Stress test effect is showing nationwide says RBC

The impact of the tightened mortgage rules introduced at the start of the year appears to be rising.

A report from RBC Economics says that softening sales in February, following a slowdown in January, suggest a trend that is being felt across the country.

Highlighting data from local real estate boards, RBC says that price trends appear to be holding up, but that sellers are facing a weakened bargaining position.

The decline in Toronto (almost 35% year-over-year) in March translates, on a seasonally-adjusted basis, to a rough calculation of an 8-year low according to RBC.

There are some bright notes in RBC’s analysis though with an uptick in listings in February which it says could suggest increased move-up buyer activity in the coming months.

In conclusion, the report says that the B20 mortgage rule changes appear to have shifted homebuying decisions forward into 2017 with a corresponding dip at the start of 2018.

It forecasts that the impact of the new tightened rules will gradually ease in the coming months.

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