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver being now the cheapest since 2016 and the Calgary market being the least expensive on record. It should come as no surprise that such a context helped keep the housing market afloat during the pandemic. Looking ahead, despite rising home prices, affordability is set to improve in the fourth quarter as homebuyers have enjoyed a further decline in mortgage interest rates (25 basis point so far). Will the improvement in affordability be enough to avoid a marked slowdown in the housing market in 2021? With extraordinary government support to household income phasing out and payment deferrals not at play in 2021, the housing market is facing some headwinds given the still recovering labour market. Immigration could also continue to run below targets which would translate into lower household formation than previously thought.

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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: