Much has been made about the ever-increasing role real estate has in making up Canada’s GDP, and there’s a lot of truth to when people say that’s both a good thing and a bad thing. One thing that IS for sure is that it’s certainly not natural to have that much of a country’s gross domestic product consisting of home sales, but it is what it is and the fact is that that policy makers in Ottawa have chosen this course for the country. The median price for a home in Canada has never been higher, so in as far as a strictly dollars and cents perspective that’s good for the role of real estate in the country’s economic well being.
One would also assume that’s fantastic news for anyone working as a real estate agent in Canada, and especially because the hot housing market has extended itself into smaller cities in Canada too over the last year and some. That’s partially true and more so if you’re an established realtor, but if you’re new to the business the fact that fewer people are qualified homebuyers now because of the ever-higher prices means you might be struggling to get new clients during these times. That’s why our online real estate client lead generation system here at Real Estate Leads is such a smart choice. It will help put your first in touch with genuine would-be clients.
No guarantees they become clients of course, but the opportunity is there for you to meet them first before other realtors and impress them with your knowledge, professionalism, and friendly, helpful, an caring demeanour.
If we move back to our topic of discussion today, recent economic reports are showing yet again just how much of an infusion the real estate market is making to the country, and if the sound of the figure ONE TRILLION dollars is staggering to you – it should be.
Scorching Heat, Scorching Home Prices
Where we are the talk is not about real estate in Vancouver as much as it is how hot it is in Vancouver this last week. It’s currently 41 degrees C here today and this kind of heat is pretty much unheard of on the West Coast of Canada. Some like it hot, but not this hot and some also like that scorching real estate prices helped add to the wealth of Canadian households at a record pace during the first part of this year, despite COVID-19 lockdowns shutting down much of the economy.
Stats Can is saying the national net worth jumped more than $1 trillion to nearly $15 trillion, That’s a 7.7% jump from the previous quarter. Further, the value of residential real estate rose by $595 billion and that’s a BIG 9.4% increase as well as the 3rd straight quarterly one. The value of residential real estate rose just over $750 billion in 2020. More and more people want homes, and obviously a sufficient number of them are being able to find ways to afford these homes despite how much more they cost now.
Keep in mind as well that the average selling price of a home is up 87% over the last decade.
Never-Before-Seen Mortgage Debt Levels
Debt isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and especially when it means you’re putting a quality roof over your head and the value of your property stands to appreciate nicely in the future. That doesn’t mean that it’s not intimidating, and it’s kind of like that with just how deeply mortgaged some people are to be able to afford to buy the home they’ve bought.
Buoyed by low interest rates, Canadians continue to take advantage and pile on mortgage debt. This collective level went down to $29 billion but that follows an all-time high of $32.1 billion in the previous quarter and that’s the second-largest level every recorded. At the same time higher-interest debt is being paid down with Stats Can saying non-mortgage loans dropped $13.5 billion since 2019 to $786.5 billion.
Swapping High-interest Debt for Low-interest Debt
It’s also been well documented how Canadians have been saving money during the pandemic. The country’s seasonally adjusted household savings rate increased from 11.9% in the fourth quarter to 13.1 for the first quarter. Stats Can claims it has been at double-digit levels since the 2nd quarter of 2020. The result of this is that household debt-to-income ratio has been pushed down to 172.3% for Q1 2021 from 174% Q4 2020.
This works out to an average of $1.72 of credit market debt for every $1 of household disposable income. This type of number means that high household debt remain a key vulnerability for the Canadian economy, although it’s not likely we’re going to see interest rates rise soon given the precarious state of the economy right now. But it should be something of a cause for concern.
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