Last week’s market reports from real estate boards including those in Vancouver and Toronto show that there is recovery underway with even the tough market conditions in Vancouver suggesting a bottoming-out.
This is unlikely to end calls for the mortgage stress tests to be altered or scrapped, says RBC Economics’ senior economist Robert Hogue, but it should “quiet down critics fearing a market collapse.”
In his latest assessment of the Canadian housing market, Hogue says the rebound for Toronto sales in May (resales up 19% year-over-year) says more about weakness a year ago than market momentum, with seasonally adjusted figures pointing to stabilization rather than a surge.
And ‘back-of-the-envelope’ calculations on the slowing of declining resales in Vancouver (-6.9% year-over-year in May compared to -30% in April) show that resales increased by more than 25% month-to-month in May on a seasonally-adjusted basis.
“This is the strongest sign yet that the market isn’t spiraling out of control. In fact, we believe it indicates that a bottom has been reached,” writes Hogue.
The report also notes several other Canadian housing markets as showing encouraging signs.
May resales increased year-over-year in Victoria, Calgary and Ottawa—all implying moderate increases between April and May. Despite Regina posting a sizable drop, this followed a strong pick-up in April.