The long-forecasted ‘correction’ in the Canadian real estate market is here now, and as is always the case some are better situated to be weathering it than other. Many have predicted – accurately – that it is going to those who have large amounts of money invested in housing AND those who overleveraged themselves to buy homes recently who are most likely to feel the pinch. That’s a reflection of the fact that there certainly are negative aspects that come along with the positive one. That being that homes are more normally priced for people who need a place to live.
So there will always be people with interests on either side of this, along with others who have some skin in the game based on how the make a living for themselves. When house values drop dramatically over a short period of time there are definitely aftershocks that rumble through different communities. For real estate agents in Canada the biggest part of the drawback of seeing this happen is that many homes that would have gone onto the market are now held off it, at least for now while prices are lower. This can mean fewer new clientele of both buyers and sellers, but here at Real Estate Leads our online real estate lead generation service is an excellent way to counter this trend.
We’ll leave that there for now though, and instead return to focusing on the market downturn for real estate in Canada. There are experts that are saying that Canada is the country that is going to be most affected by it, and that doesn’t bode well for many of the same people we’ve talked about above here. Let’s take our entry this week and have a deeper look into this and what it might mean for home and property owners here.
Attributable to Canada’ Extreme Price Boom
All of this comes from Goldman Sachs latest publishing on rising interest rates around the world. The BoC actually raised ours again today, and further rises are expected throughout the remainder of 2022. The very low rates we’ve seen over past decades now have stimulated record home sales and a multi-decade high for inflation. But the exact opposite is happening now and it’s removing home buyer stimulus. Home price declines are now expected across most advanced economies but Canada is expected to have the sharpest drops, and that’s because of the extreme price boom it has seen since 2018 and one that up until now had many homeowners decidedly pleased.
We are seeing rising mortgage rates in the US, Canada, the UK, and New Zealand and they are definitely cooling home sales already. The US has had a major drop themselves – around 40% nationally and again even higher rates are on the horizon and expected to slow housing even further.
Falling home sales nearly always mean falling home prices, but not all places adhere to this trend. We are also seeing that home prices are still rising in the US, Germany, and the UK. But when all of this becomes problematic is when home sales fall much faster than inventory, and this is what we are seeing in Sweden, Australia, and – most prominently – Canada.
Another notable trend that is unique to Canada among all these countries is that house prices have fallen the most in areas that had the most growth early in the pandemic.
Industry experts foresee a modest drop for home prices over the next couple of years, but Canada is expected to see the biggest drop as real home prices will likely fall up to around 12%. France – 9%, the US – 3%. Keep in mind with national prices it is the inflated markets where bigger declines will be soon. The biggest takeaway for readers here can be this; The slowdown will be sharpest in Canada and this is the result of weak recent momentum, continuing low affordability, and rapid policy hikes by the Bank of Canada
Having a tight housing market may counter this trend somewhat and prevent a full-on slump, but the rapid deterioration in affordability and large drops in home sales paints a picture where a major housing downturn is on the immediate horizon.
Worst Housing Affordability for Advanced Economies
It is this deterioration and ongoing lack of affordability that is going to be what keeps buyers from jumping in until home prices decline. Looking back to early 2020 there was brief surge in affordability at the start of the pandemic, and that is obviously due to rates being cut lower at that time. What happens here is an age-old economic equation, with affordability eroding rapidly as the market adjusts to absorb the increased credit capacity. This is why low rates and the increased market activity caused by it haven’t improved affordability, and won’t anytime in the future either.
Here’s what we do know; low rates produce housing bubbles in advanced economies. But when you add monetary policy errors to the mix in certain advanced economies, the negative affects of higher rates are amplified big time. This is what we are beginning to see here in Canada and it will be and interesting yet anxious time for many as they wait out this storm.
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