This Week’s Top Stories: Toronto and Vancouver Real Estate Sales Fall To Great Recession Levels, Debt Growth Lowest Since 1983

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

Canadian Real Estate

The Last Time Canadian Household Debt Grew This Slow Was 1983
Canadian household debt hit a new record high, but the growth rate is decelerating. The balance of outstanding debt reached $2.16 trillion in December, up 3.1% from the year before. This pace of growth was 39% lower than the year before, and the slowest since June 1983. Yes, the last time Canadians borrowed at a slower pace was over three and a half decades ago.
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Canadian Mortgage Growth Has Only Been Lower One Month In The Past 30 Years
Canadian mortgage growth is grinding to a halt, but still pushing new records. The outstanding balance of mortgage debt reached $1.54 trillion in December, up 3.1% from last year. This is the slowest annual pace of growth since April 2001, but it only lasted one month back then. If we wanted to find a period of longer than a month, we have to go back to the 1980s.
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Toronto Real Estate

Greater Toronto New Home Sales Fall To 2008 Levels, Inventory Up Over 38%
Greater Toronto new home sales are dropping, while inventory continues to climb. New home sales fell to 940 in December, the weakest number for the month since 2008. It wasn’t because of a lack of inventory either, which reached 15,768 units – up 38% from last year. The few buyers that did participate in the market didn’t quite have a clear direction either. Single-family home prices continued to fall across the region. Meanwhile apartment condos continued to see rising prices.
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Toronto Real Estate Sales Were The Second Lowest Since Great Recession
Toronto real estate is off to a slow start in 2019. The price of a typical home reached $761,800 in January, up 2.7% from last year. Only 4,009 sales were recorded in the month, up 0.6% from last year. That makes this the second slowest January on record since 2009.

Also worth noting that last year’s numbers received a downward revision. The revision is normal, but without it 2019 would be the lowest since 2009. If this year’s numbers get a similar sized revision, it would also make this the lowest since 2009. The takeaway? The sales number is crap either way.
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First-Time Toronto Real Estate Buyers To Use “Current Home” To Fund Down Payments
The Toronto Real Estate Board conducted their annual buyer survey, giving some useful insights to the industry. The thing that stood out most to use was a chart on how first-time buyers intend to buy their first home. 10% of first-time buyers plan on using equity from their “current home” to buy their next one. First-time buyer. Existing home equity. 🤔
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Vancouver Real Estate

Vancouver Real Estate Prices Make Biggest Drop Since 2009
Vancouver real estate is being hit with lower prices, and falling sales. The price of a typical home across the region fell to $1,019,600 in January, down 4.5% from last year. Sales fell to 1,103, down 39.3% from last year. The price drop is the largest observed since July 2009, and sales were the fewest since January 2009.
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