In the latest “Canadian City Trends” report, released last week by RBC Economics, economist Amy Goldbloom makes the case for a “cooling” but fairly stable Canadian real estate market. Following six years of double-digit gains, sales activity is starting to moderate and listings are growing in most major cities causing sellers to “lose some bargaining power.” According to Goldbloom, “the risk of significant price declines is still low, and Canada’s housing market is expected to eke out modest price gains in 2008.”
Goldbloom does make some comments about western markets, and addresses Saskatchewan’s situation head on.
“The slowdown is not shared evenly among cities. The markets that soared well above their underlying economic fundamentals are the very ones with the most downside potential. Calgary and Edmonton have moved from chart-toppers to the bottom-of-the-heap in only a matter of months on a range of key housing market indicators, including house prices and sales.
“Saskatchewan jumped into the spotlight in 2007 as a commodity-led expansion attracted an influx of migrants and led to a major housing boom. Regina and Saskatoon continue to clock year-over-year price gains that are several multiples above the pace of their local wage growth. This lends evidence that the current momentum is unsustainable, with a similar fate to Alberta’s likely for both of these cities within a years time.”
Goldbloom made similar comments about Saskatoon in October of 2007 when she said Saskatoon homes were overvalued and “out of whack with the underlying fundamentals.”
Read the RBC City Trends report here
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Royal LePage Vidorra