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canada home price peak

The Latest in Mortgage News: Have Home Prices Peaked?

The seemingly endless run-up in home prices seems to have reached a peak, at least for now.

May home sales data from some of the country’s real estate boards showed sales and prices still growing in some regions, but down for their second consecutive month in others following the peak in March.

The following is a summary of activity in May for select cities. Keep in mind that year-over-year changes are now skewed due to the dip in activity during the height of the lockdown restrictions last spring.

Toronto (Toronto Regional Real Estate Board)

  • Home sales: 11,951 (+15% above the 10-year average)
  • Average sale price: $1,108,453 (+30% year-over-year)

Vancouver (Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board)

  • Home sales: 4,268 (-13%)
  • Average price (single-detached home): $1,800,600 (+22.8%)
  • Average price (condo): $737,100 (+1.2%)

Montreal (The Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers)

  • Home sales: 5,398 (-13.5% year-over-year)
  • Average price (single-family home): $496,000 (+34%)
  • Average price (condo): $365,000 (+30%)

“The return to lower, more sustainable levels of activity continued last month across major Canadian markets,” wrote Robert Hogue of RBC Economics. “Despite showing eye-catching increases from a year ago—entirely reflecting depressed comparison points in May 2020—our read of early reports from local real estate boards is home resales fell broadly from April to May.”

New App Gives Brokers Access to Realtor Leads

For brokers looking to expand their marketing efforts, a new app has arrived on the scene that may fit the bill.

Reslii is a Canadian first that helps mortgage agents partner with Realtors, opening up a new stream of leads.

The app is geared towards Realtors to help them create professional-looking listing sheets and landing pages, while also providing a client relationship dashboard that facilitates marketing campaigns.

While the service is free for Realtors, mortgage brokers pay a subscription fee to partner with select real estate agents, who then put the broker’s information and branding on their client-facing materials.

“We saw an opportunity to enhance the existing technology to bring mortgage brokers and Realtors together to create a more cohesive experience for their mutual clients,” said Jason Lang of Outline Financial, who has partnered with Jason Henneberry of Tango Financial to promote Reslii in Canada. “When a Realtor commits to using Reslii, they are also committing to promoting their top mortgage broker early in the sales cycle when they begin working with new homebuyers.”

Lang and Henneberry say there’s a growing trend among technology platforms to integrate mortgage brokers and Realtors, but note nothing has hit the Canadian market until now.

“What’s unique about Reslii is that it enhances the existing business processes of the Realtor,” said Henneberry, adding that it’s a user-friendly platform. “The fact that it’s easy for a broker to demo the tool and start using it is why we believe Reslii will be a real game-changer for how mortgage brokers and Realtors partner going forward.”

The official launch isn’t until July, but Lang and Henneberry say they have already had more than 100 Realtor partners sign up after beta testing the app.

Interested brokers can view a demo here.

Mortgage Arrears Remain at Historic Lows

With the mortgage payment deferral program now in the rear-view mirror, the percentage of mortgage arrears has remained at historical norms.

Only 0.22% of mortgages from the chartered banks are currently in arrears, according to the latest (March 2021) data from the Canadian Bankers Association.

The national arrears rate hasn’t been lower than that since June 1990, and is well below the peak of 0.65% seen in January 1997.

The rate is lowest in Ontario (0.09%) and highest in Saskatchewan at 0.76%.