“Housing bubble fears over-inflated”
“Savvy shoppers can still do relatively well in Vancouver by searching for the right unit in the right location”
“..the situation facing homebuyers seems somewhat less dire than at first glance. … Those seeking shelter, both physically and from high prices, can still find relatively affordable units and decent bargaining conditions if they are careful, knowledgeable, flexible and ready to shop around.”
“…the prevailing wisdom that Vancouver has a housing bubble should perhaps be reconsidered. Certainly normal metrics, like the ratio of average price to income, are extraordinarily high and could well be in danger territory. But, existence of more affordable geographic pockets in the Lower Mainland where buyers’ conditions prevail, and softness among apartment and townhouse dwellings, suggest that some markets are much less inflated.”
- excerpts from article by Robin Weibe, Vancouver Sun, 26 July 2011, here noted for the chronological record.
So suddenly the ‘prevailing wisdom’ is that ‘Vancouver has a housing bubble’?
Huh? We must have missed the transition in the prevailing consensus from ‘no-bubble’ to ‘bubble’ there somewhere.
In fact, we’re absolutely sure that the prevailing opinion of market participants remains: “It’s different here; fundamentals are irrelevant; outside money will continue to buoy us up; we are impervious to any significant price drops”. How do we know this? Well, if even 10% of participants actually knew we were in a bubble, and understood what that actually meant, we’d have already had a rush to the exits, and we haven’t had anything like that, have we?
So, there may have been a little bit more public superficial bubble-talk, but the vast, vast majority of participants don’t really see this as a bubble.
Ironically, there will only be a consensus that Vancouver had a price bubble at the very bottom of the market, years hence (which will then be the very best time to buy RE). Only then will all speculative excesses have been wrung out of the market.
Regardless, Robin Weibe’s article shows that the local MSM, despite an occasional good critical article recently, by and large is still asleep at the wheel. There are no pockets of good value in the LML. Far from it; housing is 2-3 times overpriced in all areas. When the tide goes out, all boats will fall. – vreaa