It’s not only end users in the housing market who have been sidelined by rising interest rates, real estate investors are also being deterred from snapping up properties, according to one Toronto-area broker.
“These increases in rates have really stopped investors. You know, I think for the past few years, many people were frustrated with the amount of speculation and investment going on in Toronto real estate. And this has really put a stop to most investors making a purchase,” Nasma Ali, broker and founder of One Group, said in an interview on Wednesday following the Bank of Canada’s decision to hike its benchmark rate by three-quarters of a point to 3.25 per cent.
While investors’ purchasing plans are being put on ice, many of them are also not selling into this market, and are instead choosing to rent out their properties until home prices recover, she added.
Canadian home sales and prices have declined meaningfully in the wake of rising rates while the rental market has heated up. Research firm Urbanation reported condo rental prices in the Greater Toronto Area hit a record of $2,533 per month on average in the second quarter.
“Investors are still paying out of pocket because of the high interest rates. So it just doesn't make sense for them to buy something right now. And a lot of them are just waiting. They're waiting for the bottom. They don't know when that bottom is but they're ready to make a move at that point,” Ali said.
In January, the Bank of Canada released a report that found investors accounted for about one-fifth of home purchases dating back to 2014.
Ali said while there are still some buyers that are adamant on making a purchase, most are waiting until interest rates stabilize.
“A lot of buyers are waiting on the sidelines and this is only going to make them wait longer to make a move. … But some people are just waiting for the rates to stop increasing and then they'll make a move,” she said.
For those who are choosing to buy right now, Ali suggested buyers stay within the lower end of their purchasing budget to account for higher borrowing rates down the road.