Friday Free-for-all! January 25th 2018

It’s the end of the week and that means it’s time for another Friday free-for-all!

This is our standard news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend, here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:’

A prediction
Why people who can buy don’t
Less income that property taxes
FOMO drives condo sales
Victoria 2nd least affordable in Canada
Rate hikes warn on debt binge

So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes in the comments below and have an excellent weekend!

How sharp a correction?

Most economist are predicting a slower housing market in Canada, but how slow is too slow?

Southseacompany points to this article wondering how ‘sharp’ any correction would be:

Last week, the Bank of Canada hiked the overnight rate to 1.25 per cent, causing the credit union to note that Canadians have some of the highest levels of household debt in the world.

The interest rate hike — when combined with a new mortgage stress test for uninsured borrowers that came into effect on January 1 — could severely limit the purchasing power of many would-be home buyers, cooling the market dramatically.

But while most economists agree that these factors will dampen the market in the first few months of 2018, many believe it will eventually adjust to the changes. What’s more, some argue that Canadians debt levels aren’t as worrying as they might first appear.

“Household debt in Canada is seen by some as unsustainably high and a source of vulnerability for the financial system,” write National Bank chief economist Stéfane Marion and senior economist Matthieu Arseneau in a recent report. “But the international evidence suggests that Canadian household leverage and home prices are not abnormal.”

Read the full article here.

The architect and the economics professor

Bear Vancouverite pointed out this debate on CKNW:

I wanted to share this with you guys: a debate between Tom Davidoff and architect Michael Geller. Davidoff is a UBC economics professor in the Sauder School of Business which some here have (wrongly) accused of being in the RE Industry’s pocket. In this debate Davidoff’s position is that:

1) The rich who own huge homes are being subsidized by the rest of us
2) We should get rid of the Home Owner’s Grant (Michael Geller brings this up too)
3) We should encourage more density in super low density areas like Point Grey
4) We should not gentrify low income areas to increase density if we can increase density in wealthy areas
5) We need to curb demand using tax policy ( Speculator’s Tax)
6) Housing needs to be in line with local incomes

I’ve seen other interviews with Davidoff in the past and I believe he considers our housing overpriced, manipulated by wealth and speculation, and would like to see prices more in line with local incomes.

The one aspect that he believes that I think have offended some people here is he believes “everyone wants to live here”.

https://omny.fm/shows/steele-drex/on-vancouver-housing-geller-v-davidoff-heavyweight

Friday Free-for-all! January 19th 2018

It’s the end of another week and that means it’s time for another Friday Free-for-all!

This is our regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend, here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

Scary low inventory
Will prices flatline instead of crash?
Foreign income program rumors
Market freeze
40% of BC $200 away from not being able to pay bills
RE provides 75% of donations to Vision Vancouver
Rate hikes a big deal?

So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes in the comments below and have an excellent weekend!

Mortgages getting more expensive

Southseacompany shared this article, looks like everyone’s mortgage is going to get more expensive:

The Bank of Canada raised its benchmark interest rate to 1.25 per cent Wednesday and signalled that, barring certain risks, more hikes are likely in the rest of the year. That’s creating an unusual situation for Canadians: for the first time in years, those renewing mortgages will be faced with higher rates and an increase in payments.

Even before Wednesday’s decision, five of the country’s largest banks hiked five-year fixed rates 15 basis points to 5.14 per cent last week. (CIBC is still offering 4.99 per cent.) In a country where consumers have grown accustomed to low rates, and where households are burdened with record levels of debt relative to income, this kind of change is worth noting. A recent survey published by insolvency trustee MNP Ltd.found 48 per cent of Canadian respondents were $200 or less away from being unable to fulfill their monthly financial obligations, an eight point increase since September.

Read the full article over at Macleans.