Sunday, 24 August 2014

Canadian home sales rose 0.8% from June to July

According to statistics released by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity increased almost one per cent in July 2014 from the previous month, marking the sixth consecutive monthly increase and the highest level for sales since March 2010.

For the year-to-date, sales activity is up 4.7 per cent compared to the first seven months of 2013 and in line with the 10-year average for the period.

Two-storey single family homes continued to post the biggest year-over-year price gains (+6.32 per cent), followed closely by one-storey single family homes (+5.47 per cent) and townhouse/row units (+5.33 per cent). Price growth for apartment units was comparatively more modest (+3.18 per cent). 

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in July 2014 was $401,585, up five per cent from the same month last year.

The national average price continues to be skewed upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada's largest and most expensive housing markets. Excluding these two markets from the calculation, the average price is a relatively more modest $327,988 and the year-over-year increase shrinks to four per cent.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Is Canadian Real Estate a Ticking Time Bomb?

According to Dan Werner of Morningstar, the Canadian real estate market is seriously overvalued and Canada could see a 30% nationwide decline in the price of houses.

Canadian debt-to-equity ratios look awfully similar to U.S. numbers at the top of its market, as 23% of Canadian homeowners have a debt-to-value ratio of greater than 80%. The number in the U.S. at its peak was 22%. Werner also cites evidence that many Canadian borrowers can’t handle higher interest rates. More than 2.5 million have used the RRSP to help out with funding the down payment. This loan must be repaid over time, or else the recipient has to pay tax on the proceeds. In recent years, a full 25% of Canadians couldn’t afford to pay their RRSP loans back.