CMHC : Strong evidence of overall problematic conditions despite some housing markets showing signs of improvement in Canada

Conditions in Canada’s housing markets are showing some signs of improvement but the official overall rating from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) will be held at “strong evidence of problematic conditions”.

On a quarterly basis, CMHC issues Housing Market Assessment (HMA) to provide Canadians with both expert and impartial insight and analysis, based on the best data available in Canada. This report acts as an “early warning system” for the country’s housing markets – an important tool supporting financial and housing market stability.

Report highlights:

  • Overall rating to be held at “strong evidence of problematic conditions”.
  • Evidence of overvaluation at the national level has been downgraded from strong to moderate. It is now present in six centers instead of eight.
  • Evidence of overvaluation has increased from moderate to strong in Victoria, as fundamentals are not keeping up with higher prices. There is also moderate evidence of price acceleration and overheating, leading to strong overall evidence of problematic conditions.
  • Conditions have improved in Regina, Montréal and Québec relative to home prices.
  • Overbuilding has gone down from eight centers to six.
  • In Moncton and St John’s, the supply of homes is adjusting to the demand.
  • Toronto and Hamilton continue to face price acceleration, overvaluation and overheating. Price growth has intensified and demand is outpacing supply in the rental, resale and new home markets.
  • Vancouver’s housing market continues to show strong evidence of problematic conditions due to moderate evidence of price acceleration and strong evidence of overvaluation.
  • Markets in the Prairies continue to show moderate to strong evidence of overbuilding.

CMHC defines “problematic conditions” as imbalances in the housing market. Imbalances occur when overbuilding, overvaluation, overheating and price acceleration – or combinations thereof – depart significantly from historical averages.

“While the overall assessment for Canada has not changed from the previous quarter, the level of overvaluation has been downgraded to moderate. Regionally, eastern markets show weak evidence of overvaluation while this factor is stronger in western centres and markets in southern Ontario where economic fundamentals have not kept pace with recent price growth.” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

“CMHC’s latest Housing Market Assessment continues to show strong evidence of problematic housing market conditions in Victoria. The last quarter of 2016 was dominated by strong sales and low supply which pushed house prices beyond levels that are supported by fundamentals such as income and population growth. For these reasons, we detected increased evidence of overvaluation in the Victoria market.” said  Eric Bond, Senior Market Analyst (Victoria), Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

“Rapid growth in house prices above rates warranted by economic and demographic fundamentals such as income and population growth has meant the continued detection of problematic conditions in the Toronto CMA housing market.” said Dana Senagama, Principal Market Analyst (Toronto), Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Source: CMHC

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