Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Canada's Cassandra Gets Press Time

It's like going to sleep in one world and waking up in another. These kinds of warnings (like this one from BMO) are not new. The narrative-driven news world can sure be frustrating.

Vancouver's real estate prices set to drop
In the early 2000s, Vancouver prices were slightly higher than in Toronto but are now 71 per cent higher.
Ouch. And which of these two cities has all the industry? Double Ouch.
Four corrections in the past three decades saw declines averaging 21 per cent.
Yes, house prices can and have fallen in the past. Imagine that.

Vancouver housing "priced for perfection," poised for correction
OTTAWA — Vancouver's housing market is poised for a correction, with prices nearly triple what they were a decade ago and the average home now running "an astounding" 11.2 times family income, says a report Tuesday from BMO Capital Markets.
. . .
"Prices are 5.1 times median family income and housing costs an extra two years of gross income compared to 2001, when the boom began and valuations were closer to historic norms."
Mortgage rates were then near 14 per cent compared with today's sub-four-per-cent rates. However, while today's valuations may be sustainable thanks to those low rates, they could be hurt in a more normal rate environment, he adds.
This is the problem in a shiny-hard nutshell. Carrying costs do not represent the true cost of housing. And this is the bank talking. No wonder we as a society get repeatedly screwed by credit bubbles.

And another . . .
Vancouver primed for housing correction: BMO
Vancouver’s housing market looks primed for a correction, according to a report from BMO Nesbitt Burns, with the average house now costing “an astounding” 11.2 times a family’s average income -- more than double the national average.

And another . . .
Vancouver home prices could fall 21 per cent: report
"Riding a wave of wealthy immigrants, Vancouver's house prices have nearly tripled in the past decade, spiralling beyond the reach of most first-time buyers or non-lottery winners," Guatieri [of BMO] said.
Past housing corrections have seen Vancouver home values fall an average of 21 per cent. But prices in the city are even higher today, averaging $815,000 in April, pushing the market further toward the brink of a housing bubble.
Here's the other half of the problem. Apparently, it's not a bubble until it bursts. Right. And also: In your dreams, Global TV BC.

Looks like the narrative has finally shifted, but it's a day late and a unusually strong Canadian dollar short.


jesse said...

This is only one comment from one bank that has been widely disseminated in the MSM. TD and RBC have also commented that prices look high in certain markets. Haven't heard much from the other two, CIBC and Scotia, on the subject.

I'm no conspiracy nut but is this a regular report by BMO or something they put out purposefully? Is there something else going on?

GG said...

BMO Capital Markets is in the business of reporting, so for them I think this is just normal business cycle reporting.

The original full report is here: