Canadian real estate prices continue to fall, with the worst October sales since 2010

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The Canadian real estate market stabilized this month, according to industry insiders. The numbers from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) for the month of October indicate a drastically different perspective. Yes, seasonally adjusted house sales in October were better than in September, but October was the lowest month since the Great Recession. As increasing interest rates continue to wreak havoc on family budgets, real estate values saw another five-digit decrease, and for the first time since the beginning of 2019, yearly growth became negative.

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Canada’s real estate values continue to decline, albeit at a slower rate than in recent months. In October, the median house price reached $735,400, a decrease of 1.4% (-$10,600) and a decrease of 0.8% (-$6,000) compared to the previous year. Even though the monthly loss was substantial, it was lower than the previous month. The yearly price rise, however, yielded its first negative result since 2019 in 2020.

In the last year, the price of a typical Canadian house has decreased. In September 2021, a typical house was last appraised at this level. Since March 2022, when they hit an all-time high, prices have declined by 15.3% (-$132,900). Contrary to what you may have heard, the volume did not directly oppose the trend.

Home sales did not necessarily indicate a change in the economic trend. There were 33,698 real estate transactions in October, a 36% decrease from the same month the previous year. The media widely disseminated an industry comment on seasonally adjusted monthly growth but failed to fully extract the relevant context-defining data. After adjusting for seasonality, October’s sales volume was the lowest since 2010, during the Global Financial Crisis. Seasonally adjusted growth is neither visually nor texturally appealing.

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The same housing prices as the previous year are accompanied by significantly increased mortgage interest rates. Even if September 2021 and October 2022 were priced identically, leverage would have been significantly reduced. Using projections based on a 5-year fixed rate with a discount, the debt-carrying capacity would have decreased by around 31%.

In addition, pre-approvals of mortgages may have had a significant impact last month. If a buyer had obtained pre-approval three months earlier, the mortgage rate in October may have been around one point lower. This means that some borrowers had the option of purchasing immediately or letting their pre-approval expire and getting an interest rate that was 1 point higher. As banks have already said, after a rate increase, people will think about whether higher rates or higher prices are more likely.

The Canadian housing market is now more complex than usual. Even while there are indications of a market recovery, the nation’s oldest bank continues to expect price declines. It is simple to capitalize on a little increase in positive news, but it may be better to wait for proof that things are really changing.

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