Tag Archives: predictions

A note from Ben Rabidoux

Ben Rabidoux runs a blog called The Economic Analyst that features focused analysis of economics and the Canadian housing market.  He is currently in Vancouver to do a presentation with David Lepoideviv titled Vancouver Real Estate: What’s Next?

This is happening tonight Wednesday the 28th – 7:00 pm at the Westin Bayshore in downtown Vancouver.

Update: the talk was last night, you can find some participant impressions in the comments below.

We don’t normally post about events, but many readers here may be interested in this one.  Here’s a comment Ben left here yesterday:

 

Hey to the VCI crowd.

I’m enjoying my time in this beautiful city, although I’ve been looking over my shoulder a lot with the CAAMP conference in town. I keep waiting to get jumped. So far, so good.

Had the pleasure of meeting a few of the forum characters. Most casual readers of this forum have no idea how many really smart professional analysts and portfolio managers read and contribute to this site. VCI is without a doubt the top online real estate forum in the country (should also give a shout-out to House Hunt Victoria which is also very solid).

One final plug for what brings me to the city: The seminar will be tomorrow at 7pm at the Westin Bayshore and as a teaser, the staff at the Lepoidevin Group have printed (in colour) and bound the entire presentation for every person in attendance to take home. Should be a fun conversation piece if you leave it on your coffee table.

http://www.realestate2013.ca for more info.

-Ben

Housing market keeps on cooling

The Globe and Mail has an article about the drop off in real estate sales across the nation.

It’s got some gems in it for predictions from bankers and real estate associations, but it’s also got the standard partial information about ‘government interference’.

As evidence mounted that rock-bottom interest rates were fuelling house prices and consumer debt loads, Mr. Flaherty has changed mortgage insurance rules four times, each time making it more difficult for consumers to take on housing-related debt.

While the three previous rounds crimped both housing activity and the demand for credit, economists and real estate industry experts say this latest round, which took effect July 9, looks as if it is having a bigger impact.

And off course what’s missing is any mention of the government previous moves to make it easier for consumers to take on housing-related debt: moving amortization from 25 to 30 to 35 years, dropping down payment requirements all the way to zero down and shoveling money into mortgage buybacks via the CMHC.

So anyways, it’s getting harder to buy than it was when you could get a zero down mortgage with a longer amortization schedule.  And what sort of horrors has this wrought?

A number of economists, real estate agents, and industry observers say that many prospective first-time buyers have found themselves unable to secure a mortgage, especially in Toronto and Vancouver, and are therefore remaining renters.

Paula Roberts, a mortgage broker based in Markham, Ont., said one of her clients, a young teacher, was preapproved under the old rules, but now that she has found a home she likes, is having trouble securing the mortgage. She will likely have to get someone to co-sign the loan, or come up with a larger down payment, Ms. Roberts said.

“It’s really hindering people,” she said. “Her rent is basically the same as her mortgage payments.” In Ms. Roberts’ opinion, “it’s always better to try to buy something instead of rent.”

Of course, it’s always better to try to buy ..Says the mortgage broker.  Business slowing down Paula?

But this article ends on a bit of a down note for those hoping for a ‘plateau’

David Madani, a bearish economist at Capital Economics, reiterated his forecast Monday that house prices will fall 25 per cent in the next year or two. “The first sign of trouble at the peak of the U.S. housing bubble was that home sales began to drop in 2005, well before house prices began to fall in 2006,” he wrote in a research note.

Read the full article at the Globe and Mail.

August 2012 Vancouver Market Outlook

B5Baxter posted this in the comment section yesterday, but the number of links tripped the spam filter and it was held up in moderation for a while.

We appreciate all market analysis and thought this one deserved it’s own post.

Here’s his summary of where we are in the Vancouver real estate market and roundup of forecasts:

_________________

I have started to put together a monthly housing analysis update that I share with interested people. Here is the most recent one:
—————-
Vancouver Real Estate Market Analysis – August 2012

July saw the lowest Metro Vancouver real estate sales in over a decade. Sales were lower than 2008 when prices saw a significant drop. And inventory has stayed near or above 2008 levels since the beginning of the year. That means that over the next few months we should see a drop in prices at least as great as we saw in 2008.

In 2009 prices recovered after interest rates were lowered and other government policies were introduced to stimulate the market. This time around there is less room to move interest rates and the federal government is signaling that they are interested in cooling the market rather than stimulating it.

The low sales and high inventory would indicate that we may be at the beginning of the long anticipated collapse of the Vancouver housing bubble.

Based on an analysis of price/rent, price/income and price/ gdp growth I am estimating that the current market is overvalued by 40-60% and we should expect to see declines of that magnitude sometime in this decade.

Average prices for detached homes in Vancouver have declined by 15% (www.yattermatters.com) from a peak in February. This is the first time we have seen five months of straight declines since 1996. Some individual asking prices have declined 20-40% (see: vancouverpricedrop.wordpress.com )

The Teranet index for Vancouver (usually considered a more reliable indicator than average prices of the overall market) has not shown the same decline. It has remained relatively flat but tends to lag other indicators. The REBGV index showed a 1.4% drop since May. This would be consistent with price behavior and inventory levels in 2008 when prices started declining in the second half of the year.

This graph ( http://vancouverpeak.com/groups/data-hounds/forum/topic/crash-curve-graphs/#post-2531 ) shows three of those metrics imposed on a graph of San Diego housing prices. I believe the Vancouver market is similar to the San Diego bubble market and the declines may follow a similar pattern.

If Vancouver prices did follow a similar trend to US prices we would see the 40-60% drop occur in 3-7 years.

Other estimates:

http://worldhousingbubble.blogspot.ca has estimated a decline of 41% and a time to bottom of 97 months (8 years).

The Economist magazine recently ( http://www.economist.com/node/21557731 ) stated that Canadian real estate is overvalued by 75% (this is an average for Canada, some markets like Vancouver may be higher).

http://alphahunt.ca has estimated a decline of “about 50%” from a March 2011 peak with a time-line of “5+” years

http://vreaa.wordpress.com/ has projected a decline of 50-66%

Pacific Partners estimates a 40% decline (http://pacificapartners.ca/blog/2012/07/18/canadian-real-estate-bubble-chart-book/#Table2 )

Investment Comparison:

During the last six months Vancouver Real Estate showed annualized return of 1.6% (using the optimistic HPI). During the first two quarters of this year the non-cash portion of my own strategic allocation portfolio returned 5.2%.

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.

Another Realtor says “SELL NOW”

Should we have some sort of index tracking Realtors making public statements that it’s time to sell?

The market is sluggish, sales are low, inventory is growing.

..And the number of agents saying it’s time to SELL NOW is growing as well.

Agent Keith Roy was in the news recently with his blog post about the sale of his personal property and now Sam Wyatt is saying something similar:

Vancouver’s real estate market is getting and is going to get hit from both ends.  So, now that you are thoroughly depressed, here is the bright light:  IF YOU SELL NOW, YOU WILL STILL BE SELLING NEAR THE TOP OF THE MARKET.  If you plan to sell, you will need to price BELOW the most recent comparable sales prices.  If you don’t do this, your listing will stagnate.  I am pleased that this methodology has produced 4 sales in the last 30 days for my clients in a market were most homes are not selling.  In one case we had a multiple offer with a significant over asking result and in another we negotiated a full asking price sale.

I guess the important part is in all caps.

So can anyone find me a Realtor saying that now is a good time to buy in Vancouver?