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At Brookfield RPS we are committed to thought leadership. We have assembled a great collection of interesting and thought provoking articles, reports, surveys, industry information and more. We hope you enjoy and check back regularly.

[Royal LePage] Canada’s Housing Market Moves to Moderation

Royal LePage released their 2017 Q2 House Price Survey and Market Survey yesterday, which is powered by Brookfield RPS data. The report indicates that Q2 Canadian residential real estate market is experiencing moderation with Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton markets rising, while the Greater Toronto Area experiences a temporary slowdown.

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[Bank of Canada] On Rates and the Canadian Housing Market

With the first increase in interest rates in seven years, the Bank of Canada has confirmed that a near-decade-long era of low interest rates has ended. The Bank’s Monetary Policy Report provides insights into the Bank’s rationale for raising rates along with its analysis and views on the Canadian housing market.

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[RBC] Toronto Challenges Vancouver as Canada’s Least Affordable Market

According to RBC’s latest Housing Trends and Affordability report, Toronto challenged Vancouver as Canada’s least affordable market in the first quarter of 2017. RBC’s measure for Canada increased to its second-highest level since 1990, although in virtually all markets outside Ontario and British Columbia, RBC measures are quite close to long-term averages.

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Changes in the Mortgage Insurance Market

The structure of the mortgage insurance market has been changing significantly and is expected to change more in the coming years. According to various industry estimates, approximately 45-55% of residential mortgage debt in Canada is insured and with all the new rules and regulations, it is expected to continue to fall to about 25% in three years with no changes.

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[Moody’s Analytics] House Prices Going One Way, Rates Another

According to economist Paul Matsiras of Moody’s Analytics, federal mortgage regulations and increased provincial taxes and regulations have, as expected, restrained housing starts and curbed house prices. The question then becomes what happens when the Bank of Canada raises interest rates, which Moody’s Analytics expects to begin in the third quarter.

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To Diverge or Not to Diverge? That Is an Important Question….

In recent interviews and presentations, Bank of Canada officials have been saying that the Canadian economy is picking up. Markets are taking the Bank’s positive tone to mean that interest rate hikes could come sooner than had been expected, which was early 2018. Up until recently, the Bank had been saying it would stay the course on its own monetary policy by continuing to hold its target rate, and diverge from increases in interest rates by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

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Reuters Analyst Poll: House Prices Not Coming Down Yet

A poll of analysts by Reuters said that although Ontario’s measures will cool activity in Toronto and its surrounding areas, the effect will be modest and temporary. Overall, economists do not expect Canadian house prices to come down yet thanks to low interest rates, a weak Canadian dollar and strong demand.

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We’re Not Alone

House prices in Australia have been growing at a consistent and quick pace, much like in Canada. The response by the Australian government? It is addressing this growth by making “housing affordability” a feature of its budget and boosting supply.

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The Ontario Budget: Housing-Related Highlights

The Ontario government’s first balanced budget in a decade was published yesterday. Although the budget is lean on further housing announcements (especially given that Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa just announced his 16-point Ontario Fair Housing Plan last week), there are a few good insights that can be gained from it.

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The Neural Lace

It’s actually not that long ago that computers migrated to our pockets and then our wrists. If you continue that progression logically, it does follow that computers will one day enter and/ or pull information straight from our brains. I recognize this sounds very ‘sci fi’, but the march towards this is already in play. Here’s more on what Facebook, Elon Musk and others are doing in this field.

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Flooding Hits the Montreal-Ottawa and Hamilton Areas

Flooding has hit many parts of the country this week. In Quebec, Rigaud was hit with extensive flooding while other areas are considered high risk of flooding such as Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue and Laval. In Ontario, the Dundas / Hamilton area suffered from significant flooding and mudslides.

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Coming Soon: Suite of Measures to Address Housing Affordability in Toronto

Yesterday, three levels of government – Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, Ontario Finance Charles Sousa and Toronto Mayor John Tory – met to discuss what can be done about rising house prices in Toronto. To address these concerns, Mr. Sousa is expected to unveil a “suite” of some 10 different measures to tackle housing affordability, ranging from rent controls to a new tax on real estate speculators and enhanced transparency surrounding the bidding process to protect both buyers and sellers. These will be announced shortly, possibly before Mr. Sousa tables his Ontario budget next week.

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Royal LePage: Insights into the Vancouver and Toronto Housing Markets

Royal LePage released its latest House Price Survey today, which is powered by Brookfield RPS. While home price appreciation in Greater Vancouver has fallen since the B.C. government’s foreign buyer tax, Royal LePage says this may be short-lived, with a risk of “market whiplash” as six months of pent-up demand is unleashed on the market. “The hasty introduction of new real estate-related regulations or taxes in Ontario, in the absence of data and analysis to support these policy moves, could lead to a sharp price correction, impacting not only household wealth, but damaging the broader Canadian economy as well,” said Royal LePage President and CEO Phil Soper.

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