Saskatchewan Realtors Association questions CMHC outlook

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan Realtors Association questions CMHC outlook' Saskatchewan Realtors Association questions CMHC outlook
WATCH: The Saskatchewan Realtors Association questions CMHC’s forecast that home prices in the province will drop steeply in the coming months – May 28, 2020

While every sector of the economy is feeling the pinch from the coronavirus pandemic, housing prices in Saskatchewan have remained stable.

However, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) thinks that’s about to change.

“There will be a big temporary negative shock. But I think the underlying dynamics over the long term will remain the same,” said deputy chief economist Aled ab Iorwerth.

The Crown corporation is projecting housing prices across the country to be hit between nine and 18 per cent.

READ MORE: Canadian homes prices could drop up to 25% in some regions: CMHC

But that falls to 25 per cent in provinces like Saskatchewan and Alberta who are also feeling effects from the drop in oil prices.

Story continues below advertisement

“Obviously if energy prices come back quickly, then that rebound could happen. But at the moment, we’re just being very prudent and trying to wait and see what will happen,” ab Iorwerth said.

However, the Saskatchewan Realtors Association (SRA) doesn’t expect the same trend.

Its chief executive is projecting about 80 per cent of sales this May compared to May 2019 and has only seen a drop of one per cent in prices over the last three months.

READ MORE: Coronavirus and the housing market: Is this a good time to buy?

“A lot of economists like CMHC have accurately predicted five of the last three recessions. So the advice I would give to consumers is contact one of our realtor members. They’re professionals. They know the industry,” Jason Yochim said.

He said making sure the real estate market stays stable should be a priority for governments.

READ MORE: Housing sales down over 50% in Saskatchewan due to coronavirus pandemic

Yochim added the average sale of a home in Saskatchewan has about $54,000 of economic spin-off.

“And that’s all very important to get the economy started again. So if you want a quick shot in the arm, that’s a great place to start with real estate transactions,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

The CMHC said a number of factors could change this outlook, but it added Canada’s housing markets could start to rebound by the middle of next year.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

Sponsored content