Many industry watchers lamented the lack of activity in the Canadian housing market last month, as home sales and prices continued to underperform.
“It’s official: homebuyers took a pass at the spring season,” wrote RBC senior economist Robert Hogue, in a recent note. “We held the view until now that the transitory effect of the stress test implemented on January 1 would start to wane by the spring. Well, there was no indication of any material rebound in home resale activity through May.”
But that’s not entirely true — at least, not for every housing market in Canada. As Toronto and Vancouver continue to struggle under the weight of federal and provincial regulation, cities like Ottawa and Montreal have been performing remarkably well over the past few months.
For a closer look at which housing markets are dodging the current housing slump, BuzzBuzzNews has rounded up 6 charts that help put things in perspective.
1. Vancouver and Toronto aside, home prices are doing just fine
What’s going on here: National Bank economist Marc Pinsonneault tracked the Teranet-National Bank Housing Price Index for nine metro areas other than Toronto and Vancouver in May.
The takeaway: “In other regions covered by the Composite index, prices have regained most of the ground lost in Q1 ,” writes Pinsonneault. In other words, after a price drop at the beginning of the year, most Canadian cities are have seen a price recovery in the past three months.
2. Prices in Ottawa continue to march upwards
What’s going on here: The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) tracked Ottawa home prices over the past 13 years.
The takeaway: “Benchmark home prices rose by 8.2 per cent year-over-year [in May],” reads the CREA data release. Two-storey single family homes saw a particularly large price bump, jumping 9.5 per cent year-over-year.
3. Home construction is on a roll in Quebec
What’s going on here: RBC senior economist Robert Hogue measured Quebec housing construction levels over the past four decades.
The takeaway: The province is seeing a huge uptick in new housing construction, buoyed by a strong labour market and a surge in home buying demand.
4. Montreal is on fire
What’s going on here: RBC economics has tracked the MLS Home Price Index for Montreal over the past 12 years.
The takeaway: The city is at the center of Quebec’s strong housing market, with a rise in jobs and immigration pushing prices up year-over-year.
5. It’s doing especially well compared to Toronto and Vancouver
What’s going on here: Scotiabank Economics tracked the sales-to-new-listings ratio for Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal over the past two years. A ratio of between 40 to 60 per cent is considered balanced, with readings above or below considered sellers’ or buyers’ markets, respectively.
The takeaway: While both Toronto and Vancouver plunged into buyers’ territory over the past year, Montreal has remained a sellers’ market, with demand continuing to outpace supply.
6. Residential investment is moving upwards in Nova Scotia
What’s going on here: RBC tracked residential investments in Nova Scotia over the past 17 years.
The takeaway: Investment in the province has been moving steadily upwards, reaching its highest level in three years.