Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Up, up, up: Canada house prices poised to surge again despite central bank warning

EconomyNov 24, 2021 05:40PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A realtor's for sale sign stands outside a house that had been sold in Toronto, Ontario, Canada May 20, 2021. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

By Julie Gordon

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian housing prices are set to surge again in the coming months as investors and first-time buyers scramble to buy before interest rates go up, ignoring a warning from the Bank of Canada that there is a high risk of a sudden price drop.

Central bank Deputy Governor Paul Beaudry told would-be home buyers on Tuesday to consider if it is a "good time to buy or not," pointing to market frothiness in certain cities and renewed investor activity.

Those conditions could "expose the market to a higher chance of a correction," he said.

The Bank of Canada last month signaled the overnight rate, currently at a record low 0.25%, could start rising in the "middle quarters" of 2022. Another rush to buy is probably already under way, analysts said.

"Whenever interest rates start rising, people get into the market, including investors. So you will see an acceleration in activity over the next few months," said Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at CIBC Capital Markets.

Canadian house prices skyrocketed 31.6% year-over-year in March to hit a record high before softening a bit over the summer. Prices are now accelerating again, with October's average price barely below the March peak.

Ratings agencies are taking notice. Fitch has pegged Toronto's housing market at 32% overvalued and Vancouver's at 23%. Moody's (NYSE:MCO) Analytics also has Vancouver 23% overvalued, Toronto 40% and Hamilton, Ontario, 73%.

The average price of a home in Toronto, Canada's biggest city, hit C$1.2 million ($947,493) in October, up 19.3% from the previous year, and detached homes now average C$1.5 million.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged to act on the runaway market, but critics note prices have climbed 77% nationwide since he took office in 2015.

Toronto mortgage broker Ron Butler says he is getting busier by the hour with clients desperate to get into the market.

"We see it, literally, hourly here ... people who have simply given up and say: 'The prices are going to go up forever, I have to buy now,'" he said.

Butler said he is working with one longtime Toronto renter who has been waiting years for prices to fall so he could get into the market. Now he is buying an hour's drive west in Hamilton because he is worried he will never own a home otherwise.

Fear "is not a good motivator when you're buying a house," said Butler, adding that investors too are increasingly gripped by the "fear of missing out," or FOMO.

'RUSH TO BEAT RATE HIKES'

Butler estimates that investors - those who buy properties to rent out or to hold for speculative gains - make up about 25% of housing demand at this point, with that number far higher in major cities and particularly in pre-sale condo markets.

The Bank of Canada said investor buying has doubled since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but economists see demand holding up.

"We don't expect a collapse. But we see prices being close to flat next year," said Jimmy Jean, chief economist at Desjardins Group in Montreal, adding that demand is expected to remain "pretty decent," pointing to strong immigration.

Doug Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets, also expects a short-term "rush to beat rate hikes," but then only a moderate pullback in markets that were supercharged by the pandemic.

"The history of the last 15 years has been cluttered with those calling for a crash in the Canadian housing market to be proved wrong time and time again," Porter said.

($1 = 1.2665 Canadian dollars)

Up, up, up: Canada house prices poised to surge again despite central bank warning
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email