Category Archives: economy

Ready for a 25% off sale?

A day after the RBC released a report saying there is no condo bubble in Toronto we get a conflicting report from Capital Economics.

Not only do we have a housing bubble problem in Canada, it appears to be peaking and bursting right now.

Economist David Madani says get ready for a 25% drop in prices.

The thing people always seem to forget when it comes to housing markets is that they move SLOWLY.

Housing prices typically respond to changes in the market with a lag of five to nine months, according to Mr. Madani. He points out that home sales have already seen material declines, down 4% over the last two months. Vancouver in particular has been hard hit, with sales down 28% year-over-year.

“Overall, the willingness of buyers to pay these historically high house prices now looks to be proving fragile against the increasingly disappointing macroeconomic backdrop,” he said. “The housing bubble in Vancouver already appears to be deflating, with only Toronto defying the inevitable. Accordingly, we expect substantial declines in house prices over the next year or two.”

Check back here in two years to see whose prediction was more accurate: RBC or Capital Economics.

 

Lots of new condos coming

They aren’t making any more land, but they are making more condos.  Lots more condos.

Real estate market team MPC Intelligence started tracking new condo projects in Vancouver in 2005.

They just recorded the busiest six months on record for announced new concrete condo projects.

This despite a recent slow down in the presales market.

A new wave of projects is expected in the fall.

Hancock said the pace of pre-sales has slowed in the last two months, but he expects a “large wave” of new launches in the fall.

Hancock attributes the slowdown to developers postponing projects because of market conditions, and some projects being delayed in the approvals process.

He said projects priced right and in the right location — near rapid transit — are doing well, citing strong sales at the Solo District condo project in Burnaby that started pre-sales this past weekend.

Hancock noted that 55 per cent of the concrete condos introduced to the market this year have been sold, with most sales in the first quarter and “the second quarter showing slower uptake.”

He also said it’s “too early to tell” if the slowing resale market is a factor in developers delaying projects.

The presales market can’t be doing too bad when we have big projects like Marine Gateway selling out in 4 hours.  The odd thing is some people are reporting seeing bus ads for this development.

Why spend money advertising something that isn’t for sale anymore? Can anyone confirm these ads?

The good news is they have a plan to deal with the smell.

 

 

RBC: No Toronto Condo Bubble

Royal Bank says everyone should stop worrying about the condo bubble in Toronto.

Policy makers in Ottawa and various economists just need to chill.

There is no Condo Bubble in Toronto.

Can someone ask them about Vancouver?

There are more condos under construction in Toronto than any other city in North America, and more residential building is taking place in the Greater Toronto Area than ever before.

Mr. Flaherty’s fears about overpriced real estate, and condo markets in particular, prompted him to surprise the market last month with new mortgage insurance rules that aim to take some of the wind out of the market’s sails. He’s trying to engineer a gradual slowdown of the market, fearing that otherwise it could crash at some point.

Mr. Hogue’s lack of concern about a bubble does not mean he thinks the market will boom, however. He expects condo prices to fall by perhaps 2 per cent to 7 per cent from their peak. He predicts that a two-tiered market could emerge, with condo prices softening while the market for single-family homes is resilient.

Full article in the Globe and Mail.

How the boom ends: whimper or bang?

So we’ve gotten to the point where it’s pretty unanimously agreed that real estate in Toronto and Vancouver is over-valued and due for a correction.

The question now is what sort of an end to this housing boom we will be looking at.

Will this be an explosive toppling of values, a market that runs head first into a wall, or will it be a simple slow leak for years and years?

..And which would be better?

You can add David Rosenberg to the list of people that say ‘whimper, not bang‘.

His latest comments fall into the ‘not a bubble, a balloon’ camp:

“Prices are starting to deflate by 0.8% YoY, though more like air coming out a balloon slowly than a giant pop,” wrote Rosenberg Tuesday in his morning note.

“It is gradually becoming a buyer’s market with the inventory of unsold homes rising to six month’s supply, which is at the edge of a balanced market.”

Of course most of that drop nationally is being driven by Vancouver where everything is falling fastest.  What remains to be seen is whether the current drop will remain even or accelerate.

Island markets have that sinking feeling

If you’re curious what a market looks like when it’s been falling for a while check out these stats for different areas on the island.

John Cooper of ReMax provides some good stats packages for various Vancouver island markets.

It looks like a lot of the outlying areas and recreational property in BC isn’t doing as hot as it once was.

In Qualicum Parksville, a single condo sold last month.