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U.S. housing starts and prices are on the rise, while the Canadian market is possibly in for a rough ride. Builders work at the roof of a new housing construction site in Alexandria, Virginia in this October 17, 2012, file photo. U.S. housing starts rose to their highest rate in more than four years in October, suggesting the housing market recovery was gaining steam, even though permits for future construction fell. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS REAL ESTATE)
U.S. housing starts and prices are on the rise, while the Canadian market is possibly in for a rough ride. Builders work at the roof of a new housing construction site in Alexandria, Virginia in this October 17, 2012, file photo. U.S. housing starts rose to their highest rate in more than four years in October, suggesting the housing market recovery was gaining steam, even though permits for future construction fell. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS REAL ESTATE)
(KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)

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For U.S. banks, much rests on housing recovery

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty may be pleased that the residential housing market is losing steam, but for banks in the United States, that momentum is what’s needed to combat headwinds.

One analyst thinks the U.S. real estate market has already hit rock bottom, and despite the rumblings of housing bears, believes there’s already evidence of meaningful improvement. “I think it’s for real, and I think it’s bigger than most people realize,” said Gerard Cassidy, U.S. banking analyst for RBC Capital Markets.