Canadian Real Estate Sales Elevated By Mortgage Rates Expiring: National Bank

Canadian real estate buyers are rushing to buy anything they can, from Victoria to St. John’s. National Bank of Canada (National Bank) attributes this to FOMO on low interest rates. The Big Six bank said home buyers are trying to purchase before the Bank of Canada (BoC) raises rates. Especially buyers that have mortgage pre-approvals about to expire.

Canadian Real Estate Sales Are Picking Up

Canadian home sales are much higher than usual. The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of home sales reached 54,000 in November, up 0.6% from a month before. It’s about 0.7% lower than the same time last year — a lot more than usual. 

Home Sales In Canada Are Much Higher Than Usual

Home sales are lower than last year but elevated significantly above normal. National Bank calculations show last month’s SAAR home sales are 27.5% higher than the 10-year average. As you can see above, it’s rather obvious how unusually high the current home sales level is. You might have also noticed home sales have made an abrupt reversal after cooling.  

Canadian Home Buyers Are In A Rush To Buy

A new indicator shows rates are likely to rise and send mortgage costs higher every other day. Higher rates typically throttle home sales, but rates haven’t actually climbed very much. The BoC has been holding rates despite wide market expectations to rise. 

“This upturn in activity can be linked to recent increases in mortgage rates and the anticipation of more next year.,” said Darren King, an economist at the bank who writes their regular housing reports. He adds, “Indeed, some people who have secured advantageous mortgage rates have probably moved up transactions in order to not be impacted by these rate increases.”  

When bond yields were climbing in September, rate talks accelerated. Elevated inflation or an improved economy, every day data is released to indicate rates should normalize. It’s like someone just rang a bell for the last call, and everyone is scrambling for cheap debt. No one knows when the BoC will raise rates, but the uncertainty motivates.

Homebuyers are operating in a drawn-out risk scenario in fear of something the BoC is afraid to do. This has led to a long period of panicked behavior that isn’t even close to over, which is why other countries don’t give prolonged warnings. Canadian policymakers think they’re giving households time to prepare, but they’re really giving them a longer period to operate in panic mode.

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  • Henry Heloc 12 months ago

    In Canada, real estate goes up forever. Interest rates stay low forever. If you don’t like it, no housing for you.

  • Bernard 12 months ago

    Funny to think how much pressure home buyers are under the impression there is in the market, and not realizing they’re all just trying to buy before their mortgage deal runs out.

    • Hannah 12 months ago

      All bubbles are just psychological torture chambers.

  • Terry 12 months ago

    I don’t know if you remember buying your first house, but I do and I thought I would never be able to buy a home again. I’d have to move to the country and live in a sad suburb if I didn’t.

    That might be true over generations if Toronto can become the center of the universe, but with a capital market that’s built almost entirely on lending people money for a rate lower than inflation — it’s probably not going to happen.

  • Baron 12 months ago

    Bank of Canada is TERRIFED to raise rates.

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