Residential Market Commentary - week of December 5, 2016

Dec 5, 2016, 11:39 AM by Maria Broekhof
The latest changes to home buying rules are now, fully, in place.  The final phase – the closing of a tax loophole on capital gains – took place on November 30th.  More strenuous stress-tests for mortgage borrowers were implemented back in October but those moves do not appear to have led to any material change in market behaviour across the country.

The November numbers show the market is still booming in the Greater Toronto Area.  Prices are up 23% with sales up 16.5% year-over-year.

Vancouver continues to experience a slide that began back in September.  November prices slipped 1.2% from October but they remain more than 20% higher than a year ago.

Many market watchers cite Vancouver’s 15% foreign buyers’ tax as the cause of the slow down, but there are indications foreign buyers are coming back.  Government figures show foreigners made about 3% of the purchases in Greater Vancouver in October, up from 1.8% in September.

In Calgary prices dipped nearly 4.1% y/y with sales dropping 17%.  While the new rules are seen as a contributing factor, slumping oil prices remain the major problem.

As of this writing the Montreal Real Estate Board had not released its November figures.