‘Housing a ‘balloon’ not a bubble: economist’
BNN.ca 11 Jan 2012
“Sal Guatieri, Senior Economist at BMO Capital Markets, tells BNN that housing is not in a bubble, but rather a “balloon.”
“In a balloon the air can seep out slowly, it doesn’t necessarily need to burst unless something comes along to prick the balloon,” he says. “That something could of course be a recession or a loss of incomes or job…or a big spike in interest rates that worsens affordability, but we don’t see that happening.”…
Guatieri says that while home valuations are “excessively high” in Vancouver and “somewhat high” in the Greater Toronto are, he doesn’t expect a major implosion in home prices.
“We think Canada’s housing market will fizzle out rather than flame out,” he says. “It will indeed soften, there’s no doubt it will because household debts are relatively high — there’s only so much more rapid mortgage growth that can be sustained in Canada’s housing market and economy.”
CIBC chief executive officer Gerry McCaughey told bankers at a gathering that the housing sector may have peaked and will begin to soften.
RBC CEO Gordon Nixon and Bank of Montreal CEO Bill Downe also expressed concern about housing prices, saying the next few years could see a pullback.
Many economists say the condo market is particularly vulnerable if there is a pullback in home prices, but Bank of America Merrill Lynch Canada economist Sheryl King says predicting an isolated fall in home prices is risky.
“I don’t think that anybody would want to say with the lessons that we learned with the United States that you can isolate a particular sector or a particular part of the market and say everybody else is going to be protected,” she says. “There’s a lot of exuberance in this market right now, there are increasing signs of speculation…this is a market that is red hot and you have to be a little cautious right now,” she adds.
‘More gains in home prices expected’
Vancouver Sun, 12 Jan 2012
Canada’s housing market will continue to be strong this year, with rising property values expected in all major markets, real estate brokerage firm Royal LePage said Thursday.
The company’s forecast called for prices across to country to rise 2.8 per cent by the end of 2012, after stronger gains last year. …
“Widespread calls for a major real estate correction in 2012 simply can’t be justified,” Royal LePage CEO Phil Soper said in a statement. “The industry has significant momentum entering the year, and buoyed by the stimulative effect of very low interest rates, we expect the market to continue to expand — albeit at a slower pace.”
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. has forecast the average price of a listed homes for resale to be $363,900 this year, up 1.2 per cent from 2011. The Canadian Real Estate Association predicted that the average price would be relatively flat at $362,700. Both forecasts were made in November.
Royal LePage said even pricey housing markets in Vancouver and Toronto — where standard two-storey homes averaged $1.1 million and $629,188, respectively, in the last quarter — will see continued price appreciation in 2012.
Bill Good Show, CKNW Radio
calguy via e-mail to vreaa, 12 Jan 2012
“Just listened to Cameron Muir [chief economist of the B.C. Real Estate Association] on the ‘Bill Good [radio] show’. He says the market will be flat …except for the premium pockets.
Interesting he says the influx from China is a big factor, especially in areas like Dunbar etc, and West Vancouver. He says they are bringing lots of cash but
also taking loans out. He basically admitted that young people have to look at a condo in order to buy a place.”
‘Mark Carney’s low-for-long rates yielding more houses than machines’
Vancouver Sun/Bloomberg, 18 Jan 2012
Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney’s 1 per cent interest rate has fostered the opposite of what he has said the country needs to be competitive — record borrowing by consumers, while companies pare debt ratios to the lowest in decades. …
“For the bank to be exhorting businesses to go out there and spend at a time when the bank itself admits the global environment is quite uncertain, I think it’s being a bit disingenuous,” said Mark Chandler, head of fixed-income strategy at Royal Bank’s Capital Markets unit in Toronto.
‘Chinese cash buyers may be about to spice up choice neighbourhood real estate market’
The Province, 19 Jan 2012
Will the story of 2012 in real estate-mad Vancouver be a “not very sexy” period of moderation, or another surge of cash-in-hand transactions in the “micromarkets” favoured by Chinese investors?
For answers we interviewed Cameron Muir, chief economist of the B.C. Real Estate Association, and Julia Lau, Chinese real estate specialist at Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.
‘Year of Dragon heats B.C. real estate market’
CBC, 25 Jan 2012
“Real estate agents in and around Vancouver are expecting big things this week, thanks to the Lunar New Year, which is typically a great time for sales.
Real estate agent Malcolm Hasman showed four Chinese families through a $7.8 million mansion in West Vancouver on Tuesday. The home has panoramic views, two kitchens and even a heated driveway.”
UBC Prof. Duanduan Li says the Year of the Dragon is auspicious for big changes, including big purchases. (CBC)
‘Household borrowing surge driven by most indebted’
CBC, 26 Jan 2012
“The debt-to-gross income ratio of those most indebted families is 160 per cent. The proportion of the most indebted families is greater in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario where housing is the most expensive.”
‘Pending housing bubble spells trouble for Canada, experts say’
Financial Post, 26 Jan 2012
“Patti Croft, recently retired from being chief economist for RBC Global Asset Management, cited the risk of a housing bubble as among Canada’s biggest issues. Part of the problem, she said, is exceptionally low mortgage rates, due to the Bank of Canada’s low interest rate of one per cent — a level intended to support the economy. “Historically, after a long period of low interest rates, what lies ahead is some kind of speculative excess,” she said.
[hat-tips to Makaya, calguy, E.G., others for pointing out these articles. -ed.]
The above only a small sample of the large wave of RE related articles in national and local MSM over the last few weeks. – vreaa