Sunday Dock Read – All Things Residential & Happy Easter 2024!

Happy Easter Everyone! 
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As Lent concludes and Easter arrives; I want to send out a Happy Easter wish to all the loyal readers and your families this Sunday Dock Read. In my view amongst other things, Easter’s timing coincides with the onset of spring, a period revered in ancient cultures as signifying renewal and growth. That of course and the goodness of rich dark milk chocolate. A whole long weekend of it!

Home Values and Market Demand Finally Start to Stabilize

One of Canada’s largest real estate associations is suggesting that the decline in home prices may have halted. According to the February data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the price, as indicated by the Aggregate Composite MLS Home Price Index (seasonally adjusted), remained unchanged compared to January. This brings an end to a five-month period of price decreases, during which prices fell by 1.3% between December and January.

Residential houses Ontario presented by

In February, the national average price of a home was slightly below $686,000, marking a 3.5% increase compared to the previous year. Although sales saw a nearly 20% rise from February of the prior year, it’s important to note that February 2023 experienced unusually sluggish activity. Sales did decline by 3.1% in February compared to January.

CREA is optimistic about the stability in prices, viewing it as a potential sign of a shift in demand. They highlighted the significance of the price remaining unchanged from January to February, especially after the steep drop in prices from December to January. According to CREA, such rapid shifts are exceedingly rare, occurring only three other times in the past two decades, all during periods when demand was increasing after a period of dormancy.

In terms of listings, new listings increased by 1.6% in February compared to January, resulting in a sales-to-new listings ratio of 55.6%. This is slightly above the long-term average of 55%.

Interest Rate Announcement & Analysis – April 10, 2024

A customary occurrence in The Sunday Dock Read is my opinion on where rates are going and when the next Bank of Canada (BoC) announcement is. Keeping with part of the tradition the next announcement is scheduled for Wednesday, April 10th however instead of me stating my opinion we’ll begin to look at the major factors and relative indices that go into the BoC’s decision. We’ll rate the impact of the data and finally speculate on what may occur. Is this me taking the easy way out after being mistaken on my March 6th prediction? Yes – that is exactly what is happening here, but it also provides context to my opinion.

The (BoC) considers several factors when deciding whether to change interest rates. Here’s a breakdown:

  1. Inflation Numbers: The BoC looks at headline inflation (overall inflation) and core inflation (excluding volatile items like gas and food). Lower inflation rates, like the drop from 3.4% to 2.9% in January, could signal a need to lower interest rates.

Impact on rate reductions: Excellent News

  1. Job Market: Job creation and the unemployment rate are important. While more jobs were added than expected in January (37K instead of 10K), most were part-time. The unemployment rate also dropped slightly. This mixed situation might influence the BoC’s decision.

Impact on rate reductions: Marginal News

  1. Wage Growth: While wage growth slowed slightly in January, it’s still higher than before, suggesting ongoing inflationary pressure. This could make the BoC cautious about lowering rates further.

Impact on rate reductions: Mixed News

  1. Economic Growth: GDP (Gross Domestic Product) measures economic activity. While December’s GDP stayed the same as November’s, overall growth for 2023 was modest. January’s GDP growth was positive but lower than expected, indicating a sluggish economy.

Impact on rate reductions: Marginal News

  1. Bond Yields: Lower Canadian inflation readings in January caused Canadian 5-year bond yields to decrease. This could indicate market expectations of lower interest rates.

Impact on rate reductions: Very Good News

Being that we are already days away from April and BoC officials in January stated they expected to cut rates 3 times in 2024; one wouldn’t be ill-judged betting on a .25% rate cut on the 10th.   On the other hand, similar to the last 3 announcements, a lesser-known indicator with impeccable timing becomes a prominent talking point in Ottawa. This announcement’s exhibit: Shelter Costs.  Yes, the cost of shelter divided by monthly income is too high. I would debate that is more of a supply issue but hey I live a long way from 234 Wellington in Ottawa.

Prediction:  Overnight Rate Holds at 5%

Read Related: Stay in the loop with our current mortgage options and available rates.

Tips for Saving on Your Mortgage Renewal or Refinance

Between April 1, 2024 and September 1, 2024, over 1.6 Million Canadians will be renewing their Mortgages. Reach out to to set up a free consultation.

Couple getting mortgage advice.

When it comes time to renew your mortgage or refinance, it’s essential to choose the right rate based on your financial goals for your home. Your decision should also consider stress testing if you’re switching lenders. Consider your needs carefully; if you don’t plan on moving, opt for a longer-term rate. Conversely, if you anticipate a move, select a term that aligns with your situation and search for the best rate available. We advise having an open conversation with a mortgage expert to find the most suitable option for your circumstances. Contact us.

For well-qualified borrowers with substantial capital and a low loan-to-value ratio, there’s another option. These borrowers, whether renewing or refinancing, might benefit from a mix of fixed and variable rate options. This strategy involves locking in part of your mortgage at a fixed rate while leaving the remainder at a variable rate. This approach can reduce overall risk and potentially capitalize on rate reductions, especially if the variable component is an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).

If rates remain steady without downward movement soon, it’s essential to assess the overall risk between fixed and variable options. For homeowners with substantial home equity, net worth, and cash flow, an adjustable-rate option may be viable. Conversely, for first-time homebuyers, opting for a fixed rate is advisable to avoid potential significant increases in your monthly mortgage payment.

TRESA: Ontario’s New Real Estate Rules Faces Its First Summer Rush

The debut of the Ontario Trust in Real Estate Services Act (TRESA) this summer marks a significant shift in real estate practices within the province. Enacted on December 1, 2023, TRESA replaces the former Real Estate and Business Brokers Act (REBBA), bringing about two major changes affecting both home buyers and sellers.  

Competing Offers Transparency: TRESA introduces measures to alleviate the challenges faced by buyers and sellers engaged in bidding wars. Real estate agents, previously prohibited from disclosing details of competing purchase offers, are now required to divulge the number of offers received to all parties who have submitted bids. Sellers also gain the option to selectively disclose offer details, such as price, while maintaining confidentiality. This flexibility aims to ensure fairness and transparency throughout the bidding process, emphasizing adherence to ethical and professional standards set by the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO).

Representation Options: TRESA introduces the option for brokerages to designate specific individuals as representatives for buyers and sellers, rather than representing the brokerage itself. While this aims to reduce conflict of interest and enhance communication, it may result in the potential loss of collective brokerage expertise in complex transactions. Buyers and sellers opting not to be represented become Self-Represented Clients (SRCs), entitled to necessary property information and fair treatment. However, professionals must navigate these relationships carefully, ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

Overall, TRESA’s implementation seeks to improve transparency, choice, and fairness in real estate transactions, prompting a re-evaluation of strategies used by both buyers and sellers.  This summer will be the true test of these new rules and the impact it will have on transactions.  Realtor feedback to date seems to positively back the new transparency while others gripe about the excessive paperwork and drawn-out negotiation timelines.

Once again, Happy Easter!

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Have Questions?

Contact us today to schedule your personalized consultation and take the first step towards turning your homeownership dreams into reality or look into better investing opportunities by phone at 519.497.3667 or by email at

Mathew Monks, Mortgage Agent Level 1
Licence #M18002043

Mortgage Intelligence FSRA
Licence #10428