April’s housing market upturn continued in May, when home sales and prices increased month-over-month. But the Bank of Canada's interest rate hike in June could derail the current momentum down the line.
- Mortgage rates increased along with the Bank of Canada's overnight rate, which was raised to 4.75% – a 22-year high – bringing a 5-year variable mortgage rate to 5.80%. Higher mortgage rates will reduce affordability for homebuyers, slow demand and drag down price growth.
- The Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) monthly Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Home Price Index showed a 2.1% month-on-month rise in May, bringing the national average home price up to $729,000. Prices are up 3.2% year-over-year.
- While home prices are up nationwide, according to CREA, that growth was driven by British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia. Ontario prices dipped slightly year-over-year.
- CREA also reports a 5.1% increase in month-over-month home sales in May. Sales even posted a small gain of 1.4% above May 2022, despite new home listings remaining historically low.
- According to a report from Rentals.ca, the average national asking rent rose 0.6% from April to May 2023, to $2,014. That is a 7% increase year over year, and 19% higher than rents in May 2021.
- In Ontario, the average asking rent for purpose-built and condominium rental apartments climbed by a scorching 12.4% year over year to reach an average of $2,409. That wasn’t quite the fastest in the country, however – comparable Alberta rents grew 13.4% – but it does put Ontario’s average rent within $60 of British Columbia’s nation-leading $2,468.
- The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reports that total housing starts fell 23% to 202,494 from April to May. Multi-family starts declined while single-family starts rose.
- The Canadian Home Builders' Association reports a builder sentiment index of 34.3 for single-family homes, up 8 points from the previous quarter. This is the first increase in sentiment since Q1 2022. Labour shortages, high construction costs and uncertain interest rates are what's dampening confidence. Still, more builders rated current and future market conditions as "Fair" over "Poor."
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