Category Archives: economy

Uh-oh Canada: Record debt threatens stability

Canadian debt is now almost triple the size of the national economy. How did we get here? A decade long housing boom!

While Canada boasts the lowest government debt load among Group-of-Seven countries, household debt is the highest of its peers, the Basel, Switzerland-based BIS said last month in its quarterly report. In September, Statistics Canada reported household liabilities rose to 100.5 percent of GDP, exceeding the size of its economy for the first time.

Canada was the only developed country showing early signs of stress in its domestic banking system amid “unusually high” credit growth relative to GDP, the BIS said.

“This debt overhang represents one thing and one thing only: a pervasive constraint on Canada’s economic growth potential,” David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff & Associates Inc. said by phone from Toronto. “When you get to levels on total debt that makes even the Italians blush, you know you’re in a straitjacket.”

Read the full article over at Bloomberg.

How do you tax an empty home?

The city of Vancouver has floated the idea of an ’empty home tax’ to help encourage the availability of rental supply.  Today is the last day they will take feedback online for this idea.

If you have ideas for or against an empty home tax now is the time to have your input. What should be taxed and what should be exempt?

Best Place on Meth points out a rather obvious loophole and asks how it would be dealt with. Will there be baseline expectations for what is or isn’t market rent?

What’s to stop these owners from listing it for rent at some outrageous price that nobody will pay and then claiming they did try to rent it out?

What do you think – is the idea of an empty home tax a good or bad approach to Vancouvers housing problems?

Sunshine Coast / Bowen Island stats

Skook wrote in to let us know of updates to the Sunshine Coast / Bowen island stats.  

Hi Everyone,

I’ve added more posts to my stats blog. I have the Bowen Island September 2016 stats up. As well, I uploaded 3 Sunshine Coast December 2015 stats posts as well as a SC 2015 Sales Summary post. I’ll start uploading the SC 2016 stats as soon as I can.


Capitulation time

Some people say there are three stages to a bubble: denial, concern and capitulation.  Have we reached the last stage yet?

This comment from YLTNboomerang:

I’m almost ready to call this bubble done, my evidence?…my historically poor timing! Family is getting flown down to TX next month for interviews and to check out RE/Lifestyle that Houston offers. If we finally pull the trigger and move South, even for tremendously more dough, I will post it and that will be the point that YVR becomes cheap cause as a bear since 2007 I can’t get this F*&$er timed right. BTW, I already stipulated a “Trump clause”, if through regime change foreign workers are kicked out, I get 3 years pay and no non-compete plus relocation costs.

Any one else hit the capitulation stage yet?

Non-bank mortgage lenders don’t like new rules

It’s looking like lending for real estate is going to get a bit more pricy as Ottawa tightens rules and seeks to offload some risk.  Many lenders in this Globe and Mail article feel blindsided by the change and complain that it’s unfair as they will not be able to compete with the banks:

Non-bank lenders left reeling by new federal mortgage rules

The new rules kick in November 30th after which lenders will not be able to insure mortgages with amortization beyond 25 years or on homes over $1million or rental properties. I guess we’re about to find out the price of risk in these no longer covered categories.