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Canada’s housing market is cooling off. What does this mean for the fall? – Global News

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After fuelling Canada’s economy through the COVID-19 pandemic, the real estate market is showing signs of weakness as home prices fall and bidding wars dissipate.

It’s welcome news for prospective buyers hoping for a better price. But as the busy fall season nears, realtors and economists are at odds over how long the pricing slide will last and how low it will go.

“The fall is going to be interesting because we’re going to see probably more buyers jumping into the market and you don’t need a ton more buyers to provide a little bit more stability to prices,” said John Pasalis, president of Realosophy Realty Inc. in Toronto.

Read more:

Cooling detached home prices lured buyers in these markets despite rising rates

“Just a little bit of a bump in demand could be the difference between homes selling in three, four weeks versus selling in two weeks or selling a lot faster.”

The average home price is still above pre-pandemic levels, but increasing mortgage rates and inflationary pressures are weighing on the market.

When pandemic lockdowns began in March 2020, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board said the average home price in the area — one of Canada’s hottest — sat at $902,680. Last month, it was $1,074,754, a one per cent hike from July 2021, but a six per cent drop from June 2022.


Click to play video: 'Despite rising interest rates some home buyers are being lured back into the market by falling house prices'



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Despite rising interest rates some home buyers are being lured back into the market by falling house prices


Despite rising interest rates some home buyers are being lured back into the market by falling house prices – Aug 19, 2022

The latest data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) showed prices hit $629,971 in July, down five per cent from $662,924 last July. On a seasonally adjusted basis, it amounted to $650,760, a three per cent drop from June. When pandemic lockdowns began in March 2020, the average national price was $543,920.

The association forecast the national average home price will rise by 10.8 per cent on an annual basis to $762,386 by the end of 2022 and hit $786,252 in 2023.

But some economists are anticipating an even greater price reduction.

In June, a trio of Desjardins economists said they expected the average national home price to fall by 15 per cent between its February high _ $817,253 _ and the end of 2023, but because “we’re almost there,” they adjusted their forecast in August to predict a drop between 20 and 25 per cent.

Read more:

Canadian home prices were down 23% in July from February peak: CREA

“Home prices continue to fall and have further to go before they find a bottom,” said Randall Bartlett, Helene Begin and Marc Desormeaux, in a report released July 11.

“That said, we still believe home prices will end 2023 above pre-pandemic levels nationally and in all 10 provinces.”

In anticipation of a drop in prices, agents have noticed prospective buyers sitting on the sidelines of the market in recent months, while sellers come to terms with the fact that their homes won’t fetch as much money as they would have at the start of the year.

Lori Fralic calls it a “stalemate.”

“We are seeing lowball offers,” said the Vancouver agent with Keller Williams Realty VanCentral.

“There’s lots of bargain hunters out there who are throwing out offers but if they don’t have to sell, a lot of sellers are saying, ‘no, sorry, not taking it.”


Click to play video: 'Your Money: Update on Canadian housing market'



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Your Money: Update on Canadian housing market


Your Money: Update on Canadian housing market – Aug 11, 2022

It’s a change from the torrid pace of sales and frenzied bidding wars seen earlier in the year and late last year.

Much of the shift is attributable to mortgage rates, which mirror fluctuations in interests rates and can eat into buying power.

The Bank of Canada increased its key interest rate by one percentage point to 2.5 per cent in July in the largest hike the country has seen in 24 years.

Read more:

Here’s how high interest rates are impacting Canada’s condo demand

Economists foresee the increases continuing and Fralic said they’re already encouraging people who don’t need to buy immediately to hold off.

She’s seen a drop in prices in B.C., but said it’s not as much of a decrease as many expected.

“If people are thinking (prices) are going to plummet, I don’t think that’s accurate,” she said.

“If you look at the 10-year average of Metro Vancouver, housing prices are way up and if they do dip, they might dip slightly and come back up. There’s always been sort of a steady incline with dips along the way.”


Click to play video: 'New poll finds majority of Canadians are cutting back on spending'



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New poll finds majority of Canadians are cutting back on spending


New poll finds majority of Canadians are cutting back on spending

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said the composite benchmark price for the region _ often Canada’s hottest _ sat at more than $1.2 million in July, a roughly 10 per cent increase from July 2021 and a two per cent drop from June 2022.

“It’s anyone’s guess how much prices will fall,” Sherry Cooper, chief economist at Dominion Lending Centres, said.

Markets, she said, tend to be very localized and the surges or drops some see may not be mimicked in others.

For example, she said Alberta has not seen the slowdown many other Canadian markets have because its energy sector is much stronger than it was in the past.

But Cooper noted home sales activity have declined very sharply in the Greater Toronto Area, the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area and in parts of British Columbia around Vancouver.

“It’s the markets that experienced the 50 per cent increase in home prices that have seen the biggest correction, and that’s what you’d expect because those are the most expensive homes in Canada with the largest outstanding mortgages.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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Iran protests: Canada sanctioning 'morality police' – CTV News

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Canada will be imposing new sanctions on Iran as a result of a continuing violent crackdown on protesters, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.

The sanctions will be levelled on “dozens of individuals and entities, including Iran’s so-called morality police,” the prime minister said.

“We’ve seen Iran disregarding human rights time and time again, and now we see with the death of Mahsa Amini and the crackdown on protests,” Trudeau said, referencing the death of a 22-year-old who was detained for allegedly violating the country’s forced veiling laws. Her death has sparked outrage and has prompted a wave of international demonstrations, seeing some women cut their hair or burn their hijabs in revolt.

“To the women in Iran who are protesting and to those who are supporting you, we stand with you. We join our voices, the voices of all Canadians, to the millions of people around the world demanding that the Iranian government listen to their people, end their repression of freedoms and rights, and let women and all Iranians live their lives and express themselves peacefully,” Trudeau said.

While no official notice of the new sanctions has been published by Global Affairs Canada, the prime minister noted they come in addition to outstanding measures Canada has taken against Iran.

In an email to CTV News, Adrien Blanchard, press secretary to Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said that Trudeau “announced Canada’s intention” to issue these sanctions, pledging more details “in due course.” 

Joly, as well as MPs from all parties, have spoken out about the escalating tensions and use of force against civilians in Iran, with the House of Commons unanimously passing a motion last week offering “solidarity to the women of Iran who are fighting for their rights and freedoms.”

With files from CTV News’ Michael Lee 

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Maine power workers cross border without incident to help in Nova Scotia

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OTTAWA — Nova Scotia Power says there were no issues delaying American power crews from crossing the border to help repair the electrical grid from the devastation of hurricane Fiona.

On Sunday, the utility company and Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston had both said an issue related to the controversial ArriveCan app was delaying power crews from crossing into Canada.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said this morning that the order making the app mandatory and requiring that foreign citizens be vaccinated to come to Canada will expire on Friday.

Power crews helping to restore electricity are considered essential workers and are exempt from the border measures.

In a new statement Monday afternoon, Nova Scotia Power spokeswoman Jacqueline Foster says there was some confusion about the app but it is now confirmed there were no problems.

Versant Power says 15 line workers and two mechanics left Bangor, Maine, for Canada early Monday morning without issue, and Central Maine Power reports more than a dozen two-person crews and 10 support workers crossed the border without incident at around 7 a.m. Monday.

“We now know there were not any issues with ArriveCan,” said Foster. “Our contractor crews have made their way over the border and we are grateful to have them as part of our restoration efforts here in Nova Scotia.”

The Canada Border Services Agency reported that it cleared 19 power trucks at the Third Bridge border crossing in St. Stephen, N.B., just after 7 a.m. Monday. The CBSA said the average processing time was between 30 and 60 seconds per vehicle.

The ArriveCan app has been fodder for heated political debates for months and Conservatives have repeatedly demanded that the government shut it down.

During question period on Monday, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre cited the allegations that ArriveCan delayed power crews to demand that the app be scrapped ahead of schedule.

He asked, “Will the prime minister suspend the ArriveCan app today, not Saturday, so that no more holdups happen at the border for those who are trying to help those in desperate need?”

Trudeau said he can “confirm that there were no delays at any border because of ArriveCan or otherwise.”

The utility company had said Sunday that crews were physically stuck at the border, but confirmed a few hours after question period on Monday that this had never been the case.

Foster suggested the error was a result of “confusion” after a concern arose Friday — before the storm actually hit — that crews from Maine might not be able to cross the border because of ArriveCan.

No New Brunswick border crossings reported issues over the weekend.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 26, 2022.

 

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

 

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Former top civil servant, medical association president appointed as senators

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OTTAWA — Ian Shugart, a longtime bureaucrat and the country’s top civil servant during the first part of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been tapped for a seat in the Senate.

Dr. Gigi Osler, a Winnipeg surgeon, University of Manitoba professor and president of the Federation of Medical Women in Canada, is also set to become a senator.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the picks today after the two were recommended to him by the independent advisory board for appointments to the upper chamber.

Shugart, who will represent Ontario, stepped down as the clerk of the Privy Council in early 2021 to undergo cancer treatments and formally retired in May after a long public service career.

Trudeau also appointed him to the King’s Privy Council today, adding his name to a list that includes past and present cabinet ministers and people “honoured for their contributions to Canada,” according to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Osler, who will represent Manitoba, became the first female surgeon and the first racialized woman to hold the presidency at the Canadian Medical Association in 2018.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 26, 2022.

 

The Canadian Press

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