Featured Article

Canadians Cite Difficulty Paying Mortgages, Even Without Pandemic’s Financial Impact

Most Canadians believe they’ll be able to pay their mortgage during the pandemic, it just won’t be easy for all. Mortgage Pros Canada (MPC), an industry group representing mortgage brokers, conducted a borrower survey on the impact of the pandemic. The survey yielded a number of interesting insights, but the most interest was the ability to pay. Most people are able to pay, but even some without a loss of income say they’ll struggle to pay their mortgage.

Canadians Without A Loss Of Income Say It’ll Be Difficult To Pay Their Mortgage

The vast majority of homeowners without a loss of income, are ready to pay their mortgage. Of these people, the survey found 67% will continue to make payments without a problem. Another 24% will make their payments, but with some difficulty. Overall, fewer than one in ten of people in this demographic will not be able to pay their mortgage regularly…CLICK for complete article

What Are We Seeing in Mortgage Rates?

Interest rates have plummeted in the last 5 months. What does that mean for your existing mortgage? Is it time to re-finance? Find out from Kyle Green.

Save Thousands in Interest by Refinancing Your Mortgage During COVID-19

What does COVID-19 have to do with interest rates?

Despite the substantial negative impact of COVID-19 across many industries, the virus has had a positive impact on mortgages, specifically for people getting a new mortgage today and for people that were in an existing variable rate mortgage. In general, when bad things are happening around the world, this tends to push interest rates down. Events such as 9/11, the credit crisis of 2008, Brexit and COVID-19 are all examples of situations in which interest rates subsequently fell 1% or more over a short period of time.

During trying times, money usually will flock to safety. Canada is a safe country to park money, and bonds are a safe asset class. Fixed mortgage rates are tied to bond yields, which means when bonds fall, fixed rates fall… CLICK HERE for the complete article

The Greater Vancouver Condo Market Should Prepare for Volatility

The Greater Vancouver Condo market is experiencing another stagnation period in price movement. Over the past three months prices have remained within a three thousand dollar bracket. Current prices are retesting the higher echelon of the middle threshold in the current market cycle. The average sales price is down 9% from the peak, signalling there is plenty of room to drop. Eitel Insights forecasts that during 2022 prices will have dropped nearly 30% from the peak experienced during 2018.

Prices have remained in another very tight range similar to the previous tight cluster of prices during 2019. The previous cluster sent prices higher pre pandemic. What is different this time is the Inventory is on the rise and growing much faster than the sales. Once the buyers eventually learn that they are in the driver’s seat, prices will begin to drop with gusto.

New listings grew at the highest pace since 2010 for the condo market, with over 2900 brand new active listings. Which is roughly 750 more new listings than the average over the previous 5 July data points. The sales did grow no denying that, but only by 159 sales from July 2019. Also over the previous 5 year average the July sales were actually down over 250. Seems like there is more of a need to sell than a demand to buy. The last two months of newly listed properties equals over 5700 new listings, the highest two month span in a decade.

With the abundance of new listings, the overall inventory grew by another 600 compared to June’s inventory. While sales did rise, not enough to mitigate the growing need to sell. Inventory numbers have risen to the 2nd highest peak in the past 5 years, with over 5600 active listings. Still to come is monstrous amounts inventory to be introduced to the market from the presales. Worth mentioning is the end to the evictions ban will likely be occurring in September. While the CERB is also seemingly coming to an end, and those whose are still without work who qualify for EI will be getting less money and some simply will not qualify. None of this bodes well for the demand sector of the Condo market.

The notion offered by some perennial bullish market watchers that due to the higher sales numbers in July, the Covid-19 effect has been nullified is erroneous. Yes sales have increased, but ever stop to wonder why? One answer is prices are down 9% and the price per square foot continues to drop signalling properties are selling for less money. Secondly those who had been pre-approved, pre Covid have followed through with those rate holds. There is usually a 90 -120 day prequalification rate hold. The idea that someone would purchase a home before they are about to lose their job is seemingly farfetched, but in this ever indebted society that is exactly what has been occurring. The 1404 sales which occurred in July, hold a distinct possibility that some of those new owners would not have qualified for that mortgage if they applied today. Those CERB payments helped greatly with the first mortgage payment but what happens to that owner once the free money era comes to an end. As stated the last two months had over 5700 newly listed properties, while the sales have achieved just over 2400. The trend is in the buyer’s favour.

Business’ that have been on hold are eager to get back to work, the challenge that most business are experiencing is, the market isn’t as eager to purchase as they are to sell. This will result in staff returning to work, only to be let go in short order. The economic impact of the first shut down is still in its infancy, imagine a second shutdown and the long term effects that would hold. Even if there is no second shut down the economic landscape will remain changed. With personal job, wealth, and health uncertainties not to mention those in your family who you may need your help. The idea of buying another expensive pair of shoes or a new watch, just because, are days gone by for most.

The market has been artificially propped up with free money, once that comes to an end, taxes will inevitably be raised to refill the governments desolate coffers, the full impact of Covid will be felt. With a glut of inventory and a lack of potential renters and purchasers, the roll out of this recession is well underway. Ultimately resulting in assets being sold, primarily secondary condo properties.

In summary, Eitel Insights cannot wait to offer a positive outlook for the Greater Vancouver Condo market, but the analytics of the current data projected into the future is not positive, we believe it is our obligation to offer actionable intelligence through analytical interpretation not pie in the sky optimism.

Dane Eitel, Eitel Insights

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Toronto Real Estate Joins The Flight To The Suburbs, As Inventory Rises In The City

Greater Toronto real estate is seeing a big jump in sales, and it’s mostly people fleeing to the burbs. Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) data shows it was the most sales for July in at least a decade. The increase in sales was primarily driven by a surge in the 905, where inventory is falling behind demand. The City on the other hand, is seeing new listings grow at three times the pace of sales.

Greater Toronto’ Real Estate Prices Make Abrupt Jump

The price of a typical home, all types included, made an usually large increase during the pandemic. The TRREB benchmark price reached $880,400 in July, up 10.01% from the same month last year. The City of Toronto reached $967,900, up 9.06% over the same period. This isn’t just unusual during a pandemic, it’s an unusual trend for the history of Toronto real estate prices….CLICK for complete article

Toronto Real Estate Prices Creating a Double Top?

Greater Toronto Area Market Update

The Greater Toronto market has experienced a prolonged uptrend which has propelled prices up 127% since 2010. The aggregate average sales price had initially peaked in 2017 at $920K (125% Growth over 7 years), with June 2020 recording a $930K price. These two data points are seemingly creating a double top for the GTA real estate prices.

The first break in the armour was the rapid uptrend (green line) established in 2016, which rose prices over $290,000 in a year and a four months. That uptrend broke in 2017. The rapid uptrend was not sustainable growth rate, prices subsequently retreated back to our forecasted higher echelon of the lower threshold $750K during the end of 2017 and into 2018.

Eitel Insights analytics is noticing a double top is forming in the GTA prices. After the creation of the first peak in 2017 with current prices representing the second peak. After peaks comes valleys, the GTA has remained in an impressive uptrend since the market took a temporary pause in 08-09. That uptrend (black line) is about to encounter a serious test which will cause market volatility.

Prices will begin to search for their market cycle lows, just like every other market cycle previous. The chart has identified a few pricing thresholds that will be tested in the upcoming months and likely years. Eitel Insights anticipates the market bottom to occur and create a channel which the market will remain likely until 2025.

With a double top forming in the price chart, we next take a look at the supply demand factors. Inventory has seen the bottom during December 2016 with only 4700 active properties. The most recent bottom came during 2019 with over 7400 active listings. Still well below the 15 year average of 17,800 actives, but a higher low none the less. Equally as important, the data is officially breaking the downtrend that had been in play since 2013 signalling that trend has completely come to its end. Going forward we anticipate inventory to continue in an uptrend meaning with higher lows and higher highs in the reported data.

The magical number of 21,000 active listings which hasn’t been broken in the past 7 years, will eventually relent in the upcoming several quarters. Inventory had been getting sold in record time and record money in years previous, this in turn has kept the inventory a nominal levels, while increasing the asking price.

The sales chart demonstrates there has been less demand at current prices, a trend which has been developing seemingly unnoticed by most. Sales are not low in 2020 solely due to Covid-19. No, they have been trending lower since 2016. In fact sales have not remained above 10,000 since 2016. June 2016 had over 10,000 sales and the month ended with 12,000 inventory. Since then inventory levels have surpassed 19,000 each summer with ease, however the sales have not risen above 10,000 since, with one data point being the exception during 2017. That signals to Eitel Insights, increasing demand to sell with decreasing demand to buy.

Demand has waned. Up next anticipate an increase to the supply without nearly the amount of a buyer as years previous. This upcoming reality inevitably creates competition amongst sellers, which in turn, leads to lower asking prices. As with any cycle, the overheated frenzied activity eventually ends, and gives way to a whole new kind of chaos on the other end of the spectrum.

The condo market in particular will see a chaotic atmosphere, as newly completed properties begin to enter the GTA market in 2021 and predominantly in 2022. The flood of inventory that is on the horizon is eerie enough, throw in the investor market that hasn’t received rent since Covid-19 hit and cannot evict the tenant going through the proper channels until who knows when. Once the investors do get their properties back, selling will be on the mind. Unfortunately this example will occur by the hundreds, and the market will flood with new and older inventory.

The historical chart is calling for a similar market cycle to the one that occurred from 1989-2002. After a 4 year uptrend prices shot up 167% to reach the all-time high of $261K in April 1989. After peaking the search began for the market cycle bottom, which occurred multiple times throughout the 11 year price channel.

Eitel Insights is not calling for an 11 year channel, however we are stating that the market cycle began in 2017. 3 years later and the current data is simply confirming the previous high, as time marches on prices will begin to work their way lower and find that market bottom. We are forecasting a 24% correction, indicating prices will test the $700K threshold in the upcoming years. The bottom will likely occur in 2022, once the inventory has flooded the GTA.

Not all markets in Canada are created equal, some areas are closer to the bottom. While others still have significant percentage losses upcoming. Become an Eitel Insights client to find out which are which.

Dane Eitel, Eitel Insights