Housing market on shaky ground: expert

by |
“The housing market is on shaky ground here in Canada,” says Dr. Sherry Cooper, chief economist for Dominion Lending Centres. “Actually, I believe the BoC would cut the rate if they could. The bank is concerned about the economic outlook for Canada.”

The Bank of Canada kept its key interest rate unchanged and said the economic recovery is unfolding as expected, with momentum from non-energy exports and the weaker currency helping to contain the damage from lower oil prices.

“The economy continues to undergo a complex and lengthy adjustment,” policy makers led by Governor Stephen Poloz said in a statement. “This adjustment is being aided by the ongoing U.S. recovery, a lower Canadian dollar and the Bank’s monetary policy easing this year.”

Policy makers kept the benchmark rate on overnight loans between commercial banks at 0.5%, where it’s been since July.

Inflation risks “remain roughly balanced,” the central bank said, reiterating previous statements. The consumer price index has advanced by less than 2 percent all year while so-called core prices have remained above that as a weaker dollar makes imports more expensive.

Canada’s monetary policy straddles the U.S. Federal Reserve that’s signaling liftoff amid a strengthening recovery, and the European Central Bank pressing on with extraordinary stimulus. Looking ahead, “policy divergence is expected to remain a prominent theme” in the global economy, the Bank of Canada said.

“The Bank hinted that it’s not going to follow the Fed’s path ahead, seeing ‘policy divergence’ as a theme across various regions in the global economy, and presumably expecting that for Canada as well,” said Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC World Markets.

What economists should be looking at is the September GDP figure, which showed weakness, says Dr. Cooper.

“It showed weakness and absolute contraction for September – not just in the oil and gas sector and the mining sector,” she told MBN, “but also in manufacturing. And we see evidence of that in the housing market – in parts of the country like Alberta, Saskatchewan and Atlantic Canada – that have been hit by the commodity rout.”
  • Trevor Jones on 2015-12-09 9:30:28 AM

    Economists at the banks have been saying for 3 years now that houses are overvalued by 30% and there is going to be a drop in values. Prices are being fueled by wealthy immigrants coming to specific areas of Toronto and Vancouver and by young people who are priced out of housing market being forced to buy condo's as well as offshore investors buying condo's even with negative returns when they are rented. The only place that is in serious trouble is Alberta but they enjoyed a long run in high salaries, low unemployment, and house price increases building equity there for young people. Blame Albertas woes on Saudia Arabia trying to put them out of business. Toronto house prices will continue to rise and if anyone has noticed slowdown or no slowdown in economy Royal Bank just declared its largest year end profit EVER $111 billion and is giving out 1.2 billion in bonuses to its staff. They arent hurting this Christmas and neither are the other banks recording huge profits through scandalous credit card and ATM rates. Justify charging 19.9 % on credit cards when the Bank of Canada rate is .5% or mortgages can be had for 2.9 % and heading lower. The banks are making huge profits " on the backs" of people struggling to stay above water who are behind on their credit cards or just making the minimum payment. Being a bank employee now is akin to working for the Government.

  • BC Broker on 2015-12-09 9:43:02 AM

    One thing I know about Economists. Half the time they're right and half the time they're wrong. They're also good at explaining why things happen but usually not as good at predictions, otherwise they wouldn't be working for a bank or government but would be lavishing on a beach somewhere with all the millions they made by acting on their predictions. But the real issue is that as a community brokers can have an effect on the market by how they present market conditions to the general public. Why a brokerage would see any advantage to having an employee predict gloom and doom is beyond me. Gary...reel it in will ya?

  • Victor Simone on 2015-12-09 1:06:14 PM

    I put these types of predictions in the same division as weather reports.

    Sometimes the last people that know are the ones in the know. I don't even know if it will rain or snow today.

    Timing the markets is an idiot's game. This isn't a stock folks, we live in this investment.

  • Gary Mauris on 2015-12-10 1:31:06 PM

    Dear BC Broker,
    I recently had a very thorough discussion with Dr.Sherry Cooper about the Canadian housing market.Rest assured, these comments were part of a much larger dialogue and this article was consolidated snippets/pieces of several economists and other sources of information. In fact, we have recently completed a 30 year look back report, that reviews both housing sales and prices adjustments that we will soon be releasing. I think you will find the report very interesting.

    Lastly, we would never attempt to steer, alter, muzzle or direct our Economist in anyway. We pay her to provide research, and un-unbiased opinion on many areas of the Canadian economy,including the housing market. Anything less would diminish the integrity of all economists/research and they wouldn't be Economists, they would be Promoters.

    Thanks for the comments.

Broker news forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Name (required)
Comment (required)
By submitting, I agree to the Terms & Conditions