Where does opportunity currently lie in Canada's housing market?

The buyer's market of today is masking pent-up demand, Leah Zlatkin says

Where does opportunity currently lie in Canada's housing market?

There are still plenty of opportunities for buying in today’s housing market despite the protracted current slowdown, according to Leah Zlatkin, chief operating officer and mortgage broker at the Toronto-based Mortgage Outlet.

In the buyer’s market that currently prevails, Zlatkin said that mortgage professionals with financially capable clients should encourage these consumers to dive into the housing market.

“Given how slow things are right now, and the fact that most people are not qualifying for as much money, it is a really good opportunity for somebody who wants to capitalize, [somebody] who has funds set aside and who will qualify,” Zlatkin said in the latest edition of CMP Talk.

Especially taking into account the market slowdowns apparent in the largest markets like Toronto and Vancouver, Zlatkin is anticipating home sales to be tepid in the immediate future.

However, she stressed that “when you look at the immigration numbers coming into Canada, this can’t last long. There’s an immense demand for the small supply that we have.”

The federal government has recently said that it will be keeping its immigration goal of 500,000 new permanent residents in 2026.

“Because the market is so slow, it’s a great time to buy a house,” Zlatkin said. “But the fact is, in two years, that house is going to be very sought after. Once interest rates go down, everybody is going to be trying to get into market, especially once people get their [permanent residency] cards.

Another top concern for brokers in 2024 will be renewal time for mortgage holders.

“For most people, you need to make sure that you’re going to be able to hit the stress test, and that you’re going to be able to qualify at a different lender if you are looking at switching,” Zlatkin said. “Alternatively, if you’re not looking at switching, I’d certainly recommend talking to your bank directly and asking them what the best offer they can give you at renewal, and making sure that you can make those payments.”

Zlatkin added that brokers with less financially flexible clients should encourage them to begin saving for pre-payment, “so that your balance on your mortgage is lower at maturity – and that you’re going to be okay when your next mortgage starts up.”

Listen now: What needs to be top of mind for brokers and agents in the current market?