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Friday Free-for-all! May 26th 2017

It’s that time of the week again… Friday Free-for-all time!

This is our regular end of the week news round-up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend, here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

Mortgage growth slows
Low rates solve problems
HCG deposits decline
Taxing astronauts?
Fed rate hike soon
NDP win crucial riding
Strata complaints force sale
Total dollar volume plunges

So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes in the comment section below and have a fantastic long weekend!

Why does the foreign buyer tax only apply to Metro Vancouver?

Some people love the foreign buyer tax, some people hate it, but at least one person thinks it was a conflict of interest for the finance minister to enact it only in Metro Vancouver when he owns investment properties just outside that boundary:

 

The one home and six investment properties that belong to Mike de Jong in Abbotsford are worth almost $1 million – a significant investment that rose in value relative to similar properties inside Metro Vancouver, records suggest.

That puts de Jong in a conflict of interest when handling the province’s controversial real estate file, says Duff Conacher of Democracy Watch.

“Given that the finance minister has significant real estate investments, I don’t think he should have been taking part in this,” Conacher said.

“He would have to recuse himself or sell his properties. It has to be one or the other. He can’t have a private interest and take part in decisions about his properties.”

But de Jong tells CTV News he had nothing on his mind except doing his job when he moved and voted for the tax in the B.C. Legislature.

“The decision was based exclusively on the analysis of the data,” he said outside a Liberal caucus meeting.

Read the full article over at CTV news.

Canadians are most likely non-resident speculators in the US

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) in the US has just released data on foreign buyers. Noticeably missing from the top five list is China, but at the very top of the top 5 US markets there’s one country: Canada.

That’s right, Canadians are the most likely foreign buyer in the US.

NAR stats show that Canadian and UK buyers are the most likely to buy property for occasional use. Going back to 2016, 80% of Canadian, and 61% of UK buyers were non-resident buyers. To contrast, only 39% of Chinese buyers were non-resident. This means Canadian and UK citizens are more likely to buy property and not move into it. Whereas 61% of Chinese buyers are likely to buy property for relocation.

To understand how impressive this statistic is, you have to look at the relative number of people. China has over 1.317 billion people, and Chinese citizens purchased 29,195 US homes in 2016. That results in 11,386 US homes sold to Chinese citizens for investment or occasional use. To contrast, Canada has 35.85 million people, and Canadian citizens bought 26,851 US homes in 2016. Since 80% of Canadians are non-resident, that’s 21,480 homes for investment or occasional use bought by Canadians just last year.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Read the full article here.

Friday Free-for-all! May 19th 2017

It’s the end of another fabulous week in  New York City, Paris, and Vancouver Washington.  Also here too.

This is our regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend, here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

Bubble bath
Scarce condo supplies
HCG Worries
Housing plan makes it worse
Time to buy
Raise rates
Canada sales cool

So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes in the comments below and have an excellent weekend!

Poloz: HCG problems ‘idiosyncratic’ and contained

Bullwhip29 pointed out this article in the financial post where Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz says that the troubles at Home Capital are ‘idiosyncratic‘ and contained:

Poloz said the central bank saw no signs that Home Capital’s deterioration had triggered contagion, according to an interview with the newspaper on the sidelines of the Group of Seven meeting of finance ministers and central bankers in Italy.

“We’d be looking for signs that there are problems with the (financial) system as opposed to preoccupying ourselves with individual institutions,” Poloz said.

He also has some stuff to say about the housing market in general:

Poloz also reiterated in the interview the central bank’s view that recent house price increases were not sustainable, and echoed previous statements that some speculation appeared to be at play in the market. He added that did not mean a major price correction was in store.

“Often, when you have a truly unsustainable housing market, you will see very rapid price increases (and) very rapid credit growth,” Poloz said. “But we don’t see that in the credit side, so I do think a significant amount of this that is fundamental, but layered on top, is a speculative element.”

Read the full article here.