Time for your cheat sheet on this week’s most important stories.
Canadian Real Estate
Canada’s real estate industry is forecasting lofty price gains next year. The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is forecasting an average national sale price of $620,404 in 2021, up 9.1% for the year. That’s on top of the 13.1% increase seen in 2020. All but one market is expected to see big gains, except B.C. The industry expects prices in the province to be virtually flat.
Canadians are seeing their net-worth slow in growth, and in some cases decline. The median household net-worth reached $329,900 in 2019, up 5.57% from 2016. Canadian seniors, aged 55+, have actually seen their net-worth decline over the period. The previous measure in 2016 showed growth at more than double the current rate, with seniors seeing the biggest growth.
Canadian real estate prices have been soaring during the pandemic, but B.C. is lagging. The best performing real estate market in the province is Chilliwack. The cost of a typical home there will set you back $597,900 in November, up 9.89% from a year ago. As big as that annual price increase is, it lags the national average. Typically when a whole country is seeing prices soar, it has more to do with a juiced up credit market than fundamentals.
Small towns and cottage country real estate is in high demand as people leave the city. Ontario’s best performing real estate market is now the Kawartha Lakes. The price of a typical home in the region has jumped over 28% in the past year. To contrast, Toronto has seen prices increase just over 10% over the same period. In fact, Toronto is now the worst performing market as people ditch the city as work from home becomes more accepted.
Canada’s largest bank is observing a further deterioration of affordability. A median family buying a single-family home in Q3 saw costs rise 1.4%, when compared to the previous quarter. Condo apartments saw a 0.4% increase over the same period. In fact, the only regions to see affordability improve is Toronto, and only in one segment. Condo apartments in the region saw carrying costs fall 0.4% from the previous quarter. The only segment in any region across the country’s major markets to decline last quarter.
Canadian households are easing on the cash hoarding, as government support gradually ends. The household savings rate fell to 14.6% in Q3, down 12.9% from the previous quarter. Even with such a large drop, households are saving over 9x what they were during the same quarter last year. Experts believe the increase in savings rate will drop as government supports gradually fade.
Canadian real estate prices made a historic jump, but a National Bank economist sees some signs of slowing. The C11, an aggregate index of Canada’s 11 largest real estate markets, made a record advance. The index increased 0.93% in November, the strongest monthly gain for the month in at least 24 years. The bank’s economist notes, seasonally adjusted there was some deceleration in price growth. This suggests the uptrend could slow in the coming months.
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