Skip to main content
business week ahead

Expect to see a sales dip when the Canadian Real Estate Association releases its July report Wednesday, as Vancouver spoils the party.

Bank of Montreal projects the report will show national sales down 1 per cent from a year earlier, with average prices up 1 per cent. The MLS home price index, a favoured measure, is expected to show a gain of 2.5 per cent, bouncing "as a heavy drop a year ago falls out of the calculation," BMO said in a lookahead.

"After a very difficult start to the year, the housing market is showing signs that conditions are broadly stabilizing," said Benjamin Reitzes, BMO's Canadian rates and macro strategist.

"Despite the less negative overall picture, the market remains very segmented," he added, noting Vancouver "continues to struggle" in the wake of new federal mortgage rules and the provincial move on foreign buyers.

"The Prairies are also struggling to gain any traction but at least activity is flattening out," Mr. Reitzes said.

"However, if oil prices stay elevated, that should support Alberta and, to a lesser extent, Saskatchewan," he added.

"Toronto activity bounced back in July, but remains well below frothy 2016 levels. And, sales in Montreal and Ottawa pressed higher after taking a breather in the prior month."

As a reference point, note that national sales fell 10.7 per cent in June from a year earlier, with average prices down 1.3 per cent and the MLS index up just 0.9 per cent.

Several local real estate boards have already released their July sales and prices reports.

Toronto, for example, which had been one of the frothy markets, showed a hefty sales gain. Benchmark prices only dipped, while the pace of decline for detached homes slowed noticeably.

Pricey Vancouver, though, showed a marked drop in sales.

Read more

The rest of the calendar:


It looks to be a busy week, starting with several quarterly earnings reports.

But key will be how markets fare after the turmoil of last week and the Turkish lira's bath.

“The Turkish lira has hit new record lows on an almost daily basis, and is likely to continue to do so in the absence of measures to stem the bloodletting,” said CMC Markets chief market analyst Michael Hewson.

"Talk of interest rate rises, capital controls may help stem the decline, along with talk of an IMF package, however any such measures would require a significant climb down by President Erdogan, who thus far shows no signs of doing so," he added.

"There is also the geopolitical angle with Turkey being a key NATO ally, with the risk that the dispute with the U.S., over the detention of their citizen, could shift the geopolitical dynamic in that region."

Read more

Germany's report on second-quarter economic growth should show a bump from the first three months, but it could be a wash for the euro zone.

"We doubt that the second estimate of euro zone GDP growth will be revised from the disappointing 'preliminary flash' estimate of 0.3 per cent quarter over quarter," said Melanie Debono of Capital Economics.

Watch, too, for results from Hydro One Ltd. in the wake of its shakeup, and quarterly earnings from Canopy Growth Corp. in the run-up to legal marijuana.


Besides the CREA housing market report, investors will be watching for the latest numbers on U.S. retail sales, which economists expect will show a July rise of just 0.1 per cent, or possibly no gain.

“A rebound in consumer spending was a key driver of Q2’s strong GDP print, however July’s retail sales figures could be the first signpost of deceleration to a more trend-like pace,” said Andrew Grantham of CIBC World Markets.

“Unit auto sales downshifted again on the month, and slightly lower gasoline prices could also weigh on the nominal headline sales print. Restaurants could also have seen a slight pullback following extremely strong growth in each of the previous two months.”


Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which reports results, is "one of the few U.S retailers that has been able to take the fight to Amazon in terms of the online shopping experience," said CMC's Mr. Hewson.

"Big box retailers have come under increasing pressure from the low overheads model that Amazon is able to bring to the table, but Wal-Mart is managing to keep up, with its stronger grocery offering."

Also on tap is Statistics Canada's monthly report on manufacturing sales, which analysts expect to show a gain of 1.3 per cent in June.

"The strength in June is expected to mainly reflect a strong double-digit bounce-back in petroleum and coal sales," Royal Bank of Canada economists said in a lookahead.

"Production levels in this sector are expected to return to normal after activity sank in April and remained weak in May due to a refinery outages," they added.

"The June increase is also expected to reflect indications of a modest bounce in motor vehicle sales. The volume of overall manufacturing sales is expected to be similarly strong."


Observers expect Statistics Canada to report annual inflation held at 2.5 per cent in July, or got even hotter at 2.6 per cent.

“Energy prices provided another lift to the consumer price index, and look to be running almost 14 per cent higher over the past year,” said Royce Mendes of CIBC.

“Similarly, following a month in which food prices showed a surprisingly large increase, grocery stores have been signaling that higher prices should be expected moving forward, with some of that being blamed on the retaliatory tariffs Canada implemented on July 1.”

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe