Category Archives: predictions

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?

Four major changes to Canadian housing rules

Vancouver home sales have plunged by about a third in the last month or so, this been largely blamed on the foreign buyer tax.

But that tax focused on the city of Vancouver isn’t the only change to the real estate market, new rules and changes have the potential to affect the wider region and the nation as a whole.  Southseacompany posted this summary from a Globe and Mail article  in the comments:

“Four major changes to Canada’s housing rules”, Globe & Mail

1. Expanding a mortgage rate stress test to all insured mortgages.

2. As of Nov. 30, the government will impose new restrictions on when it will provide insurance for low-ratio mortgages.

3. New reporting rules for the primary residence capital gains exemption.

4. The government is launching consultations on lender risk sharing.

As Canadian Mortgage Trends puts it, is this the last nail in the coffin?

NOTE: disagreements are fine, but repetitive personal attacks and insults to other posters will get you an IP ban.

Cautiously optimistic

There seems to be a shift if then Vancouver real estate market lately and that has some people excited about a potential return to sanity, but we’ve  seen versions of this story before.  BearVancouverite shares some thoughts on why they remain ‘cautiously optimistic’ and a question about the future:

Some posters here are counting their chickens before they hatch. I’m with Ulsterman in being cautiously optimistic.

We all need some perspective here:

1) Total inventory is still below 10k. In previous years even 15k+ inventory saw a mostly sellers market.
2) The superb chart that Brian Ripley posted shows that the purple dots are leveling off, at an absorption level ABOVE 2015 and 2014 still. I hope this continues to drop.
3) News reports show that condos are still selling at a decent pace
4) Even a 50% drop in Summer 2016 listing prices only resets prices to maybe 2013 levels. Most houses I see listed in Killarney for instance are as of yesterday listing for $2.2-2.8M. Going down from there to $1.1-1.4M is still above what almost every bear here was willing to pay in 2010.

Here’s my question, and I honestly want to know because I’m trying to figure out at what point I should seriously consider buying. If there’s a 50% drop, and a Killarney 120 year old near teardown is selling for $1.2M, how many of the prominent bears here (including vangrl, yvr, Hamster, BPOM, LS in Arbutus, and UBC in crisis) would recommend a friend to buy at that point?

Btw as a counterpoint to my above caution, here’s my personal observations:

1) I’m seeing a lot of Killarney listings SFH come up now. Far more than I noticed throughout summer.
2) In general I’m seeing more 3BR+ listings per day than during summer, although there’s still very little coming up.
3) I’m seeing a lot of higher quality SFH being listed. Eg not just teardowns
4) Some of the listings I see have descriptions which include the realtor saying “lived in by long term owner” or “for sale by original owner” or “owner of 40 years” etc. So just observationally some of the inventory coming online is from locals finally willing to sell.

The ‘cry wolf’ club

There are a few organizations that have raised a public alarm over the state of the Canadian housing market, with particular focus on Toronto and Vancouver:

The IMF, The Bank of Canada, The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, Most of the big banks, The OECD, and more.

It seems that everyone is freaking out about the Canadian housing market.

Despite industry assurances that the hottest housing markets in Canada, particularly Vancouver, will always remain hot, and that it is physically impossible for prices to decline in this miracle economy, Canadians are now becoming aware that those assurances have just been another load of industry hype. And a larger share of them are starting to grapple with a new reality – a reality in an over-leveraged, inflated housing market where prices have come to rest on the edge of a cliff.

In Vancouver’s once white-hot commercial real estate market, the hunt is now on for Chinese buyers as big institutional investors are trying to unload.

And yet, despite years of warnings here we are near record high house prices. If you bought a few years back and sold a month ago, you’ve done quite well.

So it seems we’re now entering another down phase, with reports of softening sales and prices, especially at the high end. The warnings are getting louder, but of course there are always people who propose that this market is different and will never truly crash.

Sometimes the number of warnings and lack of crash almost seems to prove it – Just like the boy who cried wolf, we start to get desensitized to all the warnings.  Unfortunately for some of the villagers we all know how that story ends.