Top Stories

This Week’s Top Stories: Canadian Real Estate Development Is Booming, While Consumer Credit Tanks

Time for your cheat sheet on this week’s most important stories.

Canadian Real Estate

Canadian Household Credit Slows, As Consumer Credit Growth Plunges Lower
Canadian household debt is still rising, but experienced a bit of a hiccup in the latest numbers. The balance of outstanding household debt reached $2.26 trillion in November, up 3.9% from a month before. The 12-month rate of growth made a minor decline, due to falling consumer loan balances. This means all credit growth in the month was due to mortgage debt. Unusual, since consumer credit typically accelerates with mortgage debt.
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Canadian Mortgage Debt Growth Accelerates, But Throws A Sign It May Be Losing Steam
Canadians have been ramping up mortgage borrowing, but there’s a sign it may slow. The balance of mortgage debt hit $1.62 trillion in November, up 4.6% from last year. The 3-month annualized pace of growth fell to 5.7%, down 3.39% from the month before. This is only one decline, so it’s unclear if it’ll follow with further declines going forward. However, it does show that growth lost a little steam.
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Canada Has Never Had This Much Housing Under Construction At The Same Time
Canada has never seen this much housing being built all at the same time. There were 274,829 units under construction in Q4 2019, up 7.40% from the same quarter a year before. The current peak is a little over 30% higher than any other previous peak – which happened in 1973. Yes, we need to go back almost 50 years, to find a number even close to today’s building.
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Canadian Real Estate Numbers Soar As BC Sales Surge… Kind Of
Canadian real estate sales have been showing robust growth over the past few months. There were 26,976 sales in December, up 22.7% from last year. The big climb sounds impressive, but it’s still 0.85% below 2017’s sales. Looking at the distribution of this trend, most of the growth is explained by the slow first half of 2019. There’s growth, just not exactly the shocking amount told by headline numbers.
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Toronto Real Estate

Toronto Rental Vacancy Rises To The Highest Level Since 2015, Despite Population Boom
Toronto is finally seeing a little relief in its primary rental market, as vacancy rates climb. The average vacancy in the city reached 1.5% in 2019, up 25% from the year before. This is now the highest level since 2015, but still relatively low. However, Toronto has always had a tight primary rental market. The fact that rental rates are showing some of the highest growth in history, isn’t explained by this trend.
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Vancouver Real Estate

Vancouver Rental Vacancies Climb To The Highest Level Since 2013
Vancouver’s primary rental market saw vacancies climb to the highest level in years. The average rate reached 1.1% in 2019, up 10% from a year before. This is the highest level since 2013, but highlights how tight the Vancouver rental market has been. Despite the rise in vacancy, rental prices have been rising the most we’ve seen in over a decade.
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