Jim Flaherty has tightened mortgage rules twice in as many years and has been threatening more action. Any further rule changes however, would be very controversial as debate continues over the state of the economy and Canadian debt (read mortgage) levels. Recently released data suggests our economy is humming along at a sustainable pace.
A Statistics Canada report out Thursday said the ratio of household credit debt, which includes mortgages, fell by 1.3% in the final quarter of last year. Additionally, national net worth increased in the fourth quarter by 0.80% to $6.6 trillion or on a per capita basis to $182,100. On the same day the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) released statistics showing that national average home prices rose 2% year over year in February and overall sales are up 8.6%.
Rising sales with moderate price increases, all while consumer debt levels ease. These figures represent ideal trending for Ottawa policy makers. If this trend holds then you can expect sustainable growth in the Canadian real estate market. This is good news for the economy in general as many industries are dependent on housing to maintain prosperity and job growth.