Canadian housing market to remain “stable and subdued”: BMO

While Canadian home sales have been inching up month-over-month, they have remained firmly below 2017-levels all year. And, according to a new note from BMO senior economist Robert Kavcic, that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.

“[The Canadian Real Estate Association] will release the full set of October housing market data [this week], and the overall picture will continue to look stable/subded,” writes Kavcic. “National sales are estimated to be down 6 percent year-over-year, slightly improved from September’s 8.9 percent year-over-year decline.”

Kavcic predicts that the average price for a home will rise 1 percent year-over-year, partly due to the ongoing sales decline in the Vancouver market.

“Recall that in the prior month, the median average price gain across the 26 markets tracked was just under 3 percent year-over-year, confirming the relative home price stability across most of the country,” he adds.

Another continuing trend? A East-West divide in performance, with markets in Ontario and Quebec posting strong activity gains, while Alberta and BC continue to struggle.

“On the strong side, Ottawa and Montreal continue to churn out near-7 percent year-over-year price gains amid tight conditions,” writes Kavcic. “On the weak side, Vancouver sales were down a still deep 35 percent year-over-year, with prices for both detached homes and condos correcting.”

Meanwhile, the Toronto market has largely balanced out, with sales up 6 percent year-over-year.The average sale price for a home rose 3.5 percent year-over-year last month, hitting $807,340, and the MLS Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up 2.6 percent year-over-year.

Sarah Niedoba