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CMHC Releases 2016 Third Quarter Housing Market Assessment

Posted on February 7, 2018 by Jivan Sanghera

The Housing Market Assessment (HMA) analytical framework provides a comprehensive and integrated view that relies on a combination of signals from a number of indicators to assess housing market conditions in several metropolitan areas across Canada, and for Canada as a whole.
In this HMA, CMHC is raising its overall assessment for Canada from a low level of evidence of problematic conditions to moderate. Driving the increased level of evidence has been increasing growth in housing prices that have pushed house prices to levels that exceed the fundamentals supporting the housing market.

 Report Highlights

- This quarterly release of the Housing Market Assessment (HMA) provides updated results to evaluate the evidence of problematic housing market conditions at the national level, and in 15 Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs).
- To establish evidence on whether there are problematic conditions in the housing market, the HMA analytical framework looks at: overheating; acceleration of house prices; overvaluation; and overbuilding. „
- In CMHC’s overall assessment of the housing market in Canada, the level of evidence of problematic conditions is raised to moderate from weak. In particular, CMHC now detects strong evidence of overvaluation for Canada as a whole. This national picture, however, reflects divergent patterns across the country. „
- Growth in house prices has accelerated, but this growth is concentrated in the provinces of British Columbia and Ontario. This effect is only partially counter-balanced by weaknesses in the oil-dependent provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland & Labrador. By the time of the next HMA in October, growth in home prices in parts of British Columbia and Ontario may have been sufficient to provide strong evidence of problematic conditions for Canada overall. „
- Across Canada:
1. Vancouver and Toronto now both show strong evidence of problematic conditions. The level of evidence of problematic conditions for Vancouver has been raised to strong from moderate where we detect a combination of overheating, price acceleration, and overvaluation. The evidence for Toronto is unchanged with the strong evidence of problematic market conditions driven by price acceleration and overvaluation. Hamilton is also now showing strong evidence of overvaluation, resulting in the overall assessment of problematic conditions for Hamilton being raised to moderate;
2. Weak energy prices continue to affect housing markets in oil-dependent provinces. Despite house-price adjustments, the overall assessments for Calgary, Saskatoon, and Regina continue to show strong evidence of problematic market conditions because of overbuilding and the impact of weak fundamentals on the assessment of overvaluation;
3. Elsewhere, the analytical framework detects moderate evidence of problematic conditions in Winnipeg, Montréal, and Québec. The evidence of problematic conditions for Ottawa was lowered from mod

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