During the first half of 2018, Canada’s housing market was slow-moving, as new mortgage regulations combined with rising interest rates dampened activity. However, Canadian real estate firm Royal LePage predicts national housing activity will start to pick up steam in the coming months, resulting in accelerated price growth.

“We’re already starting to see activity levels rise and prices rise in our biggest cities. We expect the spring market that never was to start to appear, albeit in a muted form, through the third quarter, so that’s through the summer and into September,” Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage tells Livabl, in a video interview.

In the second quarter of 2018, the price of a home increased two per cent year-over-year to $613,968, according to Royal LePage’s House Price Survey.

Soper says home price appreciation slowed across the country primarily from softness in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), where many regions experienced year-over-year price declines.

“[T]he spring market really didn’t happen in 2018, it was one of the quietest springs in about a decade. There was really low activity levels and as a result quite soft home prices in most parts of Canada. The trigger was clearly the federal stress test on access to new mortgages,” says Soper.

However, in the coming months, Soper expects homebuyers to emerge from the sidelines, a move that will result in heightened demand and upward pressure on prices.

In the third quarter, Royal LePage predicts national home prices will increase 1.9 per cent to $625,633.

“And we expect the fourth quarter, which is traditionally quite a quiet time of the year, to be more robust than normal, as some of that pent up demand caused by the implementation of the mortgage stress test starts to kick in. People have adjusted to the changes,” says Soper.

From Q2 2018 to the end of 2018, Royal LePage predicts national prices will rise 4.5 per cent to $641,597.

For more information about where national home prices are headed, check out the video above.

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