RBC sees the sluggish start to Canada's spring housing market

Canada’s largest bank is expecting a slow start to the spring housing market as higher interest rates keep many buyers out, despite a drop in prices.

The benchmark home price is down about 16% in the past year in Canada, but at $704,000, it’s still nearly 30% higher than three years ago.

The number of newly listed properties fell 8% in February compared with the month before, and the inventory of available homes dipped to 4.1 months.

We are seeing it in our volumes, essentially. With inflation and rates, there’s still uncertainty around where all of this is going to land.

In early March, the Canadian central bank kept its key rate untouched for the first time in a year, saying policymakers need time to assess how consumers are adjusting to higher borrowing costs.

Posted Canadian mortgage rates from Royal Bank and Toronto-Dominion Bank are about 5.5% for borrowers who want to lock in their costs for 5 years.