Latest in Mortgage News: June Data Indicates a Housing Rebound. But Will it Last?

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Latest in Mortgage News June Data Indicates a Housing Rebound But Will it Last

Home prices, sales and new starts are all rebounding, according to the latest June data. But some, including the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), say risks remain.

This week, a slew of housing data was released from local real estate boards and the CMHC showing overall improvements in June home price and sales, with housing markets in the West being a key exception. Here’s a rundown of some of that data (with housing starts data from CMHC):

Greater Toronto Area

  • Average selling price: $930,869 (up 11.9% vs. June 2019)
  • Home sales: 8,701 (+1.4% from June 2019)
  • Housing starts: 3,470 (+15% vs. June 2019)
covid-19 mortgage lender update

Greater Vancouver Area

  • Average selling price: $1,025,300 (+3.5% vs. June 2019)
  • Home sales: 2,443 (+17.6% from June 2019)
  • Housing starts: 2,005 (-43% vs. June 2019)

Calgary

  • Average selling price: $465,273 (-0.2% vs. June 2019)
  • Home sales: 1,747 (-2% from June 2019)
  • Housing starts: 425 (-62% from June 2019)

Ottawa

  • Average selling price: $360,922 (+17% vs. June 2019)
  • Home sales: 2,052 (-1.4% from June 2019)
  • Housing starts: 665 (-20% vs. June 2019)

Greater Montreal Area

  • Average selling price: $362,207 (+6% vs. June 2019)
  • Home sales: 4,980 (+16% from June 2019)
  • Housing starts: 3,360 (-2% vs. June 2019)

“Following the broader movement to reopen the economy in June, we experienced a very positive result in terms of home sales and selling prices,” noted Toronto Regional Real Estate Board President Lisa Patel. “Before the onset of COVID-19, there was a great deal of pent-up demand in the market. This pent-up demand arguably increased further over the past three months. We are still in the early days of recovery, but barring any setbacks, we should continue to see stronger market conditions in the second half of 2020.”

On new home building, RBC economist Claire Fan said activity “appears to have been relatively resilient throughout the downturn – even the low-point in April wasn’t as big a decline as a lot of other economic indicators for that month,” she said.

Risks Remain, CMHC Says

CMHC's housng outlook report

Despite the overall strength seen in most key housing markets, many worry it’s not sustainable, particularly as the government’s CERB income-subsidy benefit and lenders’ mortgage payment deferrals are set to come to an end.

“There is a bit of a rebound going on because businesses are slowly reopening,” CMHC’s Chief Economist Bob Dugan told the Globe and Mail. “That doesn’t mean that there’s not a lot of risk left out there.”

The agency’s latest housing market outlook released last month forecasts home price declines of 9% to 18% from their peak over the next year.

“Short-term uncertainty will lead to severe declines in sales activity and in new construction,” said CMHC’s deputy chief economist Aled ab Iorwerth in a release accompanying that report. “As the virus is overcome, cities will bounce back, but there is significant uncertainty with respect to the path and timing of the recovery.”

National Mortgage Conference Cancelled for 2020

The 2020 National Mortgage Conference, which was scheduled to take place in Vancouver, has been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, Mortgage Professionals Canada has announced.

“It is with mixed emotions that we have decided the National Mortgage Conference scheduled for November 15-16, 2020, will be cancelled,” the national mortgage brokers association wrote in a communication to members. “After careful consideration and much consultation with our partners and vendors, we felt it was in the best interests of our members to cancel until we can meet together in person safely.”

In the meantime, the association has devoted added resources to producing regular webinars and continues to provide online professional development courses.

The next National Mortgage Conference will now take place in Ottawa in 2021.

Steve Huebl

Steve Huebl

Steve Huebl is a graduate of Ryerson University's School of Journalism and has been with Canadian Mortgage Trends and reporting on the mortgage industry since 2009. His past work experience includes The Toronto Star, The Calgary Herald, the Sarnia Observer and Canadian Economic Press. Born and raised in Toronto, he now calls Montreal home.

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