Canadian Housing Market Remains Balanced-BMO

Canadian Housing Market Remains Balanced-BMO 
- Home sales decline but prices holding up  
- Sales expected to firm up later in 2013 
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 04/15/13 -- Canada's housing
market remains relatively balanced, with home sales down from a year
ago but prices remaining firm, according to a BMO Economics
commentary on today's release of Canadian home sales figures for
"It's official: Canadian home prices are boring, and that's a good
thing," said Doug Porter, Chief Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "All
major home price measures are displaying unusual uniformity - the
average and median price are both up between two per cent to three
per cent, as is the MLS Home Price Index, and the new home price
index. Shutting out the noise in the monthly data, the main story is
that home sales have taken a big step back since last spring but
prices are holding up." 
For later in the year, Mr. Porter stated that headline figures would
turn less negative, although he still expects a seven per cent drop
in annual sales for 2013.  
With respect to the various markets across the country, Vancouver is
no longer a stand-out in terms of either sales or price declines, but
underlying softness persists. Meanwhile, 19 of 26 cities saw
double-digit sales declines in March, with the losses sprinkled
across much of the country.  
The only two cities with sales gains were Edmonton and
Trois-Rivieres, as even Calgary dipped below a year ago. Toronto's
performance is fairly close to the national average, with weak sales
but steady prices. The price-leading cities - Hamilton, Winnipeg and
Regina - are all up by more than nine per cent year-over-year. 
Laura Parsons, Mortgage Expert, BMO Bank of Montreal, noted that it's
essential for both buyers and sellers to be aware of any changing
conditions on the local level. "If planning to buy or sell a
property, consider working with an expert who can help you make
decisions that are appropriate to the health of your local market,
and more importantly, that responsibly fit within your particular
financial situation." 
Ms. Parsons added that home buyers should stress-test their mortgage
against a higher interest rate to ensure they could handle any
potential increases in interest rates down the road and choose a
ge with a shorter amortization, which can help them become
mortgage-free sooner.  
About BMO Financial Group  
Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a
highly diversified North American financial services organization.
With total assets of $542 billion as at January 31, 2013, and more
than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of
retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and
Media Contacts:
Peter Scott, Toronto
(416) 867-3996 
Matt Duffin, Toronto
(416) 867-3996 
Ronald Monet, Montreal
(514) 877-1873 
Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596 
Twitter: @BMOmedia
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