Most economist are predicting a slower housing market in Canada, but how slow is too slow?
Last week, the Bank of Canada hiked the overnight rate to 1.25 per cent, causing the credit union to note that Canadians have some of the highest levels of household debt in the world.
The interest rate hike — when combined with a new mortgage stress test for uninsured borrowers that came into effect on January 1 — could severely limit the purchasing power of many would-be home buyers, cooling the market dramatically.
But while most economists agree that these factors will dampen the market in the first few months of 2018, many believe it will eventually adjust to the changes. What’s more, some argue that Canadians debt levels aren’t as worrying as they might first appear.
“Household debt in Canada is seen by some as unsustainably high and a source of vulnerability for the financial system,” write National Bank chief economist Stéfane Marion and senior economist Matthieu Arseneau in a recent report. “But the international evidence suggests that Canadian household leverage and home prices are not abnormal.”
Read the full article here.