A spring renewal for Canada's housing market
The downtown Vancouver skyline and port are seen at sunset along with houses lining a hillside in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday, July 11, 2022. Realtors are expecting Canadians to move off the housing market's sidelines this spring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, March 22, 2023 5:41AM EDT
Realtors are expecting Canadians to move off the housing market's sidelines this spring.
They expect potential buyers to start hunting for a home because the Bank of Canada has eased up on interest rate hikes.
The quick succession of increases eroded buying power as borrowing costs rose and sent prices falling, discouraging sellers from listing their homes.
With Canadian Real Estate Association data showing average prices have dropped 19 per cent from their February peak of $816,578 to $662,437 last month and BMO Capital Markets' chief economist predicting they will bottom out after falling 20 to 25 per cent, realtors see many edging toward a purchase once more.
"We got a flood of buyers in January, in February and we still are getting more and more and we started seeing multiple offers return and bully offers return," said Michelle Gilbert, a Toronto broker with Sage Real Estate Ltd.
"We've started getting calls where buyers are just like 'I think I'll just adjust what I want, but I don't want to miss my opportunity."
Over in Vancouver, Coldwell Banker Prestige Realty agent Tirajeh Mazaheri has also seen a resurgence in buyers.
Weeks after the Bank of Canada signalled further interest rate hikes were unlikely, she said properties started selling quickly and with multiple offers. But she doesn’t see the market returning to the frenzied pace of 2021, largely because of the lack of properties available.
February’s new listings totalled 51,366, down 26 per cent from a year ago, the Canadian Real Estate Association recently revealed. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, they hit 57,535, down nearly eight per cent from January.