Want to know when the housing market will take off? Ask Google, reports The Globe and Mail.

It looks like the number of times that Canadians search for the term “mortgages” in Google is a decent indicator of what home sales will do. And if that’s true, the spring might yet show a spike in the number of homes changing hands, followed by a levelling off.

So, if the “mortgage” search is a good barometer for Canada, what does it predict? Searches for the term peaked on Thursday March 27, when they temporarily spiked, and levelled off shortly thereafter. That peak day, probably not coincidentally, was when Bank of Montreal announced that it was bringing back its 2.99 per cent five-year fixed mortgage rate.

Full national data for April won’t be available from the Canadian Real Estate Association until the middle of May. But don’t be surprised if it shows that the market picked up a bit.

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