Sidelined buyers expected to return to real estate market

The median price of a single detached home in Markham reached $1.684 million in the last quarter of 2023. That’s a 7.7 per cent year-over-year increase – significantly higher than the national year-over-year increase of 4.4 per cent to $816,100.

The median price of a standard condominium, meanwhile, hit $739,400. That’s a 4.8 per cent increase in that same period and is above the national year-over-year increase of four per cent to $583,900, according to the Royal LePage National House Price Composite.

Phil Soper

“I believe the narrative suggesting that the housing market will rebound only when the Bank of Canada (BoC) lowers rates misses the mark,” says Royal LePage President and CEO Phil Soper. “The recovery will begin when consumers have confidence the home they buy today will not be worth less tomorrow. We see that tipping point occurring in the first quarter, before the highly anticipated easing of the BoC key lending rate.”

In December, the BoC once again held its key lending rate steady at five per cent and is widely expected to make modest cuts later this year. Several major financial institutions have already begun offering discounts on fixed-rate mortgages as bond yields decline.

“Canadian consumers are moving through a period of transition and as a result, so are the dynamics of our national housing market,” Soper says. “Buyer sentiment can have as great an impact on market trends as inventory or interest rates. Early market recovery will be sparked by signs of home price stability and we are very close to that now.”

Home prices in Canada haven’t yet fully recovered from the correction: the aggregate price of a home is sitting 7.9 per cent below the peak reached in the first quarter of 2022. However, the national aggregate home price remains well above pre-pandemic levels. In the fourth quarter of 2023, the aggregate price of a home recorded an increase of 18.7 per cent over the same period in 2020 and 22.2 per cent over the same period in 2019.

Royal LePage predicts the national aggregate home price will rise 5.5 per cent year- over-year in the fourth quarter of this year. The aggregate home price in the Greater Toronto Area is expected to rise six per cent in that period from $1.123 million to nearly $1.91 million.

Photo courtesy of Royal LePage.

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