Episode 51: Housing Market Update: Canadian Economists Weigh-In

On June 5, The Bank of Canada announced its first rate cut in four years. This could be the sign many were waiting for to come off the sidelines and step into Canada’s housing markets. But, what does that look like across the country and how do other economic factors play into the decision making process?

On the latest episode of REAL TIME, we hear from Shaun Cathcart, Director and Senior Economist, Housing Data and Market Analysis with the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), Ann-Marie Lurie, Chief Economist with the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA), and Jason Mercer, Chief Market Analyst with the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), as they share insights on the current state of Canada’s housing market from a national, provincial, and local level, exploring everything from the need for more supply to interprovincial migration to pricing.


Erin Davis: It finally happened. On June 5th, the Bank of Canada lowered the interest rate for the first time in more than four years. Could this indicate the beginning of a shift in the Canadian housing market? If so, what can we expect at a national, provincial, and local level? I’m Erin Davis. Welcome to REAL TIME, the podcast for REALTORS®, brought to you by the Canadian Real Estate Association. Now, who better to speak to the state of Canada’s housing market and economy in general than our three guests today?

Joining us are, Shaun Cathcart, Director and Senior Economist, Housing Data and Market Analysis with the Canadian Real Estate Association, Ann-Marie Lurie, Chief Economist with the Calgary Real Estate Board and formerly with the Alberta Real Estate Association, and Jason Mercer, Chief Market Analyst with the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board. Welcome to REAL TIME. What does the Bank of Canada’s most recent announcement mean for current and potential Canadian home buyers? Why did this change happen now? We’re going to start with you, Shaun.

Shaun Cathcart: Sure. Let me take the second part of that question first. The reason it happened now is because the Canadian economy is not doing that well. Inflations and the Bank of Canada’s favorite BFFs, CPI-common, CPI-trim, CPI-median have been well-behaved, as they say, for four months and it just seemed like the right time. They were a little bit worried about the housing market doing it in the middle of the spring market, but they did it anyway.

What it means for current home buyers or current homeowners, if they’ve got variable rates, their payments will go down. If they’ve got fixed rates, that their renewal date is looking better, whatever that is out into the future now that this rate cut cycle has started. If you’re a potential home buyer, if that’s the signal you were waiting for to jump into the market, there you have it.

Erin: It really has a psychological element to it, doesn’t it, Shaun?

Shaun: Very much so. If you think back to last year when buyers jumped into the market with both feet in March and April, basically anticipating rate cuts, and all they got was rate hikes, they weren’t going to get fooled again this year. That camp has probably moved over into the, I’ll believe it when I see it, and now they’ve seen it.

Erin: Ann-Marie, how about your perspective on this?

Ann-Marie Lurie: For our market, it’s a little different. We’re already in really tight conditions. Any change in rates is just going to bring even more demand into our market, especially for people who were priced out to a certain extent. What we’ll be closely watching is what actually happens on the bond yield? Are we going to see this transfer into declining five-year lending rates on the qualification basis? Those are the things that we’re looking at. Again, it’s just going to further tighten and increase demand even more so than what we are already experiencing.

Erin: Because you’ve already seen pent-up demand and activity even before the rates moved, right?

Ann-Marie: That’s right. Our market has been performing very differently than what you’re seeing in some other major markets in the country. We’ve seen extremely strong demand, we have limited supply, we’re in seller market conditions, and we’ve had strong price growth. This has been happening all the while, while we have very strong or very high interest rates.

Erin: Jason, your take on this. Do you think it’s about time or what do you think?

Jason Mercer: Certainly, if you look at the GTA experience, it’s been quite a bit different than what Ann-Marie was describing out West in Alberta or Calgary in the sense that, we did see a very real impact when the Bank of Canada hiked rates through 2022 and 2023. A lot of would-be homebuyers moved to the sidelines. It’s not to say that most of these people don’t want to purchase a home. In fact, most of them have every intention on making a purchase as we move forward.

Our public opinion polling done by Ipsos suggests that there’s a lot of these homebuyers that maybe this first move on the part of the Bank of Canada may see some of them start to get back into the market. In reality, we probably need to see 100 basis points, 150 basis points before we start to see a real marked acceleration in sales activity. We’ll see stronger activity in the second half of 2024, but even more so as we move into 2025.

Erin: Predicting is hard, we know that. What do you think July’s interest rate announcement could bring?

Jason: Sure. I think the Bank of Canada stated that they’re going to be watching all the various economic indicators. I think that’s the case. I do believe that if we continue to see slower growth in the economy and moderate growth in the employment market, then I think there is, at least, a chance that they could bring on another cut as we move into July. It’s probably 50-50 at best at this point.

Erin: Do you think a lot of people are holding on now? We’re selling a house, so this may be a little bit personal interest here, but I’ve got you here, I might as well ask. I’m sure that there are people who are very interested in what’s going to happen. Do you think that people are going to see the June rate drop and then go, “Okay, why don’t we wait until July?” What do you think, Shaun?

Shaun: I think the first one is really the big psychological one. Rates aren’t any lower. To Ann-Marie’s point, this was already priced into five-year mortgage rates well before, back a month or two ago. It’s really the psychological element at this point. To Jason’s point, there’s a lot of people that if it’s the actual rate itself that you’re getting that you’re waiting for, a lot of them are going to be waiting for maybe 100 or 200 basis points lower than what it is now. For people that are just wanting to be sure, unlike last year where they got burned that the loosening cycle had officially started, that the Bank of Canada is going to wave the green flag on that. I do think that there’s some segment of the market that will jump, and I expect to see it showing up in the first little bit of June.

Erin: What are your ideas on it, Ann-Marie? A July drop, what might happen?

Ann-Marie: Again, I think that it depends on how much this actually impacts the overall lending rates. I think it will encourage some people to reconsider getting back in that potentially couldn’t. In our market, it’s going to depend on if they have supply available to them. We’ve seen that there’s been a shift towards more affordable product. It hasn’t necessarily entirely curbed our demand, but we have seen that shift towards more affordable product. What we could start to see happen is a pickup in some of the higher-end product in our market as rates start to come down.

Erin: Interesting. All right. Let’s put into context some of these pricing peaks and valleys. If you’re looking at housing prices in a vacuum, whether it’s locally, provincially, or even nationally without context, it can be hard to see a way out. Is there any context to be added to the discussion around housing affordability that could put things into perspective, Shaun?

Shaun: Sure. I think the biggest impact on housing affordability is the fact that the Bank of Canada is expected to move rates back towards much more normal levels or what would be considered neutral by them, which may be 3%-ish from the 5% that we were at for so long. That’ll make a big difference for affordability. If you’re expecting a lot more in the way of price declines, the biggest price declines were really in 2022 from quite frankly, a very short-lived peak.

People have bought basically, between October of 2021 and March of 2022. Other than that, a lot of markets are already stabilized near those levels that we had before and since. It depends where you are. Quite frankly, I would expect to see some moderate price growth creeping back in as all this demand comes off the sidelines.

Jason: Every market is different. If you look at the greater Toronto area, we have seen a pretty marked uptick in available listings. Initially, as people move off the sidelines and back into the market, start to take advantage of lower borrowing costs, there’s still going to be quite a bit of choice out there. There will be negotiating power for buyers. Eventually, we’re going to eat through, we’re going to absorb some of that standing inventory.

When that starts to happen, there’s going to be more competition. You’re going to see more interest in a given home. That’s when you start to see upward pressure stocking exerted on home prices. We will start to see that, later on, this year and I think even more so into 2025, especially if we don’t see any meaningful additions of that to the housing stock. I’m sure we’ll talk more about that.

Erin: We will. We’ll also look across the country too, but, of course, when we’ve got Ann-Marie with us from Calgary, which is such a fascinating market to begin with. What’s your perspective on that in terms of the prices? What’s going on right now, or what you can expect, and what you’ve seen, Ann-Marie?

Ann-Marie: First of all, our market is obviously very different. We are relatively affordable when we look at other markets in BC or Ontario in comparison. We have gone through periods of price adjustments. We’ve been always known as this boom and bust market. However, I want to remind people that even though we’ve gone through some adjustments, our prices are rising again, and we still have a lot of catch up to do. We’re still quite a significant spread compared to some other larger markets in the country, so it is a little different here.

Now, that’s been one of those factors that has attracted people to our market, and it’s why our demand has stayed relatively strong throughout this time frame, and it’s why we’ve seen some really strong price growth. It wasn’t so long ago that we saw prices actually, at least, say stable or somewhat slide. I think, again, a lot of that is to do with how we add supply and how much supply we can add. A little bit of a different scenario here. Like I said, prices have been rising pretty steadily for the past two years, but when you look at that spread, we’re still far more affordable.

Now, people in Calgary don’t necessarily feel like it’s affordable after the price jumps that we’ve had, but, put some number of perspective to this. We still have product available like our typical apartment condos in the $350,000 range. People can still purchase detached homes in the 700,000 range. Very different market conditions here and for us, our affordable is a little bit outside of Calgary where we still have more options in all types of home options.

Erin: We’ll get into the whys and wherefores of that as well, Ann-Marie, but let’s talk about interprovincial migration. Alberta knows a few things about that. There’s been an increase in interprovincial migration in the last few years, of course, Alberta being one of the country’s hotspots and it’s not just because of great hockey. What might be causing this? Let’s get all your opinions on this. We’ll start with you, Ann-Marie. What makes Alberta so different?

Ann-Marie: I think our relative affordability has been a draw because when we look at our interprovincial migration; the majority of people have been coming from Ontario, followed by BC. These are the two markets that we’re seeing a lot of people come into the city. Again, our affordability is, we’re far more affordable relative to those two markets. That’s been one of the factors that have attracted people here. Further to that, especially we did have supply going into some of this. Now, obviously, supplies become a bit more of a challenge now. Other than that, we’ve also been creating a lot of employment. Employment has actually been improving here and really a lot of professional and technical jobs, which tend to be in a higher pay grade. This is another factor that’s really contributed to it. It’s not just the relative affordability, it’s also the positive employment situation. Even our economy has really been outperforming some of the other provinces in the country.

Erin: Shaun, your take on the interprovincial migration?

Shaun: That’s been an interesting one to track. As Ann-Marie said, a lot of Ontario to Alberta, and a lot of that is the younger set, 25 to 35, looking for employment, but also home ownership where that’s become very difficult in Ontario. There is even some evidence in the demographic data that the 65-plus boomer parents are following their kids and grandkids out West because what’s the point of having your big Toronto home if no one’s going to visit you? Another trend is the older Gen Xers moving out East for their retirements.

I guess maybe the 60-years-old, they got called back to the office to make that Toronto commute and said, “You know what, I’m going to sell my big house and move out there where I can get a place for 300 and retire early.” Lots of interesting trends. I think we have a tendency to blame COVID for a lot of these. Certainly, COVID was a turbocharger of a lot of things there were, but up and out to be able to afford a home has been going on for a very long time.

Erin: Ann-Marie, you mentioned the tech sector. Is that one of the parts of the growth of Alberta where people can move to be at home, be working from home? Has that added to the attraction in Alberta?

Ann-Marie: I think that does come into play. There’s no question that sector has been growing here. Alberta has been able to attract a lot of investment into even venture capital. That’s been one factor that has supported some of our growth. The majority of our industry is still in the energy sector and spin-offs from the energy sector. I think that ability to work remotely has increased the appeal, especially because of our relative affordability.

That if you’re not having to go into the office and now you can, all of a sudden, purchase and get into homeownership, as Shaun was saying, we had product available in all price ranges for several years. I think that for a lot of people who really desire homeownership, Alberta is really a good option for them, especially if they’re not having to go into the office. We’ve improved our connectivity in terms of airlines. We’re seeing growth in different industries that we haven’t seen. That’s really speaking to some of our diversification that’s happening in this province as well.

Erin: Jason, we all heard during the pandemic about people who were living the dream, going up to the cottage, staying at the cottage, working from the cottage. Is that still happening? Is that still a thing or Is that bump? Are we over that and it’s back to normal thing? What are you seeing in terms of that remote working now?

Jason: It’s interesting. If you think about the movement out of the GTA property to surrounding areas, it could be cottage country, it could be other smaller metropolitan areas in the greater Golden Horseshoe like the Kitcheners and Hamilton’s of the world, that’s a trend we were already seeing prior to COVID in the sense that people didn’t want to leave Ontario to say move to Alberta, but they were looking for a place that was more affordable that they could purchase a home in Southern Ontario. We see that, we look at our members’ activities. It used to be that the great, great majority of transactions reported through TRREB’s MLS system were within the traditional GTA boundaries.

Now, you’re looking at more than a third of those transactions are actually in other centers in Southern Ontario. People’s clients have started to look further afield to purchase a home, and our membership has been helping them out. If you think about, though, whether those people are being replaced, they are. We’re not seeing a hollowing out of the GTA, it’s just from a different source. We’re the single greatest beneficiary of immigration into the country. People want to move to the greater Toronto area to take advantage of a diverse labor market and what have you, but it impacts the housing market differently, rental versus ownership.

Erin: How does interprovincial migration, we will get to immigration, Jason, but how does interprovincial migration affect any housing market? Are there areas popping up as hot spots that might not have been considered before? You talk about the general spread, Jason, into the Golden Horseshoe or even East to Port Hope, Trenton, all of the places that used to seem so far from Toronto, but now people are finding they’d rather drive for two hours than sit in traffic for two hours. How does this migration affect the housing market? Shaun, do you want to address that first?

Shaun: Sure. I guess the biggest impact would be that it’s spreading, whereas it used to be that it was Toronto and Vancouver were expensive and most other places weren’t. When you’ve got all of those people moving out into those other places, once Toronto and Vancouver were in some sense limit to how far those prices could go up and how many people you could jam in there, it spreads across the country, including during COVID, where it was disproportionately to the East Coast, places where they were considered very affordable before. It’s a double-edged sword because it’s nice to have that home price growth and that activity level in places that were pretty sleepy for decades. If you’re a local person in Fredericton, for example, and you’re looking to buy that starter bungalow, and you’re now having to compete with a retiree couple from Toronto who just sold a place for $1.7 million, that’s where the double-edged sword comes in.

Erin: We’ve touched on this a little bit so far in terms of demographic. Shaun, you mentioned retirees from Toronto moving to Fredericton and people also wanting that particular house coming from different income brackets. When it comes to location popularity, can you see anything or tell us about anything that you’ve seen and the contributing factors that you’ve noticed?

Shaun: Sure. One of the things that’s going on in demographics all around the world, quite frankly, with the hockey stick of population that popped up after World War II, is that most of those people are still around and just aging through time. In that middle-aged space, you’ve got now your boomers, your Gen Xers, your Millennials all in that space at the same time. We stopped building the traditional low-rise single-family home about 20 years ago.

A lot of those, not to make accusations, but a lot of the empty-nester boomers are stuck in those big homes. A lot of those bedrooms are collecting dust, whereas a lot of young people are looking to start families and can’t do that in a 600-square-foot condo. As we mentioned, they’re moving out further. I don’t know whether that makes those other regions popular. It’s mostly because they’re more affordable to get a place that’s suitable for, say, a family of four.

Erin: Ann-Marie, what are you seeing? Are you seeing more retirees, or you’re seeing the younger end of the demographic coming in and trying to really start something?

Ann-Marie: I would say we’re seeing younger demographics increase here. That’s what’s attracting people to our city. Again, part of that is because we do have that supply of detached homes that are larger that can house a family, as well as other product types and in affordable ranges relative to other larger markets. We traditionally find that our interprovincial migration tends to be younger people that are coming here. We continue to see that trend play out.

It’s been the largest growth in terms of our demographics, and a lot of them are coming specifically into Calgary. Again, that has to do with that future opportunity as well. What does that job prospect look like? In addition to that cost of housing, we are relatively affordable, especially given our salaries here tend to be a little bit higher than some of the other locations in the country.

Erin: Also, Ann-Marie, as you well know, of course, Alberta has this spread out factor as well, where Okotoks, and Longview, and Turner Valley, and Black Diamond, and even Airdrie were places that were so far from Calgary at one time. These places are just a drive away now and not a huge one. What about the spread-ability of Calgary? Has that worked to your benefit? Is the market taking advantage of that geographically?

Ann-Marie: It does. Yes, for sure. I think one of the differences is in our market, is that we can add supply when we need to. Traditionally, throughout every cycle we’ve seen, whenever we run into these extreme shortage scenarios, we see the new home industry is able to really expand. Last year Calgary had a record level of housing starts in the Calgarian region area. We have to remember that we are not like Toronto where our surrounding communities, or surrounding cities, or towns are a very long commute. We have markets like Airdrie that it’s actually a closer drive if you work in the North part of the city than it would be if you lived in South Calgary.

I think that that’s an important distinction as well in how our market’s a little different, is you’re not driving that far out for affordability. It is a little different. We still have land available within the city limits that can add significant homes. We’re seeing construction happen and respond to basically the supply shortage that we’re currently facing. I think that’s always been the difference in Alberta, is because we do have a lot of land.

In fact, I think that now we’re starting to see some shifts as well, not just from Calgary, but in Edmonton, who last year recorded price declines. They’re starting to see a bit of a shift as well that more people are considering Edmonton, which is relatively more affordable than Calgary. I think that there has to be a lot of perspective in the difference about how you can add supply. That’s something that our province has been really good at doing, but part of that is because we have that land supply available.

Erin: In 2023, Canada’s immigration numbers were much higher than we’re accustomed to, putting more pressure on an already stressed Canadian housing market. This added pressure on the market, it also affects supply and affordability. How have you seen this play out in the Canadian housing markets? We’ll start with you, Shaun.

Shaun: Sure. Just for anyone that doesn’t know, it’s a combination of immigration, which we have a target for, and non-permanent resident arrivals that add to that population growth, typically in the 300,000 to 400,000 person range, sorry, from about World War II until about 10 years ago. Last year it was 1.25 million. That’s a huge jump in people. Everyone needs to live somewhere. I think what’s amazing is that we’re really not seeing much of an impact in the ownership market. It’s all flooding into the rental market, which was already struggling beforehand. We do expect to see some flow out of the rental market, into the ownership market, even in the absence of big rate decreases just because for a lot of people, it’s going to start to look a lot more just relatively favorable to buy, even at very high rates and prices, than to stay at a rental market that’s increasingly expensive and maybe precarious too in terms of being able to stay in your unit.

Jason: It’s interesting. We’ve done a lot of polling around immigration, and certainly, our last round of Ipsos polling found a couple things. There’s a short-term and a long-term story to this. When we’re seeing record levels of immigration into Canada and certainly, drilling down to the GTA, a lot of that initially is pointed at the rental market. We’ve seen very tight rental market conditions over the last number of years. At the same time, when you look at people’s propensity to purchase a home, we actually find that newcomers to Canada, the period to move from renting to owning is actually shorter than for households that were born here.

If you think about that, the last couple of years, we’ve seen record immigration that’s really impacted the rental market, but these people are actually going to be moving in fairly short order into the home ownership side of things. Putting interest rates aside, just the simple fact that we’re seeing this strong population growth on the back of a population cohort that has a higher propensity to buy, that really provides a longer-term view that we’re going to continue to see strong demand for ownership housing.

Erin: That’s fascinating. All right. You’ll remember that CREA’s pre-budget submission includes recommendations on how the affordability and supply issues can be addressed, just what we’ve been talking about today. From your individual perspectives, what types of housing are needed to solve the housing crisis? We’ll start with you, Shaun.

Shaun: Sure. When we were advocating for more supply, it was more of everything. You can choose the number you want to look at, whether we need an additional 1.4 million homes per the PBO just to catch up by 2030, or whether we need another 3 1/2 million per CMHC by 2030, which is a tall order, given the fact that we’ll be lucky to make the 2.3 million baseline that that needs to be added on top of.

You really need more of everything. It’s not one or the other, but it may have to be one or the other in terms of capacity constraints to build. I think our more recent submission does encourage the government to look at a modular housing of factory built penalization, mass timber, and some of those new technologies where there may be some really big opportunities going forward to do things better, more energy efficiently, faster. It does have some challenges, which is why it hasn’t taken off yet.

Erin: Jason, the missing middle, tell us about that.

Jason: I think it’s a really important concept. It jumps off something that Shaun said earlier about more aged households living in a home that’s way too big for them. It’s not that a lot of these people want to live in this large home, it’s that they want to live in their current neighborhood. They don’t want to move away from friends, they don’t want to move away from the amenities that they’re used to, and they simply don’t have other housing options that would better meet their needs.

If we’re able to see a greater diversity of home types, not just more housing in the aggregate, in a lot of built-up neighborhoods, but also in new subdivisions and developments that are being put up, I think you’d see an easier movement through that housing continuum over time, from renting, to owning, to buying your second home, et cetera. People would be more easily able to find a home that meets their needs. What you’d see then is more churn in the marketplace and less of these tight market conditions, some of which are due to the fact that people don’t believe they’ll be able to list their current home for sale and find something else that meets their needs.

Erin: That sounds brilliant. I love the idea of that, staying in your neighborhood but downsizing at the same time. What is the big obstacle there? Is it NIMBY, where there was a 4,000 square foot house if it turns into a multi-family like six or even just row houses for three families? Is it NIMBY? What is it? What do you think is the main obstacle there?

Jason: I think certainly, when we first started banging the drum on the need for more housing supply, it was thrown out by some policymakers as a bit of a red herring. I think over the better part of the last decade, there’s really been that realization that housing supply has been a problem. We’ve got a housing supply deficit that’s built-up over time. We’re also not building enough homes to account for the record levels of population growth we’re expecting to see over the next few years. With that in mind, I think there’s been a real positive shift on the part of all levels of government that A, we need to see more housing supply in the aggregate, but we also need to see a greater diversity of home types brought online.

I think that started to permeate down to the neighborhood level. I think more and more people are seeing A, yes, we need more housing supply, and B, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to oppose it. I’ll tell you, we did a study looking at what the art of the possible is for missing middle types of housing, both in existing built-up neighborhoods, but also in new developments. Some of the options look pretty cool. I think there’s an educational component as well. If people that are initially opposed to new types of housing in their neighborhood looked at what some of the possibilities are, I think there’d be a lot less resistance.

Erin: I love the thought of that. Ann-Marie, Alberta, what’s going on there?

Ann-Marie: First of all, we’ve only really seen a struggle to keep up with supply over the past two years, and that’s just because of the sudden influx we’ve had of migrants. I think that’s just some of the differences that, again, our market has had. Now, with regards to adding supply, there’s no question. I think we need all different forms of supply. Now, our newer communities are quite diverse. They do have a really good selection of your typical detached homes to your semis, and row, and apartment properties. I think that because we have still a lot of new community development, we’re seeing that good mix in all of our newer communities.

Now, when it comes to the existing communities, sometimes that’s where there is some challenges. Often the challenge in our market is not that the redevelopment can’t happen, it’s what type of pricing are you coming in at? The biggest challenge that we’re seeing in our market is development of affordable type of ownership properties. Again, affordable is always relative to each market, but for us, it’s how do we get that product available in some of those lower price ranges? We traditionally saw even apartment style product, we used to have product available in the 200,000s. Now that’s disappearing. Where we’re finding the biggest challenge to add supply is in those lower price ranges.

That’s where we’re seeing supply actually decline. I think that for us, it really comes down to what are those options to increase that land supply available to develop on? That’s something that is another thing that tends to influence our market, is that ability to unlock that land for development. We’ve seen land costs rise significantly, especially when there’s been some boundaries placed on new development within the city limits and outside of our city. Those are things that we’re looking at on a policy basis, but I think that the biggest challenge that we’re facing today is having supply come in some of those lower price ranges where we traditionally had supply.

Erin: What impact does our REALTOR® advocacy have on the current state of the housing market? We’ll start with you, Shaun.

Shaun: We’ve got 160,000 voice strong membership. We have a very strong presence up on Parliament Hill, a lot of connections and meetings that are happening all the time, PAC days here in Ottawa, where we basically meet with every MP in the country and with the REALTOR® representative from their area. We also have PAC at home where members meet their MP where they live. We’ve got a really, really, very, very strong advocacy voice here in Ottawa. I think that the things that we’re advocating for are being echoed by other organizations as well. It’s everything on the supply side. I think that all political parties are on side with that. It really is a front burner issue in Canada. A big part of that is been that we’ve been out there for the last few years saying this is what you need to be focused on.

Erin: Jason, you’ve been talking about supply as well, of course.

Jason: Thinking about government relations at all levels of organized real estate, whether you’re thinking about the board level, the provincial associations, or CREA at the national level, there’s been a great partnership there. I think that’s in realization that it’s all three levels of government that have a role to play in housing policy and certainly recently making things work from a supply perspective.

I think we’ve really seen the benefits of that cooperation over the last number of years as the feds, the provincial government, and local government, certainly in the GTA and across the country have come up with some unique new policy stances and platforms that hopefully, we’ll see more housing supply come online. I think the next couple of years, we’re going to tell this tale because we need to move from the policy paper to getting actual shovels in the ground.

Erin: Oh, thank you, Jason. I love that you talked about the future here because it’s a perfect way to begin our wrap up to this Episode 51. What is one thing that ®S should pay attention to this year? We’ll go local, and provincial, and nationally. Jason, let’s start with you, again, on this one.

Jason: I think at the local level, if you look at a region like the GTA, every neighborhood can be different. Whereas in some parts of the GTA, even in this environment of higher borrowing costs, some neighborhoods have been very tight. If a listing comes on the market, you’re seeing a lot of competition for it. In other areas, it’s going to take some time to see market conditions pick back up. Of course, then that dictates what your strategy is going to be as a buyer or seller. A REALTOR® that really knows what’s going on in a local area is, obviously, going to have a lot of value to bring to that transaction.

The other important thing I’ll note is just the value that REALTORS® in general bring to the overall economy. We’ve estimated that every transaction that gets reported through TRREB’s MLS system results in another $70,000 worth of expenditure in the local economy. There’s billions of dollars of economic benefit and associated jobs and tax revenues that’s associated with REALTORS®’ work.

Ann-Marie: For us, I think the key thing is to understand that we are different than sometimes the national trends. Again, looking at it on what are those local factors that are driving our province and our overall economy? Are we going to continue to attract people from different parts of the country? Is our migration numbers going to stay strong? That has a significant impact on our housing market. I think that understanding some of those different trends really come down to some of the fundamentals that are driving our provincial economy versus what you might be seeing in other parts of the country. I think it’s going to be very important for both buyers, and sellers, and REALTORS® to really understand some of the dynamics within our market. Again, what we’re seeing is very differing trends in the lower price ranges, and different product types, and as well as by location. Our market is still a seller’s market condition, and that’s not really expected to change over the short-term until we see some shifts in supply.

Erin: Last word to Shaun Cathcart. Shaun, what do you say about what’s coming up?

Shaun: I guess the big one would be, think about boring costs coming down. They could come down faster than people think. Think about how much pent-up demand there was beforehand, how much pent-up demand there’s been the last two years when the market’s been very quiet, and how much additional demand is coming through population growth. It’s not a database that we can measure, but we know that there is a record number of people out there on the sidelines ready to go. You’ve got increasing turmoil in rental markets, pushing people towards the ownership market, and when boring costs drop, be prepared to get a lot busier maybe faster than you think.

Erin: I love that note on which to end. Thank you. Thank you all so very much for sharing your wisdom here with us all today. Best of luck to you in the second half of 2024.

Shaun: Thank you.

Jason: Thanks very much.

Ann-Marie: Thank you.

Erin: That conversation certainly gave us a lot to digest. If you want even more context or to keep up with how things play out, visit creastats.ca for the latest housing market analysis. Of course, if you liked this episode, please tell us by giving us a rating, or you can review us on your preferred podcast platform. We always appreciate it. REAL TIME is brought to you by the Canadian Real Estate Association, CREA. Production is courtesy of Alphabet® Creative, with tech support from Rob Whitehead. Thank you so much for joining us here. I’m Erin Davis. We’ll talk to you soon on REAL TIME.