First National Financial LP

Market Memo: Canada vs. the world

  • First National Financial LP

The forecast for Canada’s housing market is generally up-beat.  Most industry watchers and government agencies are calling for growth in sales and prices.  By most accounts those increases will be moderate and in line with economic fundamentals.

The Canadian Real Estate Association sees tight supply as the key feature of the housing market for 2020.  None the less it is calling for a 9% increase in sales and a 6% increase in the average price over 2019.

The big realtors, Re/Max and Royal LePage are forecasting price appreciation of between 3% and 4%.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation forecasts prices will climb in the range of 5.6% to 6.8%, with an increase in sales of between 6.1% and 6.6%.

Globally, the recovery of Canada’s housing market looks pretty modest.  The Knight Frank Global House Price Index ranks Canada as 49th out of 56 countries and territories for home price appreciation.

Numbers tallied in Q2 of 2019 show Canada with a 0.5% increase compared to a year earlier.  However, some acceleration shows up in the quarter-over-quarter reading.  From Q1 to Q2 of 2019 prices bumped up 1.2%.

More up-to-date, year-end figures from the Canadian Real Estate Association show a national average price appreciation of 5.9% for 2019.

The average, global year-over-year gain in the Knight Frank index came in at 4.3% with China topping the list with a 10.9% increase.

Another international report still has Canada on its list of countries that are at risk of real estate bubbles.  The Swiss bank UBS puts Toronto in second spot on its Global Real Estate Bubble Index, behind Munich and ahead of Hong Kong and Amsterdam (which tied for 3rd).  Vancouver occupies 6th spot on the 24-city index.

It seems apparent Toronto and Vancouver will continue to skew Canada’s overall numbers and obscure the details of individual, local markets