There’s usually a lag between economic cycles in the US and in Canada — a year and a half to two years seems to be the accepted lag time for real estate — which is why I’m constantly surprised to see economists committing things like this to paper — exclamation points and all:
While some U.S. executives were muttering that their housing market is in the worst state since the Great Depression, Canadian existing home sales continued to charge ahead in October, in what has clearly become a tale of two very different housing markets. While U.S. existing home sales are down more than 10% y/y so far in 2007, unit sales in Canada’s major markets are up a hearty 8.6% through October, and are on pace to post the strongest year on record! And to rub some salt in the wound, Canada’s major markets are still seeing double-digit price appreciation while U.S. home prices are flagging.
The crowing goes on for some time, but the last line reveals a flash of hesitation (emphasis added):
With Central and Eastern Canada picking up Alberta’s slack, there is nothing yet depressing about the Canadian housing market.