These are stories Report on Business followed this week.
Canadian property values "defy gravity," as Moody's Analytics sees it.
"The average Canadian home now sells for $410,000, or well over six times median family income," says Moody's senior economist Mark Hopkins.
"Low interest rates have kept Canadian real estate affordable by historical standards, but mortgage rates are expected to rise over the next two years as monetary policy is normalized in the U.S. and Canada."
The report by Mr. Hopkins follows two fresh readings of the housing market this week, one by the Canadian Real Estate Association, the other via the Teranet-National Bank Home price index.
As The Globe and Mail's Tara Perkins reports, those readings show home prices rising.
Ms. Perkins writes that prices continued to climb in April, though home sales slightly lagged those of a year earlier.
The average price climbed by 7.6 per cent, while the MLS index price, released by CREA and seen as a better measure, still showed a gain of 5 per cent. Which has some economists fretting, though they still forecast a soft landing.
These are, of course, national numbers in a country where local markets differ widely.
Properties in most markets are overvalued by 15 per cent or less, says Mr. Hopkins, whose view compares to the 10-per-cent over-valuation pegged by Toronto-Dominion Bank.
And economists generally believe that price increases will, over the next couple of years, ease somewhat.
Mr. Hopkins, for one, says "signs of cooling sentiment are evident," noting the dip in April sales from a year ago and caution among developers.
"Our baseline forecast is for a soft landing, with prices rising below the rate of inflation for several years," he says in a report titled "Home values defy gravity."
"Risks are greatest in Toronto and Vancouver, where foreign investors have helped drive demand," he adds.
"Valuations in Calgary appear more solid, supported by Alberta's booming resource industry. Yet rapid appreciation and extensive building mean that if energy prices fall, Calgary real estate could follow quickly."
- Tara Perkins: Analysts warn of market 'froth' as home prices rise again in April
- House prices show 'early signs of accelerating'
- Toronto tops for speedy home sales: How does your city measure up?
- Canada's housing market still 'quite balanced,' realtors tell Harper
- Canada's condo developers squeezing more function out of tiny spaces
- Video: Buyers' market on the horizon for Canadian housing, experts say
The week in Business Briefing
- Meet the economist who hailed Tim Hudak's plan (and wonder no more)
- Blame Canada: Why Sears and Target aren't happy
- New York Times: How the American dream became the Canadian dream
- El Chapo: A Mexican drug kingpin, his BlackBerry and BBM
- The clean-cut Canadian: Colin Fan tames raunchy Deutsche Bank traders
The week in Streetwise (for subscribers)
- Boyd Erman: Private money opens big wallets for prize infrastructure assets
- Tim Kiladze: OSFI combats fears over board and executive appointments
- Jeffrey Jones: Pipeline shippers face more risk than bondholders
- Boyd Erman: What's CI worth? We're about to find out
- Tim Kiladze: The U.S. bank no one wants to buy
ROB Insight (for subscribers)
- Clément Cignac: Canada's non-energy exporters need to seize their currency opportunity
- Brian Milner: Apple be warned: Sony offers lessons on perils of losing your edge
- Carl Mortished: Barclays was the last British 'Master of the Universe'
- Andrew Jackson: Quebec is not the poor cousin but a model for how federalism works
- David Parkinson: Canada's manufacturers limping back to health
The week's top news
- Barrie McKenna: Ottawa urged to overhaul trade efforts
- Shawn McCarthy and Jeffrey Jones: Ottawa defiant as UN deals blow to Gateway pipeline
- Joanna Slater: U.S. proposal opens door to an Internet fast lane
- Steven Chase and Carrie Tait: Government discouraging business travel to Russia amid Ukraine crisis
- Marina Strauss and Tara Perkins: Sears faces soft market in sale of Canadian assets
The week's must-reads
- Tim Kiladze: Banks try new tricks to poach customers
- Stephanie Nolen: Oil giant Petrobras: Brazil's broken backbone
- Rachelle Younglai: El Nino a looming wild card for commodities
- Kevin Carmichael: Timothy Geithner: Reflections on a global crisis, from a man at the centre of the storm
- Jacqueline Nelson: Buffett's Canadian lieutenant eyes Alberta expansion