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Canada Housing April 2023

Canada: House prices see record annual contraction, but pick up in sequential terms

According to the Teranet-National Bank House Price Index, house prices plunged 8.5% on an annual basis in April (March: -6.9% yoy), the worst result on record. More positively, house prices rose 1.8% in month-on-month terms in April, which was above March’s 0.5% increase. The print marked the best reading since April 2022. Home sales also rose on the month. Moreover, housing starts rose 22% in seasonally adjusted terms in April from March, boding well for residential investment in Q2.

Taken together, the latest data suggests that the housing market is recovering in sequential terms so far in the second quarter, aided by the strong labor market and rapid population growth.

Desjardin’s Hélène Bégin urged caution regarding the latest housing starts data:

“Against all expectations, Canadian housing starts rebounded sharply in April. […] We believe this could be a temporary blip. High interest rates and construction costs are making financing difficult for some developers and builders, given that new home presales are down. In addition, despite some monthly volatility, the value of building permits issued by municipalities continues to decline.”

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