southseacompany posted this link claiming we’ve now reached double the number of vacant homes the US had before their housing bubble burst:
Home vacancies are often a sign of overbuilding, and speculation. At the height of the US housing crisis in 2008, a massive 2.9% of all homes were sitting vacant. This made it hard for home prices to retain their value during the downturn, since the vacant units began flooding the market on the way down. But that was the US, and this is Canada – we don’t have that number of units sitting vacant, right? Actually, Canada has more than twice that number.
Canada’s economy is booming, expanding at a 3.7% annual rate in the first quarter. And yet…
Meanwhile, in a year when stocks are rising everywhere, Canada’s benchmark index is the second-worst-performer in the developed world after Israel, according to Bloomberg data. It’s a similar story in currency and bond markets.
The performance underscores how, even with the improving economic performance, caution prevails. Investors remain concerned about geopolitical risks such as U.S. trade protectionism, the outlook for oil prices and a housing market that some analysts say may be on the verge of a correction.
“It is a tad curious to say the least that the Canadian economy arguably has been one of the bigger pleasant surprises in 2017 and meanwhile the equity market has done a belly flop,” said Doug Porter, chief economist at Bank of Montreal, who highlighted the disconnect between Canadian growth and market performance in a May 26 note.
Energy shares are down 10 percent year-to-date, while fears about contagion from a run on deposits at troubled mortgage lender Home Capital Group Inc. have weighed on financial shares, which are down 1.2 percent.
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.
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.