Time for your weekly cheat sheet on the most important real estate stories.
Canadian Real Estate
Turns out the Government of Canada has been sponsoring news on the down-low for years. Various departments have using News Canada to distribute stories, with no mention that the stories are sponsored. Most of the stories are harmless, but some do take a questionable position. Should the government be sponsoring stories such as “Achieve Your Long-Term Financial Goals With Your Home Equity?”
Personal loans secured with residential real estate, like HELOCs, hit a new high at Canadian banks. The balance reached $283.65 billion, up 0.77% from the month before. This represents a 7.79% increase compared to the same month last year. The annualized rate of growth is the fastest we’ve seen in over 5 years of data available.
Residential structure investment, the amount spent on building new housing, reached an all-time high. The total balance spent in the Q4 of 2017 reached $40.78 billion, an 8.42% increase compared to last year. Investment is now at a ratio of 7.34% of GDP, the highest it has been. Great news now, but we’ve never seen the ratio pass 6.74%, without a recession following. But hey, maybe this time is different.
Toronto Real Estate
Toronto condo prices hit a new all-time high in March. The benchmark price of a condo reached $488,000, a 14.11% increase compared to last year. The monster rate of growth did have an interesting note – rapid deceleration. Despite the large annual gain, this is a 5 point drop from the month before. This makes the deceleration the fastest since at least 2005.
Canadian real estate sales are dropping, but not in all parts of the country. Ottawa is the fastest growing market, with sales increasing 10.2% compared to last year. Toronto still leads the country in declines, with a decline of 40.2%. Despite some markets seeing a rise, the declines are in much larger markets – bringing the national number down over 22%.
Vancouver Real Estate
Vancouver detached prices are on the rise, but sales seem to be heading in another direction. The benchmark price, the price of a typical detached home, reached $1,608,500, a 0.4% increase from the month before. This brings the annual increase up to 7.4%, compared to the same time last year. Detached prices in the city are now within one point of the all-time high.
Despite that, sales are not as hot as prices would indicate. REBGV sale numbers show the City of Vancouver had the worst first quarter in over 27 years.
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