Crash Alert – Housing in Canada

Posted by David Rosenberg - Gluskin Sheff

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Toronto, the largest housing market in Canada, started the year off with a bang, with existing home sales jumping 87% year-over-year from last January (albeit from a very depressed level).  Median home prices climbed 15% YoY and average prices saw an evenbigger 20% jump to nearly $410,000.  Inventories of active listing declined 41% YoY and homes sold more quickly (average of 28 days versus 49 days last January).

The national housing market has also seen a rebound in recent months and has gotten the attention of government officials (although most say we are not in a bubble — shades of the U.S. denial circa 2005-06).  There has been some chatter in the media that the Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty, may increase the current down payment requirement (currently 5%) and decrease the amortization length of a mortgage to 25 years in order to cool the housing market.

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