Canada’s housing market cooling off

The CREA says a cool-down in the national housing market is happening in advance of new mortgage rules set to come into effect April 19th.  Here in BC there was a heavy drop in activity, partly offset by a Toronto market that’s still hopping.  It will be interesting to see if this is a trend, or a blip caused by the winter games.

Meanwhile, the number of new listings — an indication that homeowners are looking to capitalize on demand — climbed 2.4 per cent, marking the fifth straight month that housing supply grew. The amount of housing inventory in February stood at 5.2 months, well below where it was a year ago, at 8.8 months, but on par with 2008 levels.

“Headline price increases are drawing new supply to the market, and so that’s taking some steam out of the market,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist.

The average price of all homes sold in February through the MLS system was $335,655, CREA said, up a robust 18.2 per cent from a year ago.

However, CREA said the gain was smaller than in the past four months — down from the January increase of 19.6 per cent — and future increases are expected to become “further subdued” in the months ahead.

“Time will tell how normal the market becomes, but I think there are pretty clear signs that some self-correcting mechanisms are starting to take over and lead to a calmer market, compared to what we saw in late 2009,” said Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets.

Joycer points out that RBC has also released their affordability report, you can read the PDF here.  They make some comments specifically about the BC market:

While still below their recent cyclical peaks, all RBC measures stand well above long-term averages.  Such poor affordability levels represent an element of risk that could weigh heavily on markets when interest rates start rising.

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Scott Smith
10 years ago

Homeowners Association Management:- Yes, the market is cooling, because all the Canadians are buying in the USA.

buff_butler
buff_butler
10 years ago

"That would send fertilizer, coal, mining, gold and silver on a one way rocket to the moon. Better load up boys and girls."

In terms of the USD yes, but in terms of CAD it would likely stagnate or move down (depending on the commodity).

Kite towards moon
Kite towards moon
10 years ago

@Prca: I keep my girl with me to do the job i want for my pleasure.I just want to make it clear that comment you had response is about freedom of expression,like any other sector sex is also a part of our life for proper growth.In other words, a person should be healthy physically,mentally,and sexually and kissing some one on the street is better than beating someone on the street.You shouldn't be send to prison for month for kissing.In respect to all that Vancouver is best City to live in you can't see gay lessbian parade in Dubai,If there is one that would be in life time prison. By the way,Do you own any condo in Dubai? I know Donald Trumph and his investors do own a unit or two.Maybe or maybe not this pair in prison for month is… Read more »

Inventory
Inventory
10 years ago

Mar 1, 2010 = 12255

Mar 15, 2010 = 13755

Mar 16, 2010 = 13778

vreaa
10 years ago

An impassioned argument, from an immigrant's perspective, that demand for Vancouver is and will remain overwhelming, has been archived at VREAA.

“I was one of the unlucky 15 million people born into the city that ranks among the bottom 10 in the annual most-livable cities in the world survey. Then, quite magically, later in my life, I find myself among the lucky couple of million that live in the metropolitan region that is consistently on the top of that same list.”
http://wp.me/pcq1o-BH

Chilled
Chilled
10 years ago

@Best place on meth: 38

X Best place on meth Says:

March 16th, 2010 at 12:44 pm

@Supraboy:

Please Mr. Jurock, that’s enough already.

If you don’t stop I am going to call the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and tell them where your dad is hiding.

ReplyCurrent score: 9

++++++++++++++++++++

How in the hell do you come up with these comebacks? Too funny!!!!

Best place on meth
Best place on meth
10 years ago

@Dr. Know Nothing:

Wow, if a 60% sell/list is what you consider a great day for the cheerleaders then you really are fucked.

Chilled
Chilled
10 years ago

Isn't it ironic that a "self-correcting mechanism" is often a swift kick to the groin. Porter can call it whatever he wants, it will hurt regardless.

bubbly
bubbly
10 years ago

Via Mish's blog: http://americacanada.blogspot.com/2010/03/country

* With the Bank of Canada's interest rate set at 0.25%, how is it that 1/3 of Canadians are struggling financially? What happens when interest rates double, and the cost of debt does as well?

* Studies suggest that Canadians are wildly overly optimistic about their financial picture.

* Why Canadians feel that they'll retire comfortably but can't verbalize or explain how that will happen… and they generally start to drool and stutter.

Read the whole thing!

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

KITE TOWARDS THE MOON desperatley needs to get laid and get hooked on phonics and SUPRACHINK im sick and tired of reading your comments. get back on the boat go back home.

Dr. Know
Dr. Know
10 years ago

Dailies – List || Sold

Vancouver East & West*

New Listings – 99

Back On Market Listings – 2

Price Changes – 33

Sold Listings – 60

Vancouver All Areas*

New Listings – 265

Back On Market Listings – 5

Price Changes – 94

Sold Listings – 164

Looks like the buyers are coming out in droves now eh WOW (aka Not Garth, Fish Taco, Postoblues)?

You see, I told you bears that you jinxed yourself. This Spring is going to see a fantastic sales seasons! Prices have already gone up 20% this year – at least another 10% by the end of the Spring!

Japan or Bust
Japan or Bust
10 years ago

^^^^

Comparisons with Japan are useless as its an apples to oranges comparison. At least they restrict foreign ownership of property so its an insular and locally driven market. We, on the other hand, post a sign on our door that says "Open for Business – Please buy our properties so that locals have no affordable housing."

And don't give me this crap about Landcor Data saying only 4% of properties are owned by foreigners. Everyone and their aunt can bring up an example of some place that they know is owner by an American, European or Asian.

Supraboy
Supraboy
10 years ago

@Anonymous: So we're already priced in on the forex market? You sure? I think it has more to do with rock bottom rates in the US and the rescuing of Greece by the EU.

And if any of you want to compare Japan to North America, give me a break. Japan does not have their own commodities like Canada.

Supraboy
Supraboy
10 years ago

@Kite towards moon:
I can’t believe your post got voted down for stating the truth. What a joke. Bears are ganging up on you.

Prca
Prca
10 years ago

@Kite towards moon: One of the least reason that everyone wants to live in Vancouver,You can have sex in yards,bushes,and in Cars…

Kite, are you a loser who can't get laid and hopes it will eventually happen if you live/own in Vancouver? Ohh, poor boy…

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

i can't believe it…the big crash is about to unfold…

patriotzed
patriotzed
10 years ago

@Starving Artist: In response to those saying “if prices start to correct the feds will put out a big FTB tax credit” or some other baloney Tax credits are an operating expense and result in a bigger deficit. No room for them, if they were to be made big enough to make any difference. Also too obvious an admission of a bust. Much more likely, if the Cons want to juice the market one more time, is to go back to looser qualifications for CMHC-insured loans. That's off the books. But they have to be careful not to get on the wrong side of the bond markets. Remember again it's all about the GTA. BC can and will go down in flames, but they want prices in the Toronto area to go down slowly enough that it can be called… Read more »

Starving Artist
10 years ago

@Supraboy: "The Federal Reserve will continued to keep interest rates near zero for an extended period while pointing to increased momentum in the economy’s recovery." Which is exactly what everyone expected. However the Fed MBS purchase program is ending this month so expect a 50 bps spread (plus or minus) gain between 5-year treasuries and mortgages to develop before June in the USA. The market hasn't had a chance to value anything for quite a while with these voodoo economics. And as Anonymous said, the forex market has already priced a 25-50 bps BOC rate rise into our dollar. Dollars move on central bank guidance, well before actual rate changes. Are you really as stupid and poorly-read as you pretend to be? You're a troll right? http://network.nationalpost.com/NP/blogs/fpposted… "Governor Mark Carney and the Bank of Canada surprised exactly no one Tuesday,… Read more »

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

@Starving Artist:

The drop in sales is MOM. It's just another way of spinning "there is no bubble here".

Best place on meth
Best place on meth
10 years ago

@Supraboy:

Please Mr. Jurock, that's enough already.

If you don't stop I am going to call the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and tell them where your dad is hiding.

Starving Artist
10 years ago

@taylor192: I'm not sure where they're getting a Feb drop in sales. According to the REBGV newsletter there were 2,473 sales total last month. That's 67% higher than Feb 2009 and near Feb 2008's 2,676.

: I totally agree… when I say massive drop, I mean 40%+, and that doesn't guarantee any gov't help, I just meant it would only be on the table at that point. In response to those saying "if prices start to correct the feds will put out a big FTB tax credit" or some other baloney.

And like you said, they've been lining up their "told you so" ducks for quite a while. Good old ass-covering

XXX
XXX
10 years ago

Did you read the G&M or NYT article on debt today. What happens when all the gov'ts/corporations/individuals compete to sell their debt? Hint huge supply means you guessed it – cheaper prices. Cheaper bonds mean higher yields – higher yields mean ________ mortgage rates.

XXX
XXX
10 years ago

Also

US Fed is terminating the program to purchase mortgages in the U.S. (they've 1.25 Trillion over the last year) which keeps mortgage rates down. If you don't understand this it only confirms my "moron" comment.

What happens when C'dn gov't stops guaranteeing CMHC debt. Which way do you think rates will go when lending institutions and structured debt purchasers have to be compensated for risk without explicit taxpayer guarantee?

XXX
XXX
10 years ago

Long Bond dictates rates you moron … new CMHC rules means the int'l bond market dictates how you qualify for a mortgage.

I can't deal with such stupidity. Why don't you and your wife "buy three" – pronounced "free".

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

@Supraboy:

Yes you are so right that the gold market is waiting to see what the BoC does with our interest rates. Ever thought for one second the the forex market is already starting to price Canadian interest rates hikes into our dollar. It is expected.