2018 – The year when Canada’s housing market hit the brakes… What will happen in 2019?
The Canadian Real Estate Association sees home sales rebounding a little (2.1 per cent) in 2019 with home prices roughly keeping up with inflation (2.7 per cent). In Ontario, prices will likely climb a little faster (3.3 per cent) and in British Columbia, a bit more slowly.
Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island can also expect modest price gains, while Saskatchewan and Newfoundland Labrador will experience a small dipping. The forecast for Alberta was stable, although that predated the recent oil price plunge.
The big banks expect interest rates to continue to rise between 2.25 per cent & 2.75 per cent by the end of 2019. Todd Schlanger, senior investment strategist at Vanguard Investments Canada says the Canadian economy will likely continue to grow in 2019, albeit at a slower pace than in 2018.
Rather than a housing collapse, a more likely scenario is one in which home prices stagnate as household incomes slowly catch up. Another factor that might help keep the market stable is that rents are sky-high. This could help sustain the demand from homebuyers.
Home buyers should be patient, and not count on price gains to make up for negative cash flow. And home sellers should be realistic and not fixate on “old peak prices” as they usually end up having to “chase the market down” watching their asking price gradually fall. If you are keen on selling, you have to be ahead of the market and possibly anticipate future prices declines.
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