All posts by Mansur al-Hallaj

CBC.ca/bc : “foreclosures” on the front page

But not only that: “skyrocket” is in the same sentence. Is the end nigh?

Home foreclosures are on the rise in B.C.’s Central Okanagan in recent months, but local real estate agents disagree about who might be losing their homes.

There are more than 170 court-ordered sale properties on the market in the Central Okanagan, more than 10 times more than three years ago.

Real estate agent Jason Neumann says according to his estimates, in the last 30 days alone 60 new foreclosures were put on the market, and he calls it a disturbing trend.

Neumann is worried the number of foreclosures will bring the overall market down, hurting anyone who wants to sell their home.

“What do you tell your sellers that are not in foreclosure that are now up against something they didn’t see coming? It’s one of those things where the bank is going to have to do what it’s got to do to get it sold.”

Looks like the media just noticed what’s happening in the Okanagan. Here’s the article.

Martin Armstrong lists Canada under “RE markets to avoid”

While some Canadian cities offer reasonable affordability compared to household incomes, Vancouver’s housing is, by any measure, highly overvalued and vulnerable to a sharp correction. Prices have risen 55% from their 2009 trough to a level 29% above their prior peak. The average home price reached nearly C$800,000 (according to CMHC).

Full article

Mortgage loan approvals by province

One metric that nicely captures both the credit and mass psychology components of the current Canadian real estate craze is the total dollar amount of mortgage loan approvals as a percentage of GDP.

[…]

The total amount of mortgage debt would be expected to rise, but in a healthy and sustainable real estate market, it would rise in tandem with GDP growth, meaning loan approvals as a percentage of GDP should stay range bound. That they haven’t is but one more indication that this is a market driven by unsustainable dynamics.

http://www.theeconomicanalyst.com/content/mortgage-crazy-look-loan-approvals-province

Recession looms in Brazil and Canada

Our economy receded for the first time since the ‘Great Recession’ as exports plummet. We’re number 2 after Japan! (in droppage).

The economy shrank at an annualized rate of 0.4 per cent in the second quarter, the first contraction since the Great Recession, and a sharp reversal from the 3.6-per-cent growth rate of the first quarter, Statistics Canada figures showed. It’s a sign that Canada, envied by many countries as a bastion of stability since the financial crisis, is not immune to global economic malaise.

In fact, among the Group of Seven club of rich economies, only Japan had a worse second quarter.

Sales abroad staged their steepest drop in two years, with exports plummeting more than 8 per cent on an annual basis. The high-flying Canadian dollar made it harder for businesses to sell their goods to weakening markets in the United States and Europe. Also, Japan’s natural disasters created havoc in the automobile industry, while wildfires in northern Alberta and maintenance shutdowns in the oil industry curtailed energy production.

But there’s a bright side to Canada’s performance. Company purchases of machinery and equipment in Canada soared at a 31-per-cent annualized pace in the second quarter, the biggest surge since 1996.

Here’s the article in the Globe and Mail, and here’s the take from Global Economic Analysis.