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What Google searches reveal about Canada’s housing market

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Blog by Randy Miller | April 30th, 2014

Want to know when the housing market will take off? Ask Google. An article in the Globe and Mail, published April 29th, shows why:

It looks like the number of times that Canadians search for the term “mortgages” in Google is a decent indicator of what home sales will do. And if that’s true, the spring might yet show a spike in the number of homes changing hands, followed by a levelling off.

We used Google trends to track how many Canadians had searched the term “mortgages” between March 2012 and March 2014. We then overlaid that with the number of existing homes that were changing hands in each month over that time frame. And voilà.

Google search trends

Google’s chief economist, Hal Varian, has said that, in hindsight, Google search terms shed light on the evolution of the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis. Searches in the United States for terms such as “property management,” “home insurance,” and “real estate agencies” were correlated to the number of new homes that were selling as foreclosures started to rise and median house prices dropped.

So, if the “mortgage” search is a good barometer for Canada, what does it predict? Searches for the term peaked on Thursday March 27, when they temporarily spiked, and levelled off shortly thereafter. That peak day, probably not coincidentally, was when Bank of Montreal announced that it was bringing back its 2.99 per cent five-year fixed mortgage rate (which prior to that had been 3.49 per cent).

Click here to read the full article.

If you are interested in buying or selling a house in Whitby or Brooklin, contact me today. With 22 years of full-time local experience, I can provide insights and skills that will make the buying and selling process rewarding and worry-free. 

Randy Miller
Sales Representative
Re/Max Rouge River Realty Ltd., Brokerage
905-668-1800 or 905-427-1400