peaks and valleys

Photo: Mark Faviell Photos/Flickr

Coverage of the Canadian housing bubble, which according to recent reports may or may not be a thing, can spur curiosity and concern among homeowners and those hoping to get into the market. Since our friend, the internet, is where many people turn in times of trouble, we thought we’d check out Google Trends to see when Canadians were searching for info on the bubble and which province had the most searchers.

Check out the interactive index and map that chart interest in the topic. Keep in mind that the numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart, on a scale on 0 to 100. They don’t convey absolute search volume.

A few dates stand out. February 2010 seemed to be a turning point when the phrase saw a sharp pike in Googling. It was also the month that Teranet announced that Canadian home prices hit a new record. A similar situation followed in July 2011, when Teranet announced another record-breaking month for house prices.

May 2012 was among the busiest months for Google searches about the bubble. It was also when Canada’s home price growth was listed as the eighth highest in the world, Calgary reported a 30.3 per cent leap in sales, and Teranet announced another new high for prices. Perhaps it was Finance Minister Jim Flaherty who was doing all that Googling? He announced the cross-country mortgage rules the following month.

Since then, bubble searches dipped to their lowest point in July 2013, one year after the new mortgage rules came into being and the country didn’t see a huge drop in prices or sales. BMO Economics even suggested the new regulations didn’t affect most first-time home buyers’ plans to buy, while sales in Vancouver surged by 12 per cent, Calgary broke a pricing record and the fevered GTA market saw sales slow down but prices climb.

We’re curious to see how the rest of the year will pan out with more bubble talk surfacing.

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