Could Canada’s housing market pick up sooner than expected?

Houses for sale in Ottawa

Sales in the region rocketed by 37% compared with the prior January, according to Toronto’s regional real estate board, and posted a huge 22.9% increase compared with December.

Victor Tran (pictured top), a mortgage and real estate expert with RATESDOTCA, told Canadian Mortgage Professional that busy activity at the beginning of the year showed buyers’ eagerness to enter the market before rates fall and demand potentially jumps.

“I feel like the market is kind of heating up. There has always been a lot of pent-up demand, lots of buyers that are just standing on the sidelines, getting tired of waiting,” he said. “And they’re leaving the sidelines and entering the market before rates do drop.

“Once the Bank of Canada makes that first rate drop, it’s going to have a lot of buyers in a flooded market, and some of the buyers that have been ready to purchase basically want to just get ahead of the gun and make a move before it’s too late and all of these bidding wars start.”

Where are home prices headed?

A curious feature of the current market is that despite a brisker clip of homebuying, prices aren’t starting to surge again. In January, the average price across all home types in the GTA slipped by 1% year over year, and fell by even further – 5.4% – over December.

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