The spring season is not expected to provide much relief for Canada’s challenged housing market.
RBC Economics sees a continuation of the weakened demand resulting from a cocktail of negatives for homebuyers including the mortgage stress test, interest rates, economic uncertainty, and affordability.
In a report this week, senior economist Robert Hogue says there was no break in March from the housing market slump.
Sure, there were some positives, a slight pick-up in Toronto for example with sales up 1.8%. But this barely dented the effects of a 9% drop in the previous month. And tight supply accelerated price growth after a pause.
Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton all saw a deepening of the slump and Vancouver sales were the weakest since the recession years.
Hogue says the impact of poor weather earlier in the year may have been limited and he says it’s likely to be a quiet spring season, especially as measures to help first-time buyers announced in the budget will not be active until later in the year.