Time for your cheat sheet on this week’s top stories.
Canadian Real Estate
Canadian real estate markets are seeing a drop in sales, but it’s the inventory drop that’s concerning. That was the warning BMO Capital Markets sent to investors this week. The reason? A lack of incentive to actually sell during the brief downturn. It’s hard to disagree with the take, as the government actively attempts to stimulate new demand.
Canada builder intentions experienced a mild bump, but it wasn’t enough to move the trend. Seasonally adjusted permit values rose 8.6% higher in February, but remained 15.2% lower than last year. In addition, inflation is killing how far those dollars go, with the value 22% lower in real terms. After adjusting for inflation, it was the worst February in at least five years.
Canadian homeowners are pulling back on HELOC borrowing, according to regulatory filings. January marked the fourth consecutive decline for outstanding HELOC credit. It also happens to be the largest monthly decline within the past two years. After contributing significantly to consumption, such a large pullback will be an economic drag.
Toronto Real Estate
The Toronto real estate correction just hit pause, with prices reversing course. TRREB data shows a typical home increased 2.5% (+$27,300) across the board to $1.12 million in March. It marked the second consecutive increase, and put an end to the downturn that lasted less than a year. Two months isn’t a trend, but loosening credit and stimulus are fighting commonsense in the near-term.
Vancouver Real Estate
Greater Vancouver real estate prices also reversed course and surged higher. A typical home across the board climbed 1.8% (+$21.0k) to $1.144 million in March. A combination of exuberance and easy credit are likely to triumph in the near-term. However, at least one Big Six bank doesn’t see it lasting very long.