First National Financial LP

Residential Mortgage Commentary - Living in interesting times

  • First National Financial LP

Canada’s real estate market was relatively flat in March but the Canadian Real Estate Association is looking forward to “interesting” times.

Compared to last March home sales were up 1.7%.  Compared to April, sales rose 0.5%.  The MLS Home Price Index was up 0.7% from a year earlier but dipped 0.3% month-over-month.  The national average price came in at $698,530, up 2.0% from March 2023.

New listings did an about-face in March, falling 1.6%.  But weekly tracking showed a bounce in new supply around the second week of the month.  That triggered an increase in sales for the final week, and a jump in listings in the first week of April.

“We’ll have to wait for the April data to really understand how buyers are responding to all these new properties for sale, but if you look at last spring as a guide and add to that record population growth in the last year and a central bank that is far more likely to cut this summer than raise like it did last year, it could get interesting,” said CREA’s Senior Economist Shaun Cathcart.

Market watchers are waiting to see if high interest rates keep buyers on the sidelines, or whether they come storming back if the Bank of Canada’s highly anticipated rate cuts materialize.

It is thought some sellers are waiting for the central bank to make its move because they hope to take advantage of an increase in demand sparked by a decrease in interest rates.