Disentangling the Factors Driving Housing Resales
We use a recently developed model and loan-level microdata to decompose movements in housing resales since 2015. We find that fundamental factors, namely housing affordability and full-time employment, have had offsetting effects on resales over our study period. Recent mortgage rule changes have likely contributed to slower resale activity in Canada, but their impact is estimated to be relatively small. Thus, much of the variation in resales since 2015 reflects deviations from long-run fundamentals, most notably in British Columbia and Ontario. We show that the deviations from fundamentals in these provinces are strongly correlated with house price expectations, which rose rapidly in 2016 but then retreated following provincial housing policy changes.