Fading Housing Optimism Deepens Decline in Canada Confidenceby
Expections for decrease in real estate prices hit 7-year high
Readings on personal finances and job security weakened
The share of Canadians expecting real estate prices to fall has reached the highest level in seven years, driving consumer confidence to its third-consecutive weekly decline.
The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index fell to 57.7 from 58.4 a week earlier, still above its 12-month average of 56.1. Several factors drove the deterioration, including real estate, weakening personal finances and pessimism about the Canada economy.
“This particular week of tracking suggested downward movement on all indicators,” Nanos Research Group Chairman Nik Nanos said.
The share of those expecting real estate prices in their neighborhood to decrease rose to 23.7 from 22.5 a week earlier, the highest level since 2009 and the third-highest since the index began in 2008. Another 38.1 percent of respondents expect prices to rise, down from 39.6 percent the week before.
Optimism on home prices now outweighs pessimism by 14.3 percentage points, the slimmest margin since March.
Consumer sentiment fell most sharply in British Columbia, where there are signs of sales and price declines in the housing market after officials introduced a 15 percent tax on foreign buyers. Confidence fell in the Pacific-coast province to 58.5, from 61.5 a week earlier, the biggest one-week decline since May.
The drop made Ontario, Canada’s most-populous province, the new confidence leader, even after sentiment there dropped to 60.3 from 61.4. Readings also declined in the Prairies and Atlantic Canada. Quebec was the only region where sentiment rose, to 59.6 from 59.
Personal-finance measures also deteriorated. The share of those saying their job is secure or somewhat secure fell to 65.7 from 66.5 a week earlier, while 10.8 percent of respondents see their jobs as at least somewhat insecure, up from 10.5 percent.
The share of those who say they’re better off over the past year fell to 24.8 from 26 a week earlier, while the share of those saying they’re worse off rose to 25.1 from 24.
Expectations for the Canadian economy were little-changed, with decreases of 0.6 percentage points in both the share of those expecting it to strengthen and weaken. Those who said they didn’t know comprised a 7.2 percent share, versus 6 percent a week earlier.
The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index is based on telephone-poll responses from a four-week rolling average of 1,000 respondents. It’s considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The latest round of polling ended Sept. 9.