The boom days are over – and that’s a good thing

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Better-than-expected job numbers both here and in the U.S. should mean a hike in interest rates by the Federal Reserve, which means the long love affair with low interest is coming to an end, and a positive sign that a potential housing crisis isn’t looming.

“The boom days for mortgage brokers are behind us,” says Dr. Sherry Cooper, chief economist for Dominion Lending Centres. “And I think it is a good thing frankly. If you were to see the boom continue for another year, we would be setting ourselves up for a bubble bursting, and that isn’t good for anyone.”

Dr. Cooper expects the Fed will hike rates for the first time in a decade when they next meet on December 16. Interest rates in both Canada and the U.S. have already risen in anticipation and the U.S. dollar has strengthened, she says, taking the loonie down sharply.

“If rates were to spike, it would be much worse,” Dr. Cooper told MBN. “But what I do think will happen is that interest rates will edge slowly higher. Taking the extreme out of the markets is not a bad thing.”

Canadian employment also exceeded expectation in October, rising 44,000. The unemployment level fell 0.1% to 7.0%. Unfortunately, much of the out-sized gain – 32,000 of it – was in temporary workers hired in preparation for the federal election. Even so, employment growth was somewhat higher than expected.

Most mortgage brokers have had record years in the last 12 months, says Dr. Cooper, but she expects that to continue for 2016.

Dr. Cooper also anticipates a cooling in Canada’s two major markets – markets that have seen home prices reach far into the stratosphere.

“Canadian housing, which has been red hot in Toronto and Vancouver, will also slow as housing affordability continues to deteriorate,” she says. “House price gains in both cities will slow, especially in the condo sector.

While she believes that the Bank of Canada will follow the Fed's lead in raising overnight rates, “construction activity will continue to slow in 2016 in both the residential and non-residential sectors.”
  • Matt on 2015-11-12 9:37:43 AM

    We'll see... While Canada's rates environement have mirrored the US our economic drivers are weighted significantly different. It's inevitable that rates will slowly increase, but I believe it will be well off the pace the US will set. Time will tell...

  • Ron Butler on 2015-11-12 11:50:00 AM

    I have been predicting reversal of property values in the two key cities for the last 4 years and I have been ridiculously wrong about it, I simply could not have been more wrong. The property values have actually accelerated in the Lower Mainland and GTA. Still, trees do not grow to the sky and eventually something has to change, best outcome would be just flat markets for the next few years but who knows.

  • Brian Lambert on 2015-11-12 12:53:21 PM

    I have a contrarian view that rates will continue to stay low over the foreseeable future? The PBO has downgraded Canada's economy and believes that the economy will continue to fall over the next 4-5 years and the calculation does not take into consideration Trudeau's promise of 3 years of deficits? The IMF has cut its outlook for Canada's economy and is advising the BOC to leave interest rates low until a recovery is in check? Canada's recent job increase of 44,000 as pointed out was mainly temp position and had a lot to do with election temp hiring. Job increase as a hole have been dismal at best throughout the year. The US jobs recovery is a smoke screen? The US is experiencing the slowest recovery in 70 years. The jobs participation has fallen sharply with close to 7 million people who have given up looking for a job, jobs that are not there and are not counted as unemployed. The US continues to suffer from civil unrest do to economic conditions? The European economy has slowed to a standstill and has a major debt crisis. With the continued flow of refugee's their future economy looks bleak? With global economics continuing to slow down and no end in sight for higher oil prices, Canada's economy will continue to flounder and thus interest rates will continue to stay low? Canada is only a small part of a world economy and whats happens in the rest of the world greatly effects Canada.
    I wrote about this same subject here, early on in the year when everyone was speculating on rates going up and made the argument then, why rates would continue to be cut, based on my opinion of global economics. Most everyone dismissed the opinion and believed rates would rise? How many times have they been lowered this year?
    I don't believe Mr. Poloz will reduce rates further even through he still has some wiggle room. I do believe rates will continue to stay low for the foreseeable future or al least until mid 2018, unless there is some catastrophic world event or possibly a major market down turn, which we are overdue for, and which could cause massive job losses. Only the future knows for sure what we are in for?

  • Brian Lambert on 2015-11-12 2:53:08 PM

    I have a contrarian view that Rates will continue to remain low over the foreseeable future? The PBO has downgraded Canada's economy and believes that the economy will continue to fall over the next 4-5 years and that calculation does not take into consideration Trudeau's promise of 3 years of deficits? The IMF has cut its outlook for Canada's economy and is advising the BOC to leave interest rates low until a recovery is in check? Canada's recent job increase to 44,000 as pointed out is manly part time positions and most due to they elections temp hiring. Job numbers have been dismal at best? The US jobs recovery is a smoke screen? The US is experiencing the slowest recovery in 70 years. The US jobs participation has fallen sharply with close to 7 million people who have given up looking for employment, jobs that just are not there and are not counted in unemployment numbers? US continues to suffer civil unrest due to economic conditions? The European economy has slowed to a standstill and has a major debt crisis. With the continued flow of refugee's their immediate future economy looks bleak? With global economics continuing to slow down and no end in sight for lower oil prices, Canada's economy will continue to flounder and thus interest rates will continue to stay low?
    I wrote about this on this forum at the beginning of the year and made an argument then why interest rates would continue to be cut base on my opinion on global economics. Most people dismissed my opinion and believe that rates would rise. How many times have rates been cut this year? I don't believe Mr Poloz will reduce rates further even though he still has some wiggle room. I do believe rates will continue to stay low over the next 2-3 years unless some catastrophic world event or possible market down turn, which we are overdue for, which could cause massive job losses and further rate cuts? Canada is only a tiny cog in the wheel of a much larger global economy. Its what happens in the world that effects Canada and their is lost to content with today? The immediate future does not look all that rosy?

  • Victor Simone on 2015-11-12 7:31:05 PM

    Another rate prognosticator, bah humbug.

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