Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Home prices could fall in big cities

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TORONTO -- Vancouver and Toronto home prices will probably experience a relatively mild downturn -- of about 15 per cent -- in two to three years, but not the dramatic drop that hit the United States a few years ago, according to a report by the Toronto-Dominion banking group.

TD said Monday the 15 per cent decline in Canada's two most expensive cities is likely in a few years but it will be gradual, rather than the sudden drop of 30 per cent seen in the U.S. real estate market after it peaked in late 2007.

The bank's analysis is consistent with other warnings that Vancouver and Toronto real estate is generally overpriced, but supported by low interest rates and a stable economy.

That's not likely to change this year unless there's a major economic shock from outside the country, the TD report said. In the meantime, TD says Vancouver's real estate market is stabilizing after soaring last year and Toronto prices appear poised for a robust increase.

"Some observers might point to the recent data in Vancouver as evidence that housing activity is going through a long-awaited correction. But the jury remains out," wrote TD economists Derek Burleton and Leslie Preston.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 12, 2012 B6

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