KW Market update, June 2010 – Kitchener Waterloo MLS data

A smart real estate investor is one who is educated on what’s going on with the market.

So, what is going on with the residential real estate market in Canada? Let’s turn to my friend Jay Papasan, with this month’s update

This Month in Real Estate – Keller Williams International

Canada’s economy continues to remain stronger than many other major national economies, and is affirmed by the Bank of Canada’s first rate increase since the beginning of rate cuts in 2008.Cana

As rates begin to rise, experts believe the housing market is poised to soften. Incomes rise at a relatively constant rate, while the housing market tends to rise in steps with periods of stability followed by periods of more rapid appreciation. The past decade has been one of appreciation following the 1990s (when prices were fairly flat). Thanks to a solid mortgage market, prudent lending, and responsible borrowing, experts anticipate the market will generally remain more balanced and prices will stabilize. This is a positive indicator for the long-term health of the market and for the wealth accumulated by homeowners.

While it’s important to keep in mind that the country’s commodity-based economy leaves it somewhat more susceptible to external forces such as global demand, currency rates, and commodity prices, things continue to look up for Canada from a year earlier.

Housing Market:

Home Sales

Existing home sales activity totaled 42,078 units in April, up 20.1% from last year and down 2.6% from last month. Experts believe there will be a gradual calming of the recently “hot” home sales activity over the next year, citing rising interest rates and a change in mortgage regulations that may have encouraged some buyers to push their timeline forward to purchase before the regulations took effect on April 19.

Average Home Price

Low supply and strong demand continued to boost prices. The national average home price was $344,968 in April, up 12.2% from April 2009 and up 1.2% from March. Experts anticipate home price appreciation will slow, but prices will remain stable – a positive sign for the long-term health of the housing market.


Sales-to-Listings Ratio

In April, 79,678 new homes entered the market. Presently, buyers continue to have a wider variety of options as the uptick in new listings draws the market back into solidly balanced territory on a macro level. As is always the case with real estate, the micro level of locations differ from place to place.

Sales to Listings Ratio Levels for the Canadian Real Estate MarketMortgage Rates

Average for: 25-Year Amortization, 5-Year Term
In April, the Bank of Canada lifted its conditional commitment to keep rates steady until July and made its first increase at the beginning of June. Rates are expected to continue rising but are anticipated to stay within a range that will leave homeownership in reach for many buyers.

(see: Whats going on with Mortgage Interest Rates in Canada?)

Sources: Conference Board, The Canadian Real Estate Association, Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Bank of Canada

Notable News:

Canadian Borrowers Well Prepared for Rate Hikes

As interest rates are trending upward and housing activity is expected to cool down, a survey by the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP) shows that Canadians are in a strong position to weather the new mortgage market condition.

•Increasing home equity is easing consumer concern about rising mortgage rates.
•Many Canadians have used cost savings from historically low rates to make higher-than-required payments and will now have more breathing room as rates increase.
•Mortgage debt is a priority for Canadians with the vast majority, 93%, having never missed a payment.
•Many mortgages were renegotiated at significantly lower rates, one percentage point or more on posted interest rates.
•A high percentage of Canadians remain positive about the housing market and are bullish about house prices.

Sources: Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Pro

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