“While there are certainly those outside the city – including economists at some of our more reputable financial institutions – who think Vancouver is heading for an abrupt decline in house prices, those in the know out here don’t seem to be too alarmed by what they’re seeing.”
“Tsur Somerville, the oft-quoted real-estate economist from the University of B.C., doesn’t see signs of a major real-estate story brewing. He actually holds a refreshing perspective on the local scene. He won’t even go so far as to say that buyers hold the advantage at the moment, even though supply far exceeds demand.
“When the average house price is still north of $800,000, then buyers’ market is a term I like to avoid using,” he says.”
“Some think that while the housing market might not be ready to go bust just yet, the condo arena is. But marketer Bob Rennie, someone who follows this area more closely than anyone in the city, says that’s nonsense. … Mr. Rennie said talk of housing bubbles makes for provocative sound bites but isn’t based in reality. He produced a dazzling array of charts and graphs to back his claim that the future of condo sales has never looked brighter.
Now, you might expect someone who sells condos for a living to say something like that. But Mr. Rennie makes a pretty compelling argument that something is afoot that backs his claim. A massive demographic in Greater Vancouver – those between 55 and 74 – is sitting on $88-billion in equity. They are beginning to downsize.”
“And he may well be right. But for now, the market is colder than it’s been in a while. That may not be a bad thing.”
– from ‘Cooler housing market no catastrophe’, Gary Mason, Globe and Mail, 19 May 2012
So, Global TV (16 May), The Vancouver Sun (17 May), and now The Globe and Mail, have all reported bullish outlooks on the Vancouver RE market this last three days, all citing as sources various combinations of: Bob Rennie, Tsur Sommerville, Helmut Pastrick, and the CMHC.
We would have liked to have seen something less homogenous and more analytical from our media, but perhaps our expectations aren’t low enough.