Category Archives: predictions

Poloz: wait and see on interest rates

The Canadian economic outlook is ‘uncertain’ and that sets a high bar for interest rate changes according to Bank of Canada Governor Poloz:

“The situation hasn’t changed much, as far as I can see,” Mr. Poloz said in the Q&A session following a speech in Toronto Monday evening.

He said the wide range of uncertainties that the bank outlined in its October rate decision, when it said it had considered a rate cut but opted to hold the line until more clarity had emerged on such issues as the U.S. election, the pace of Canadian trade, the evolution of the housing market and the impact of Canadian infrastructure spending “is still present. It’s only been a few weeks.”

Read the full article over at the Globe and Mail.

Interest Rates, Price Plunge & CMHC Losses

Southseacompany linked to this article in the Globe and Mail that talks about the CMHCs vulnerability to rising interest rates:

The most dramatic scenario involved a severe and prolonged global economic depression that sent unemployment soaring to 13.5 per cent and triggered a 25-per-cent drop in national home prices.

In that case CMHC said its mortgage insurance business could lose more than $3.1-billion over five years. However CMHC said it would have more than 200 per cent of its required minimum capital, even after accounting for stricter capital requirements that OSFI is expected to introduce in January. Insurance companies are required to stop writing new insurance business if their capital ratio falls below 100 per cent of its required minimum level and are insolvent when their capital levels hit zero.

CMHC’s stress testing comes amid heightened concerns over the health of the Canadian housing market. Last month, the housing agency issued its first “red” warning for Canada’s housing market as a whole, saying it now sees “strong evidence of problematic conditions” in six of the country’s largest housing markets.

In yet another scenario the Crown corporation said its insurance business would lose more than $2-billion if Canada experienced a “U.S.-style” housing correction, where home prices drop by 30 per cent and the unemployment rate rises to 12 per cent.

Read the full article here.

Market snapshot

Yvr2zrh posted a snapshot summary for what’s currently going on in the market:

So – Here are some interesting takeaways from the numbers yesterday.

1.) Across Canada, you saw the impact of the mortgage rule announcements. Markets most likely to be affected by this rule change saw a spike in transactions.
2.) REBGV region is likely going to be the only region in Canada which saw a transaction volume decrease from September to October. This shows how soft it is.
3.) In REBGV – The components outside the 15% tax zone had the lowest sales decrease for detached (VWS, VIS, VMR, VSC).
4.) Zones with most concentrated foreign investment are having largest volume decreases. West Van leads with Burnaby and Richmond coming up next. Van West Detached had a pretty good month, comparatively. (Perhaps the tax auditors will start to pull apart those transactions to find some GAAR violations for the new taxes!).
5.) Prices are down for detached in almost all markets. In REBGV, only the zones outside the tax area are up. Although down, VVE and VVW have the lowest decreases in the 3-month range. West Van, Burnaby, New West and Port Coquitlam have the largest decreases so far.
6.) In the FVREB area – the most amazing statistic was the very large increase in sales of apartments. This has to be showing that people rushed to purchase to beat the mortgage rule changes.
7.) FVREB – Detached are doing poorly with White Rock showing the most significant sales decrease.
8.) Van West apartments – one of the largest apartment markets – was noticeably down in volume and price. This is counter to the trend in apartments. Perhaps this is showing the impacts of the new AirBnB rules and vacant home tax. Investor demand should now basically be capped unless they are buying to rent – – which is a terrible proposition at todays prices. Thus – we are now already seeing the impacts of the new rules – before they are even in place. Next step will when rules force current owners to re-assess their situation and likely sell (if you don’t want to rent to long-term renter – you won’t be able to be hold a second home or rent to Air BnB – – too costly and illegal respectively).
9.) Trends? From September to October – the following were the most significant declines in significant markets: Maple Ridge – Apartment, Burnaby – Detached, North Van – Apartments, Richmond Detached, Van West Townhouse, Port Coq Apartment, Van West Apartment.
– – Strangely enough – Van West Detached was modestly stable.

There’s the current month thoughts. Overall – a pretty good price decline. If we get any month over 1% across the market as a decline – that’s pretty significant.

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.

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?