Bubble situation may force Flaherty intervention

"I'm comfortable with where we are, but we have to watch and, if we see anything moving toward a bubble, we can intervene," Flaherty said in an interview with BNN this week.

"It's calming, which is good, especially the condo market, which was quite worrisome in Vancouver and Toronto, and a little bit in Montreal also."

Home sales rose across Canada for August year-over-year. The performance of the country's two housing markets was instrumental in causing this significant increase.

A 10.6 per cent climb in August sales was observed in Ontario, along with an average price increase of 5.7 per cent.

British Columbia, the priciest market in the country, saw a 28.6 per cent increase in sales activity, coupled with an 8.6 per cent jump in average prices.

The heated market is due, in large part, to the increase in fixed-mortgage rates after a period when they were at record lows. Fence-sitters who have been keeping rate-holds in their back pockets have decided to pounce on the market before rates increase even further. Speculation also abounds that they will continue to do so, leading some brokers to believe clients will suffer from sticker shock.

“(I’m concerned about) people getting used to lower rates; as rates normalize again there will be a shock for clients,” Terry Kilakos of Verico North East Mortgage told MortgageBrokerNews.ca.

As rates continue their upward trend, the markets and the rates locked in during the period of sub-3 per cent rates expire. That kind of movement may be enough to convince Flaherty to not intervene.

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