Sunday, May 13, 2012

Demographicman will save the day in Toronto

I would have said that you could recognize Demographicman by his red cape with a chart printed on it, but there aren't any charts in this article.

Demographics make big city condos hot

Housing starts in April (expected to have lost some activity to a warm March) were a surprise 244k, 40k higher than estimates.
Average house prices in Canada are 84% higher than in the U.S. (that is on lower average post-tax income, btw)
Multifamily unit starts are up 27% year on year.
So clearly it doesn't take a statistics degree to read the numbers and unequivocally declare the Canadian housing market is overheated and in particular, the condo market, right? Wrong.
You can trust these guys to never disappoint.
First off, CMHC's recently released annual report stated: "Clear evidence of a bubble is lacking [and we] continue to monitor very closely housing prices and underlying factors such as demographic and economic fundamentals and financial conditions across all major urban centers, including condominium markets."
All of the above, plus household debt, plus mortgage debt, plus recent gains in price far in excess of GDP or personal income are, of course, not evidence of anything.

And what are those demographics that will absorb tens of thousands of excess condo inventory, just this year? (Oh, he didn't say the rescue was this year, just in "the coming years")

Retiring Boomers will move into condos
Every new immigrant (despite much lower salary and higher unemployment) will RENT condos (apparently below carrying costs because otherwise, wouldn't it be cheaper to buy?)
And young people will flock downtown to work and form families (apparently happy with 600sqft to do it in).

There. See. You bears are so wrong about condos in Toronto.
Therefore, my feeling is that big city condo values will continue to rise in general and that house prices in some urban areas will fall as a broad trend, with average home prices across the country potentially flat in the years to come.
Your "feelings"? Seriously? Also, "soft landing" is the term you are avoiding here for some reason.


Ross said...

You don't need statistics, just feelings!

Wonderful. Faith-based journalism to go with our faith-based morality and faith-based policy decisions.

jesse said...

Ah demographics. Well I will say this, that we should look at population growth in Toronto and see what the absorption rate will likely be.

I get kicks out of the demographic articles, completely ignoring the stuff that matters, most notably how investors are planning on making their money.