RBC: Canada's housing market is fairly robust despite some issues

by Steve Randall on 07 Nov 2019

The Canadian housing market showed that it was “fairly robust” in October according to the latest market report from RBC Economics.

Senior economist Robert Hogue says that the two largest markets continued to frame the overall story with home sales surging to a 2-year high in Vancouver and prices showing positive movement; while Toronto struggled with supply.

The Toronto market saw listings drop 9.6% year-over-year, challenging would-be buyers. Sales were up 14% year-over-year but declining from the 21% pace rise seen in September.

RBC’s own preliminary calculations suggest that the GTA was slightly favouring sellers in October with a sales-to-new listing ratio of 0.66, its highest for 2.5 years.

This meant GTA MLS benchmark prices climbing 5.8% year-over-year, its fastest pace since December 2017. With the likelihood of the GTA showing the strongest price appreciation in Canada early next year, Hogue says it may attract the attention of policymakers.

Vancouver is also expected to see tighter demand-supply conditions which will put sellers in control and result in higher prices. This could also mean policymakers considering options.

Hogue added that there were also modest signs of recovery for Victoria and Calgary based on early data from the regional boards.

RBC is forecasting that the upward trajectory of the Canadian housing market will continue in 2020.

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