Category Archives: prices

New Zealand bans foreign home buyers

Just me shared this story from the BBC.

Prime minister-elect Jacinda Ardern said the ban only applied to non-residents.

The country is facing a housing affordability crisis which has left home ownership out of reach for many.

Low interest rates, limited housing stock and immigration have driven up prices in recent years.

Foreign ownership and a housing shortage in New Zealand’s bigger cities were prominent issues in the run-up to the September election, which saw the end of nine years of rule by the conservative National Party.

Read the full article here.

How resilient is CMHC to a US style housing crash?

Kabloona points out this article asking yet again how this country would fare in a US style housing market crash, but particularly how the CMHC would fare:

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., which protects financial institutions in the case of consumer default and is 100 per cent backed by Ottawa, said in a release Wednesday that it looked at anti-globalization, earthquakes, a steep oil price fall and a U.S.-style housing correction to see how its insurance portfolio would hold up. It did not look at a combination of any of those scenarios.

The verdict is a U.S.-style correction would be its worst scenario for its insurance program with a cumulative loss of $217 million from 2017 to 2022 which would come on top of a need for the Crown corporation to suspend its dividends to Ottawa. CMHC paid Ottawa a special dividend of $4 billion in June because of excess capital and issued a $240 million dividend in August.

Read the full article here.

Is more supply the answer?

Southseacompany posted a link to this story about housing supply in the Vancouver area.

“What’s causing the supply shortage is the restrictive single-family home neighborhood zoning on 85% of our residential land base. That keeps out young families, middle income earners and renters, who can’t afford single-family homes,” said Anne McMullin, president and CEO of the Urban Development Institute, Pacific Region.

“We clearly need a regional housing strategy with more homes for more people,” she added. “That means more high-rise apartments along rapid transit corridors and more townhomes, rowhomes [and] multi-family low-rises.”

But recent studies show the reverse is true: fewer people can afford to buy condominiums in the Metro suburbs that have seen the greatest increase in supply over the past two years.

Read the full article here.

Bank of Canada attacks housing market

The most recent interest rate hike from the Bank of Canada is seen as an attack on the Canadian housing market in this article. Provincial governments are trying to walk a fine line of supporting housing markets in their current state without prices shooting up or collapsing over the next year.

Given the enormous price gains in recent years, the market remains hyper-inflated, and the four-month downturn into a bear market hasn’t even brought prices back to the year-ago level, with the average price for all types of housing up 3%, and the condo price up 21.4% year-over-year.

To cool a similarly nutty housing bubble in Vancouver, the government of British Columbia had passed a year ago similar legislation with a 15% nonresident foreign speculator tax. But worried about an outright implosion of the bubble, it has since been subsidizing with taxpayer money down-payments aimed at first-time buyers and condos, which has inflated the condo bubble and condo speculation to new heights.

Politicians – they’re desperately dependent on extracting property taxes from homeowners – don’t want the world’s most majestic housing bubble to implode. They just want it to remain stable so that taxes can be extracted from willing homeowners that have gotten rich off years of house-price inflation. But for now, the Ontario government is letting the market ride.

Read the full article over at Business Insider.

Falling interest rates drive gains

From the ‘duh’ files: falling interest rates contribute to rising home prices.

A recent study points to yet another powerful, if-often-ignored, driver of home prices — falling interest rates.

Despite the recent, small interest-rate increase by the Bank of Canada, real mortgage interest rates have fallen precipitously since 2000. In 2000, typical mortgages were obtained at an interest rate of seven per cent. Last year, they averaged 2.7 per cent — almost two-thirds lower.

What has this meant for the purchasing power of Canadians?

Interest-rate declines reduce the amount that income borrowers must spend on interest payments, which gives them greater capacity to borrow with the same amount of income. Consider that the average Canadian family income was $50,785 in 2000 (including couples and singles). With mortgage rates at seven per cent, the maximum mortgage amount this family could secure was $180,949. At 2016 rates (2.7 per cent), the same family could borrow $276,610, an increase of 53 per cent.

Read the full article here.