Canada's Housing Bubble

Analysis of the real estate bubble in Canada --

Struggles of the next generation Print E-mail

Paul Kershaw, Vancouver Sun

Boomers have reaped the benefits of their parents' social policies, but they haven't passed the favour down

There is a silent generational crisis occurring in households across this country, one that Canadians neglect because we are stuck in stale debates. Consider three facts.

Is Capitalism Preparing to Bury Itself? Print E-mail

Sep 26, 2011 Murray Dobbin

Choke consumers' wages and you choke the economy. Why don't our leaders see that?

Where is Henry Ford when you need him?

You may remember Henry -- the ruthless industrialist who nonetheless refused to be hobbled by suicidal ideology when it came to doing business. He realized as his workers cranked thousands of new cars off the assembly line that none of those workers would likely ever own one, because he didn't pay them enough. So he dramatically increased their wages. It was such a good idea that most industrialists followed suit and his practical approach was dubbed Fordism. It was the foundation of a high-wage economy, it lasted a very long time and it produced incredible real wealth for decades.

Buyers’ market takes hold Print E-mail

Sep 23, 2011 Peter Dolezal

Over the past few months, bargaining power in residential property transactions throughout the Greater Victoria area has rather clearly shifted in favour of buyers.

Looking for proof? One needs only examine real estate statistics, as published by the Victoria Real Estate Board. In July and August, while the total number of listings increased to around 5,000, sales numbered just over a tepid 500 units throughout the region. At the current rate of sales, this represents a 10-month supply of inventory in our local market — a 15-year record, I believe.

Who is to blame for this mess? Everyone Print E-mail

A pretty cutting note from Jim Leaviss, head of retail fixed interest at M&G this morning. He poses the (currently theoretical) question: If this is part two of a great recession, who is to blame? The answer seems to be pretty much everyone.

These are his points below – what he calls the “10 recent policy errors that have sent us back to the brink:

How to Prevent a Depression Print E-mail

Sep 23, 2011 Nouriel Roubini

AMSTERDAM – The latest economic data suggests that recession is returning to most advanced economies, with financial markets now reaching levels of stress unseen since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. The risks of an economic and financial crisis even worse than the previous one – now involving not just the private sector, but also near-insolvent sovereigns – are significant. So, what can be done to minimize the fallout of another economic contraction and prevent a deeper depression and financial meltdown?

Nouriel Roubini’s 8 steps on ‘how to prevent a depression’ Print E-mail

Sep 22, 2011 Michael Babad The Globe and Mail

Roubini's prescription

Nouriel Roubini believes the United States and the euro zone are "effectively in a recession now" and the world's leaders are running out of ammunition.

BNN Market Call's top picks

In a recent article, the New York University professor, chairman and co-founder of Roubini Global Economics, who forecast the financial crisis, lays out eight ways to "prevent a depression."

Canada's economic prospects sour: IMF, BMO, Bank of Canada Print E-mail

Sep 22, 2011 Ben Rabidoux

There was a slew of revisions to Canada's economic growth prospects today.

IMF warns of slower economic growth:

The International Monetary Fund has released their latest World Economic Outlook publication.  Although the IMF has been notoriously 'behind the eight ball' in their forecasting, it's nonetheless worth hearing what they have to say.  The document is extensive, but here are just a couple key snippets:

Housing a new generation Print E-mail

Sep 21, 2011 Kelly Sinoski Vancouver Sun

The pressure is on as various levels of governments scramble to ensure there will be enough affordable housing options for our rapidly aging population

When Richard and Betty Atkins retired, they bought themselves a two-bedroom condo at Arbutus Village, where they wanted to "age in place" - or grow old in their own home.

But to do so, the couple - Richard suffers from Alzheimer's and prostate cancer, and Betty suffers from dementia - need four caregivers to provide round-the-clock care. They also need, it seems, a never-ending pot of gold.

Canada August Inflation Quickens to 3.1% on Gasoline, Food Print E-mail

Sep 21, 2011 Greg Quinn

Canada’s inflation rate accelerated more than economists forecast in August, with gains led by gasoline, insurance premiums and food.

The consumer price index increased 3.1 percent in August from a year earlier, compared with a July pace of 2.7 percent and a May peak of 3.7 percent, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News predicted a 2.9 percent reading according to the median of 26 responses.

China housing bubble in Canada could create the next financial crash Print E-mail

Sep 20, 2011 Deepak Rangan

China is loading on real estate. Except that the purchase is not in China but in Vancouver, Canada. And the Chinese demand for a piece of land is so huge that customers are willing to pay more than the market rate for a property.

-The prices have gone so high that Canadian nationals seeking job in Vancouver are finding it hard to find an affordable home. The median real-estate prices in Vancouver are 9.5 times median household income as per Demographia, a property survey.

Canadian Real Estate Bubble Print E-mail

Sep 20, 2011 Andrew Mickey

The “flippers” are back — and they're Chinese.

Real estate “investors” with no experience, limited knowledge, and no understanding of leverage are making fortunes in one of the hottest real estate markets in the world.

But this housing bubble is hiding a much bigger trend that will affect you and your family’s wealth for years to come.

Canada's Northern Tiger looks very like a bubble Print E-mail

Sep 19, 2011 CHARLIE

SERIOUS MONEY: THE CANADIAN economy has been the envy of the developed world in the recent past, as North America’s largest country weathered the global recession far better than most. The subsequent recovery has been sufficiently robust to allow both output and employment return to their pre-recession levels by the middle of 2010.

However, sharply rising housing prices, alongside a rapid increase in household debt, have raised concerns that the so-called “Northern Tiger” is simply an accident waiting to happen.

Interesting insights from CREA: Is this what a market peak looks like? Print E-mail

Sep 19, 2011 Ben Rabidoux

Interesting insights from CREA:

Those awaiting part two of our series looking at the economies of various Canadian cities and which ones are most at risk from a housing correction will have to wait until tomorrow to see the craziness that is Western Canada.

For now, we have to look at the most recent data release from CREA (the Canadian Real Estate Association), which contains two flashing lights that may be indicative of a market peak.  Time will tell if these data points are the proverbial 'canary in the coal mine', but they are certainly not good news.

Could Canada be first to stumble? Print E-mail

Sep. 17, 2011 John Shmuel Postmedia News

TORONTO - Canada could become the first developed economy to stumble back into recession as businesses pull back on investment and inventory accumulation in the third quarter, Bank of Nova Scotia economists said on Tuesday.

Scotia Capital economists Derek Holt and Karen Cordes Woods said that while they don't forecast a return to recession, Canadian businesses have lost momentum in equipment investment in recent quarters, which could create a drag on growth in the third quarter. That makes the risk of another recession very real, they said.

Housing Market Update August 2011 REBGV Print E-mail

Dim lights

Falling real wages signal trouble ahead Print E-mail

Sep 16, 2011 Andrew Jackson

The Labour Force Survey for August showed that average hourly wages were up by just 1.4 per cent from a year earlier, the same low level of increase as was registered in July. Consumer price inflation was 2.7 per cent in July, a bit down from 3.1 per cent in June and 3.7 per cent in May, but it seems that we have entered a period of falling real wages.

Vancouver real estate no bubble says economist Print E-mail

Sep 16, 2011 CBC News

The British Columbia housing market will slow this year and total sales will drop slightly from 2010, says a new report by Central 1 Credit Union. Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press

B.C.'s real estate market may be slowing down, but there is no sign Vancouver's sky high prices are caught up in a bubble that is about to burst, according to a new report

The Central 1 Credit Union report, which was issued on Thursday, forecasts the B.C. market will slow this year and total sales will drop slightly from 2010, but prices will continue to rise an estimated 6.8 per cent next year.

Canada's Household Debt Soars To New High As Economy Leaves Little Room To Maneuver Print E-mail

Sep 14, 2011

Household debt levels have reached a new high, increasing the vulnerability of average Canadians to unexpected economic shocks just at a time when uncertainty is mounting.

Despite signs that Canada’s economic recovery is fizzling, data released by Statistics Canada Tuesday shows that the ratio of credit market debt to personal disposable income climbed to 148.7 per cent in the second quarter, surpassing the previous record of 147.3 per cent set in the first three months of this year.

Canadian housing starts drop sharply in August Print E-mail

Sep 13, 2011 Claire Sibonney

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian housing starts fell much more than expected in August, a sign that a weaker jobs market, tighter mortgage rules and deeply indebted households are beginning to cool the country's hot housing market.

Starts, driven by a drop in multiple-unit buildings such as condominiums and tracking losses in construction jobs, slipped to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 184,700 units from a downwardly revised 204,500 units in July.

Household debt rises in second quarter Print E-mail

Sep 13, 2011 Reuters

Canadian household debt continued to rise in the second quarter as individuals took out more mortgages at historically low rates and obtained consumer loans, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday.

The ratio of household credit market debt, which includes mortgages, consumer credit and loans, to disposable income rose to 149 per cent from 147 per cent in the previous quarter.


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