Alice Sun

Abstract: Housing prices have been growing rapidly in recent years in Canada. In this paper, I build on recent research to assess the current levels of house prices by using a user-cost model incorporating expectations of real interest rate and rent growth. The excess values estimated from a version of the model that allows for shifts in expectations of the long-run interest rate range from 44% in Vancouver and -20% in Saint John in 2017. To understand the excess values across Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) estimated from the user cost approach, I run cross-sectional, first difference and panel regressions on variables accounting for income distribution, demographic and supply factors. However, while the cross-sectional determinants of home-ownership are qualitatively quite similar to those for the U.S., the results over time are rather different. In particular, changes in income inequality cannot explain variations in excess values and price-rent ratios within CMAs in Canada.