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HomeLatest NewsCanadian NewsDespite Canadian Real Estate Market Uptick Prices Continue to Slide: BMO Warns

Despite Canadian Real Estate Market Uptick Prices Continue to Slide: BMO Warns

The recent buzz in the Canadian Real Estate Market around cheaper financing and talks of rate hikes taking a breather seems to have injected a dose of optimism into the market. However, peeling back the layers of data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) paints a more nuanced picture.

Canadian Real Estate Market Tightening, Yet Challenges Surpass Last Year’s Downturn

Sure, December saw an apparent uptick in home sales, with a seasonally adjusted increase of 8.7% from the previous month. Yet, when we take a step back and look at the unadjusted figures, the rise shrinks to a more modest 3.7%. A step in the right direction, perhaps, but considering the sluggish pace of the market last year, it’s not exactly a victory dance.

Similar mixed signals emerge when we scrutinize inventory trends. While seasonally adjusted new listings dropped by 5.1% from November, the unadjusted data tells a different story—a 5.8% increase compared to the same period last year. The market may appear to be tightening on a monthly basis, but the year-over-year comparison suggests a looser scenario.

Canadian Real Estate Market Upturn Falls Short of Halting Price Declines

Now, let’s talk prices. The Canadian Real Estate Association’s MLS HPI Index, the benchmark for a typical home, paints a less rosy picture. Despite the perceived market firming, this index dropped by 0.8% in December, marking the fourth consecutive decline. Since the peak in February 2022, we’re looking at a 13% dip.

Douglas Porter, the chief economist at BMO, cautions against getting too carried away with optimism. According to him, the recent mild tightening isn’t sufficient to stabilize prices—yet. BMO’s forecast aligns with a more cautious outlook, anticipating flat sales volume this year and an average 4% dip in the HPI, following a 5.9% drop in 2023.

But hold on, there’s a twist. The unexpected drop in long-term rates adds an element of uncertainty to these predictions, with Porter acknowledging that the risks might lean towards the more optimistic side.

It’s essential to note that social media might be buzzing with ambitious outlooks, but industry experts, including BMO, and even CREA’s own forecast, temper expectations. BMO’s warning about the Bank of Canada’s hawkish stance underscores concerns that a sudden shift in the housing market could further stoke inflation pressures.

In conclusion, while there’s a glimmer of improvement in the Canadian real estate market, it’s wise to tread cautiously. The road ahead may have some twists and turns, and the recent rate developments add an intriguing layer of unpredictability to the narrative.

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