Time for your weekly update on this week’s most important news.
Canadian Real Estate
Canadians printed a new record for household debt, but the rate of growth is slowing down quickly. The balance of household debt reached $2.13 trillion in July, up $77.9 billion from last year. This represents a 3.77% increase compared to the same time last year, a dramatic decline in the pace of growth. Consumer debt last saw growth this low in 2016, and mortgages haven’t seen growth this low since 2001.
The cost of borrowing debt is getting a lot more expensive for Canadian households. The weekly effective rate, which is a weighted index of debt, reached 3.8% on September 9, up 13.7% from the same week last year. The cost of borrowing hasn’t been this high since May 2011, which is a very long time. Before this recent height, the rate hasn’t been this high for over 5 weeks in the past 9 years.
The industry expected a turnaround, but Teranet isn’t seeing that in their data. Prices in Canada’s largest cities grew 0.24% in August, up just 1.37% from last year when seasonally adjusted. Unadjusted, this growth rate was flat, and is actually the slowest pace of growth since 2009. That year seems to be coming up a lot in indicators these days.
Condo rental prices cooled in growth, but Toronto, Vancouver, and Richmond Hill remain the country’s most expensive 1 bedroom markets. Toronto’s average rental price reached $1,851 in August, down 0.6% from the month before. Vancouver hit $1,839 in August, down 0.3% from the month before. Richmond Hill hit $1,736 in August, up 0.3% from the month before.
Toronto Real Estate
In an effort to protect “privacy,” Toronto agents have been inputting false info into the MLS. The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) has sent a memo to agents acknowledging complaints of false MLS information. In at least one case, an agent had input $1 as the selling price of a multi-million dollar home. We’re sure it’s just the one agent, and it didn’t happen before the TREB ruling. However, here’s how submitting obviously false information today, screws up tomorrows numbers.
Toronto’s detached real estate prices continue to fall, but the declines are smaller. The price of a detached home reached $914,900 in August, down $8,900 from the month before. This represents a 1.94% decline compared to the same time last year. The good news is the annual decline is smaller, which means things might be improving. Might be.
Vancouver Real Estate
Vancouver’s detached real estate market is declining even further. The price of a typical detached home fell to $1,561,000 in August, down $27,400 from the month before. This represents a 2.8% decline from the same month last year. The pace of annual declines are getting larger, so we expect prices to continue to drop near term.