Canadian Economy Grows 1.7% in Q1: What Does it Mean for Housing?

Canadian Economy Grows 1.7% in Q1: What Does it Mean for Housing?
June 1, 2024

The Canadian economy grew at an annualized rate of 1.7% in the first quarter of 2024, according to Statistics Canada. This fell short of both the 2.2% median estimate from a Bloomberg survey and the Bank of Canada's forecast of 2.8%.The report also revised fourth-quarter growth downward to 0.1% from the previously reported 1%.

Breaking Down the Numbers

  • Household Spending: A bright spot in the report was household spending, which increased by 0.7%. This growth was driven by a 1.1% rise in spending on services like telecommunications, rent, and air travel. Spending on goods also edged up by 0.3%, with higher outlays on new trucks, vans, and SUVs.
  • Housing Market: Housing investment also showed positive signs. Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec saw the largest volume increases in resales, while housing prices in these provinces dipped slightly. This could indicate a cooling market with continued buyer interest.
  • Business Investment: Business capital investment grew, led by spending on engineering, particularly within the oil and gas sector. However, there were widespread slowdowns in business investment in inventories, suggesting some caution from businesses.
  • Job Market and Wages: Compensation of employees rose in Q1, and household savings reached their highest rate since early 2022. This indicates continued strength in the job market with wage growth outpacing spending increases.

Impact on Housing Market

The economic data offers a mixed bag for the housing market. While a potential rate cut by the Bank of Canada could make mortgages more affordable, other factors will also play a role. Here's what to watch for:

  • Interest Rates: The Bank of Canada's decision on interest rates next week will be closely watched. A rate cut could stimulate demand by lowering borrowing costs, but it could also lead to higher inflation.
  • Job Market: Continued job growth and rising wages would support housing demand. However, any signs of a weakening job market could dampen buyer confidence.
  • Consumer Confidence: Consumer confidence plays a significant role in buying decisions. If economic concerns rise, it could lead to a wait-and-see approach from potential buyers.
  • Immigration Levels: Canada's immigration targets are expected to remain high in 2024, which will continue to put pressure on housing supply, particularly in major cities.

The Road Ahead

The Canadian economy appears to be in a period of moderate growth. While the housing market may see some adjustments, the underlying fundamentals – a strong job market, rising wages, and steady population growth – suggest continued demand.

Stay Informed, Make Smart Decisions

For potential homebuyers and sellers, staying informed about economic data and housing market trends is crucial. Consulting with a qualified real estate professional can help you navigate the market and make sound decisions based on your specific circumstances.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended to be investment advice. Please consult with a qualified real estate professional before making any decisions about buying or selling a home.


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