Banks: Canada house prices are overvalued

CIBC World Markets has just released a report calling Canadian home prices ‘overvalued’ and forecasting falling prices:

CIBC World Markets economist Benjamin Tal said Tuesday that prices could decline by as much as 10 per cent in the next two years, but that a “violent” correction similar to the one seen in the United States remains unlikely.

“We are more likely to see higher interest rates causing a modest decline in prices,” he said. “Because we lack the driver for a more violent decline, we should expect a more orderly rebalancing.”

That’s in the nation as a whole, where median price to income ratios in the five largest cities combined have reached 5.62 (the US market peaked at 5). Here in Vancouver we’re currently running at a ratio higher than 9, similar to where Miami was in 2006.

Last week, TD Bank issued a report that suggested prices could fall by 2.7 per cent in 2011. The Canadian Real Estate Association expects to see a decline of 1.5 per cent. Among recent forecasts, only the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. calls for higher prices in 2011, with an anticipated gain of 1.3 per cent.

..of course the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. is the one pumping government money into the housing market. They’ve gone from $138 billion securitized in 2007 and jacked that up by more than double in just a few short years with close to $500 billion in Canadian mortgages securitized today. Do they have the power to make their contrary prediction come true?

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

And in other new, the sun rose in the east. Glad to see the Banks are on top of things and keeping us well informed…!

Consistently PC


"If whites simply stopped buying prices would collapse IMMEDIATELY"

Please do not refer to people as "white". If you are going to be consistent in your PC world, and acknowledge racial origin, such as asian, please refer to people of "white skin" as being caucasian.

I do not refer to people as yellow or brown, so don't refer to me as white. Lets be respectful of everyone.


@domus: We will lose 400-600 listings on May 31st. How do you see us at 19K on June 3rd? I think it will be a close call for 19K for May 31st. But then we will slip down to 18.5 or so, so we won't be back to 19K until later in June and maybe 20K by the end of June. Not guaranteed to hit 20K in June. Things will start to slow down . . .


@Animal Spirit:

vhb, pope, patriotz, others – what is the best way to respond to those who wave the race card.

If non-whites were responsible for the high prices, only non-whites would be buying.

If whites simply stopped buying prices would collapse IMMEDIATELY.


@paulb.: OK, in light of my forecasting performance tonight, I make a call now: 19,000 on June 3!


#99 &105 NMG, I am convinced of two things 1) that a great majority of people have their heads up their asses and haven't a clue as to whats happening around them. 2) that # 1 is sadly true of an entire generation who were brainwashed by the PC bullshit that got jammed down their throats by the Libs propaganda war against the Canadian population starting in the early 1970's. These people can not think for themselves, instead the answer is available from the litany of standard comments they were taught to say.Thats why the PC screamers all sound like they're reading off a script. Look at it head on. You have young people on this site defending PC policies that are directly screwing them, but these same people are setting their hair on fire to defend the right of… Read more »


@A real story:

No names, no places, no timescales. I call bullshit on your "true story".

grecian_formula says

The western world will put grecian fisherman to work mopping up worldwide oil slicks.

Tony Danza

@grecian_fisherman: They traded an SFH for the tiny condo because in Vancouver realturds are rock stars and everyone looks up to them, they're like professors in Berkeley or hedge fund managers in the Hamptons, everyone wants to be like them.

That's why Vancouver is F'd, our priorities are all fcuked up we worship houses and concrete boxes in the sky, we're ill.


Regarding listings, only the total inventory # matters, so thank you paulb for your efforts and for posting that figure as well!

So many of these "new listings" are simply re-listings of repriced or re-marketed properties.


@A real story: Sounds like some real idiots. Why would they move from a SFH to a freaking shoe-box condo? Man Vancouver is just full of buffoons. Right from the Gregoire clown at the top to the crack head at the bottom.

A real story

One above average family happily living in a SFH in a nice area until they met a realtor. The realtor convinced them to buy a condo just over 1000 square feet in Vancouver West for $1.2 million. To convince them it was really a good deal, the realtor told them he bought two similar from the same building and showed them his contracts. So they signed the pre-sale contract without knowing the realtor quietly cancelled his two contracts (still within 7 days). When their unit was ready last year, they are forced to sell their SFH at a low price. Right now they are living in that small condo with a huge mortgage and a similar unit one floor below listed for $750K for a couple months already. This story shows how far a real-turd will trick you into a… Read more »

Animal Spirit

vhb, pope, patriotz, others – what is the best way to respond to those who wave the race card.

One side of me (having been subjected to erroneous racist comments in school says to stand up to it, to not tolerate it. This may work in person, but when shielded by the web, there is no direct effect to the one making the comments.

The other side of me says to handle the person like a troll, to ignore them and keep on subject.

Any suggestions?


A-SHarp: s-skeptic asked: “is that you piano”

Yes it is

Always appreciated your perspective and glad we'll have it. Que Monty Burns voice: Excellent.


@No More Gordocracies: Foreign ownership is causing some problems in certain neighbourhoods. But to think it's some systemic problem with every city in the country — or every city in the Vancouver metropolitan area — is a bit too much for me.

If one of those neighbourhoods your are referring to happens to be the west side of Vancouver, well, it's been changing for 40 years plus now. The latest foray of foreign ownership is indicative of a larger issue: incomes in that area have been increasing way faster than other areas for a long time. IMO the foreign ownership situation the west side has been experiencing is a symptom of a larger phenomenon, a phenomenon born almost exclusively through its residents.

To think that foreign ownership is the main cause of your ills is woefully incorrect in my opinion.



s-skeptic asked: "is that you piano"

Yes it is


gordocracies, i tend to agree with you. i find it odd that in canada we have a totally open property market combined with a socialized banking system. in vancouver it means high prices. no one cared for decades when demand was pushed east, you could buy cheap out in the suburbs and commute in fast, it was more sexy than living in the big smoke. when the land supply became saturated in the late 80’s it became a problem. i don’t think the government can do anything about it at this point, it’s just the way it is.



364 seems like quite a lot of listings for a day near the end of the month. Doesent it usually taper off in the last week?


When are you people going to stop bickering about real estate and start thinking about something much more important like the implications of the first morder collapse of a western democratic society? Greece is going to collapse soon. We all know this will happen with near certainty. If you go to Greece today it would cost you the equivalent of $1700 for an ounce of gold from a dealer which is WAY above spot price. No this isn't some stupid gold bug post. I'm just saying that on the ground in Greece right now the population is in a panic. So who the hell cares right? It's just some stupid corrupt country that's practically part of the middle east for christ's sake! Well when Greece goes down it will be a domino and will start a chain reaction in Europe… Read more »


The CREA quotes in the article in the G&M smell of fear.

No More Gordocracies

@realpaul: realpaul re #62 I'm getting annoyed at all the morons who cannot understand what you are trying to say. This only proves that political correctness is a communicable disease among those with weakened immune systems. Please do not stop posting. The truth will prevail in the end just as it has in OZ. The rest of you idiots listen up. This is not a racial issue and those on both sides of the 'who is running up the price' issue should stop spreading bad will. I read this thread daily and am a housing bear in every sense of the word and have told dozens of people what a brilliant site this is. Now I'm ashamed of the people here. What is the average IQ here? Why cannot people read and understand the issue before speaking and trying to… Read more »


I know at least 20 people who bought in the last 3 years and none of them are wealthy foreigners. They're mostly Caucasians who've lived here for 10 to 50 years and most don't even earn as much as I do, they just seem ok with taking on ridiculous debt levels.

Hey, here's a concept – maybe house prices are high because locals are overpaying with cheap money at record low interest rates. Maybe they believe all the fairytales: wealthy outsiders, drug money, etc. Maybe that's why debt levels are at record highs?

EVERY SINGLE bubble market in the US had those same justifications for why their house prices were so high, but that didn't stop prices from plummeting (still hasn't).


@No More Gordocracies: "What part of the following don’t these people not understand?" Pretty much all of it. Are you saying that because a few tens of thousands of non-residents bought property at high prices, the remaining MILLIONS of residents are forced to do the same? Give me a break. 1) There are way more units being built than residents to fill them 2) Rents are not increasing along with prices Residents bought at high prices right along with non-residents. To think that somehow the small fraction of non-residents are wagging the tail of the dog is laughable. If you and other residents don't like the prices, don't pay them. Nobody has a loaded gun to your head. When non-residents start owning a significant fraction of property, I'll start rioting right along with you but we're not even remotely close… Read more »