Before we get into the details of the November housing market data released this morning by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), big positive news for housing occurred yesterday. The US Federal Reserve gave its clearest signal yet that its historic policy tightening campaign is over by projecting more aggressive interest-rate cuts in 2024. This ignited one of the biggest post-meeting rallies in bonds and stocks in recent memory. Global shares spiked higher. Short-term Treasuries posted their best day since March, while world currencies surged against the US dollar and corporate bonds rallied. Canadian markets followed suit. If anything, Canada is far more interest-sensitive than the US, and our economy is far weaker.
As the charts below show, monthly mortgage payments relative to after-tax income are far higher in Canada than in the US, even more so given the tax deductibility of mortgage interest and property taxes south of the border. The US economy grew by a whopping 5.2% in the third quarter compared to a decline of 1.1% in Canada. Therefore, the Bank of Canada will likely cut interest rates sooner and more aggressively than in the US, improving housing affordability.