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7 Economic Resources for Canadian Real Estate Investors

by Andrew C. MacDonald on August 19, 2010

When it comes to making smart real estate investments, economics play a very important role in creating winning deals. There are always ways to make money in real estate, but sophisticated investors take the time to understand economic fundamentals and then swim with the tide rather than against it.

The following is a list of 7 sources for economic information that every Canadian real estate investor should be aware of. Most of these reports provide national and regional perspectives, while others drill down to the metropolitan level. A basic understanding of economic trends will allows you to make informed investment decisions, and these links are a great place to start.

1. RBC Economics Research

  • Housing Trends and Affordability – This quarterly report highlights trends in housing affordability (the percentage of average income required to pay for an average piece of real estate) in provincial and major metropolitan housing markets. Affordability is a key indicator which savvy investors pay close attention to since it can indicate an overheated market and provide clues to a region’s appreciation potential.
  • Economics Digest – Updated monthly, these summaries provide an overview of reports published during the month by RBC Economics Research. Even if you are not an economics buff, these reports will give you a glimpse into the headlines and a brief summary of the key findings from each report. Full links are provided if you find something that catches your attention.

2. TD Economics Commentaries and Publications

  • Data Commentaries – Economists at TD offer commentary on various economic indicators. Commentaries on Canadian Retail Housing, Canadian Housing Starts, and Canadian Employment are particularly relevant for Canadian real estate investors.
  • Regular Publications – Two forecast publications from TD economics are particularly useful. The Quarterly Economic Forecast and Long-Term Economic Forecast each provide analyst expectations for future performance of key indicators. The Quarterly Economic Forecast also contains commentary on important items such as interest rates, GDP, and employment statistics.

3. CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) Publications and Reports

  • Housing Market Outlook – Published semi-annually, Housing Market Outlooks are available for each region and most metropolitan areas. The report focuses on new and resale housing performance and assessing the strength of the corresponding local economy.
  • Rental Market Reports – These in depth reports are updated annually and contain a wealth of economic insight at a metropolitan level. Several key indicators such as affordability, employment, vacancy rates, and rental rates are covered in great detail at the local level.

4. Scotia Economics

  • Global Real Estate Trends – Analysis on residential, commercial and industrial real estate across the globe is offered by this report. It provides global perspective on new and resale housing trends, vacancy rates, building permits and mortgage rates.

5. CIBC World Markets Economics & Strategy

  • Household Credit Analysis – Rather than providing economic insight into the economy of our country or cities, this periodic report provides insight into the net worth of individuals and examines consumer debt trends.

6. Teranet – National Bank House Price Index

  • Teranet – National Bank House Price Index – This website provides a price index for major metropolitan centres across Canada and discloses their methodology for calculating the index. Best of all you can download the raw data in Excel format and dive into the numbers for presentations or your own research.

7. Real Estate Investment Network (REIN)

  • Exclusive REIN™ Reports – The Real Estate Investment network focuses on economic fundamentals and publishes some great reports as a result. Examples include several analysis on the effects of local transportation changes across Canada, and their provincial Top Investment Towns reports. By diving into the facts and figures surrounding infrastructure changes and local economies, they provide succinct summaries which are very helpful to local investors.

As a real estate investor, you owe it to yourself and your investment partners to stay informed, and these seven resources are a great place to start. How else will you make smart decisions based on the facts rather than emotion and opinion?

Creative Commons License photo credit: ShironekoEuro

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Antony Piselli December 4, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Hi Andrew,

I enjoyed visiting your blog. It came to my attention last REIN meeting when it was suggested that we visit your site re: Bill 112. Keep up the excellent work and I look forward to meeting you at a REIN event soon.


Andrew C. MacDonald December 4, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Hi Antony,

Thanks for visiting, and be sure to say hi at the next REIN event.


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