The Financial Post reports in its Tuesday edition that Canada's big banks are eagerly watching the country's real estate markets for evidence of a rebound this spring. The Post's Goeff Zochodne writes, however, that the mixed signals the sector has delivered so far are unlikely to move the needle for lenders. According to recent data, housing sales shot up in Toronto and Montreal in April, but took a serious tumble in Vancouver. For the big banks, whose results are often influenced by real estate markets as well as the broader economy, it may take steady flow of housing market gains before they see a trickle-down effect in their own profits and share prices. The mixed results so far also reflect that Canada's housing market is really made up of several regional ones. Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz noted this phenomenon in a speech on Monday, saying that "some previously frothy markets are still adjusting to a significant shift in price expectations, while other markets appear to be operating in a manner consistent with market fundamentals." While the overall picture for housing is patchy, National Bank analyst Gabriel Dechaine noted that volume data can provide a sense of where mortgage growth is going.
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