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Home Prices in Canada Went Up 4.3% in Q4 of 2023, Will the Canadian Real Estate Cool Down in 2024?

As we wave goodbye to 2023, the Canadian real estate market leaves us with some intriguing figures to ponder. According to a fresh Royal LePage survey, home prices in Canada experienced a 4.3% hike in the last quarter of 2023. This increment, albeit lower than previously anticipated, sets a curious stage for 2024.

Will the market continue to sizzle, or are we on the brink of a cool-down? Let’s dive in.

Sim / Pexels / The Royal LePage survey projects that national aggregate home prices will continue to rise in 2024.

A Glimpse into the Rearview Mirror

Before we speculate about the future, a quick look back is crucial. The Royal LePage House Price survey sheds light on an interesting trend: a year-over-year increase of 4.3% in the national aggregate price of homes, settling at $789,500. This figure, calculated through a weighted average across various housing types, reveals a market that is resilient yet not immune to fluctuations. Despite a quarterly dip of 1.7% due to soaring interest rates dampening demand, the market’s backbone seems sturdy.

Interestingly, the increase fell short of Royal LePage’s initial forecast, which predicted a 7% rise in the fourth quarter. This recalibration reflects a market that is still finding its footing after the post-pandemic rollercoaster, standing 7.9% shy of its peak in early 2022. Yet, when cast against the backdrop of pre-pandemic times, the market shines, boasting an 18.7% increase from the fourth quarter of 2020 and a 22.2% jump from 2019.

The 2024 Outlook: A Market Standing Firm

As we pivot to 2024, the horizon looks promising yet peppered with uncertainties. The Royal LePage survey projects a continued ascent in home prices, a narrative supported by the anticipation of easing interest rates. The Bank of Canada, after a period of aggressive rate hikes to combat inflation, has held its benchmark rate steady at 5% for three consecutive decisions. With the economy showing signs of softening, the expectation leans towards a reduction in rates, which could breathe new life into the real estate sector.

Jessica / Pexels / The survey anticipates that Canadians will be surprised how the real estate market “stood firm” during the post-pandemic era.

However, it is not just the potential for lower interest rates that is fueling optimism. The market’s resilience in the face of adversity, particularly during the post-pandemic era, has been noteworthy. Royal LePage suggests that the market’s recovery may not hinge solely on a significant drop in interest rates. Instead, signs of stability and a return to pre-pandemic normalcy could be the real catalysts driving buyers back into the fray.

The Buyer’s Perspective: Caution Meets Optimism

For prospective buyers, the landscape is a mix of caution and optimism. The memory of rapid rate hikes and market volatility is still fresh, prompting a more measured approach to real estate investments.

Pixabay / Pexels / For home buyers, the promise of a stabilizing market and potentially lower borrowing costs presents an enticing opportunity.

Buyers, seasoned by recent upheavals, are now looking for signs of sustained stability before making their move.

The Seller’s Standpoint: Timing is Everything

Sellers, on the other hand, find themselves at a crossroads. With home prices still not fully recovered from their peak but well above pre-pandemic levels, the decision to sell now or wait hinges on numerous factors.

These include personal circumstances, market sentiment, and the trajectory of interest rates. So, for those contemplating selling, the market’s resilience and the anticipated easing of rates might suggest that patience could pay off in the form of better offers.

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