September Numbers

As mentioned earlier today, the MLS HPI index is down again for detached homes.   This has made the VREB press release somewhat more somber than we have been used to recently.  The market is confusing, and of course that means there is a need (more than ever apparently), to engage a local REALTOR®.   Which raises the question: what kind of market would allow one to buy without an agent?  I suspect we may not live to see that recommendation in a press release.

No matter, back to the numbers.   With inventory and new listings essentially unchanged from a year ago, sales are down 18%.  Inventory is still desperately low (lowest on record for September), but it’s about 4% higher than it was in June.   An increase in inventory in that period is very unusual, having not happened since 2008.   However just like we saw the HPI index take a similar breather in 2006, we saw the same increase in inventory going into that fall too, so it is certainly not a surefire indicator of impending doom.

While the index languished, median prices for both detached homes and condos hit a new record this month.   The core detached market is languishing still, essentially flat from August and down $50,000 from the record high in January, but it seems the rest of the market is still rising enough to drag everything up.

If we smooth out the variations we get a bit of a better picture.   Is it just me or are we getting to truly dizzying highs above the last plateau?

Months of inventory are up from last year, but only by about 0.4.

Of course, the market is quite different depending on the sector.   Surprisingly enough, in the core detached market where prices have been stagnating, months of inventory are actually significantly lower than on the peninsula or the westshore.

Westshore detached homes are even reaching into balanced market territory.   However as you can see, the entire market is being kept very active largely by condos, which haven’t slowed down at all from last year.   One might think this is because people have been driven out of the higher priced single family homes, and there is a desperation to get into the cheaper properties.  However in detached homes, the most active segment is the middle price tier, not the lower end.

Going forward, it is somewhat encouraging to see an uptick in new listings.   Now that the frenzied bidding wars are mostly in the past and the TC is not filled with stories of Vancouver buyers flooding onto our shores, I hope that more people will be enticed to list their homes.

The big wildcard out there is still the OSFI stress test which will force everyone to qualify for new mortgages at the posted rate (some 2% higher than what you would be paying).   With affordability getting quite stretched even at today’s very low rates, a large increase in qualification requirements may sideline a lot of buyers.   They won’t have to pay those rates so it’s not quite the same as interest rates going up that much, but they will have to convince the bank that they could.

What do you think?  Is our current breather in SFH prices just that or is it the beginning of the top?   Will the condo market be decimated by the new mortgage rules?   Will the new small business tax changes destroy the economy as some think and throw us into a recession?   Are there too many damn gradients in these graphs?

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63 thoughts on “September Numbers

  1. And no, you can’t “inflate” yourself out of this debt problem

    As per usual, haven’t central banks already inflated away alot of mortgage & other debt by recently doubling many asset prices?

  2. “A lot of people agree with Michael about 7 year cycles.”

    Especially when the global markets are exceeding that on a 9 year tear. Expecting another bonus of 7 years to make it 16 with rising rates and record debt , with Trump chomping at the bit to nuke the Rocket Man is like believing in Santa Claus.

    2 weeks ago Mike was posting charts how the boomer/retirement wave is not to be. Nothing worse than a fake pumper.

  3. Sigh. You actually said,

    If you had looked at my ‘We are here?’ guesstimate below (made a couple months ago), you’d clearly see that I think Vic/Van are about to hit an extended rough patch.

    You wrote that in May of this year. Does May to October constitute the entirety of an “extended rough patch”? Semantics I suppose, but I wouldn’t say it does. Ergo, you confuse me.

    A “boomer wave”, and 7 year cycles extrapolated to the future suggest that for the next 2-3 years will a rally, notwithstanding (somewhat) higher interest rates, pending OSFI, extraordinary and rising levels of consumer debt, the state of excess global liquidity and stale credit cycle, Chinese capital controls and a saturated home ownership level in Canada.

    I don’t buy this “boomer wave” notion for a second. And again, this market force does not operate in isolation. If there’s meaningful, incontrovertible evidence that this cohort is actively causing prices in Canada to skyrocket, my view is amenable. As for 7 years…extrapolation is dangerous. So if you’re not ignoring indicators such as what I indicated, then you must have some compelling counter-indicators.

    Are you still arguing that higher interest rates beget higher house prices? While that is actually often true, that speaks to an intervening factor, which is an economy heating up ie, heats up, more inflation, higher prices, fed raises rates. I get it. But is that 4.5% GDP growth going to sustain itself? Doubt it. Was it caused by elevated consumer spending? Were consumers using their anaemically growing wages to propel our GDP to new heights? Doubt it, as consumer debt is rising much faster, leading me to suspect that’s worth considering as a cause. Is inflation picking up meaningfully? No.

    Central bankers have got themselves into a nasty mess. Interest rates are too low, capital has rushed into an unproductive asset class, consumers are too indebted due to low interest rates and, this problem is growing worse in Canada, not better. Of course it will recover, but that requires a deleveraging event. There has been none recently in Canada, Toronto included. And no, you can’t “inflate” yourself out of this debt problem…most especially when so little inflation is occurring.

    I’m no economist, so I must be missing something. Maybe my brain? Could be. The Mrs accuses me of that all the time. I haven’t had a cup of coffee in weeks, exacerbating things. Quite bitter about it.

    Enjoy the rally I guess, because I am sitting here clueless.

  4. I think his argument below virtually ignores multiple financial indicators

    Not ignoring them, most financial indicators are pointing up for at least another 2-3 years as well (as I used to discuss on here, that is before I warned people of our “rough patch” earlier this year).

  5. A lot of people agree with Michael about 7 year cycles.

    Numerology is any belief in the divine, mystical relationship between a number and one or more coinciding events.[2] It is also the study of the numerical value of the letters in words, names and ideas. It is often associated with the paranormal, alongside astrology and similar divinatory arts

  6. Well you have to give Michael credit. At least he kind of qualifies his assertions using metrics that don’t involve, “Because Victoria”, “paradise”, “different here” etc. Having said that, I think his argument below virtually ignores multiple financial indicators and the broad reality of what is slowly unfolding in Canada.

    Reminds me, I notice Luke stopped posting, almost immediately after LeoS finally gave him a rather strong rebuke…and then poof. That was it. Maybe he’s gone on to discover Tahsis, or that it’s really not different this time?

    PS – an aging population in itself is a net bearish indicator for housing. Condos as a segment may or may not be different, but those boomers must sell their houses first to another buyer willing to pay a huge price. It’s all connected, Michael.

  7. How you think the RBC affordability chart at historical highs doesn’t mean squat with 2 to 3% stress tests coming is beyond me Mike but being a 2 week bear was pretty pathetic. You must have all your slumshacks up for sale and in slash mode.

    You might want to change the Olympic Boost to the “money laundering boost”, which is now being exposed and the foreigners are heading to other places. Nice to know terrorist money is now in our local system. Not.

    Journalists will now be protected more than ever to expose the rampant real estate fraud in BC while the Liberals buried the reports. The tip of the iceberg indeed.

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-passes-legislation-to-protect-journalists-anonymous-sources-from-police/article36497819/?service=amp

    RCMP casino money laundering probe uncovered alleged ‘terrorist financing’ links

    http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/rcmps-casino-money-laundering-probe-uncovered-alleged-terrorist-financing-links

  8. One of the worst things to do now IMO is sell strata units. We’re only a couple years into the up phase after 7 years of stagnation. ~10 million Cdn Boomers alone about to retire & downsize (due to factors such as maintenance, mobility, climate, security…)

    An example of what I mean by up phase – each blue line at the bottom is just shy of 7 years (we’re currently only ~2.5 years into the up )

  9. Should I sell right now, and become like you in a few years’ time?

    No, wait until your kids have Power of Attorney over your estate. It’s called Karma.

  10. “I did miss it. Should I sell right now, and become like you in a few years’ time?”

    But you said prices are going down but get all upset when price slashes continue to stack up. You’re a very strange one. Might as well hold for the crash now. You missed the peak back in January to March like I was posting when crazy people were lining up around the block. Now they are bagholders for a decade or more.

    New build on Bank St slashed $100K.

    3182 Henderson Rd slashed $50K.

    4313 Blenkinsop Rd slashed $100K.

    1739 Bay St on like it’s 4th slash.

    A couple dozen more slashes out there the last 24 hours as well, city wide across all levels.

  11. Anyone else find this description funny/scary: “VACANT, EASY TO SHOW. YOU CAN CLOSE QUICKLY! (BEFORE NEW MORTGAGE RULES COME INTO EFFECT AT THE END OF OCTOBER)”

    2524/2526 Belmont Ave.

  12. Your whole hood has been the core leader ICYMI.

    I did miss it. Should I sell right now, and become like you in a few years’ time?

  13. It’s a smart move, especially in Vancouver where the condo market is red hot. Why not cash in on some of that speculation?

  14. The change is designed to discourage speculation, says Jon Stovell, president of Reliance Properties.

    John is probably still annoyed with how the Janion unfolded….super risky and complicated re-zoning, complicated construction, and then probably made profit <$15,000 per unit and people were flipping them for $150,000 profit on completion for just signing a piece of paper.

  15. I sold my places…I am going to become a renter like Hawk….This market going down. 80% cut by next year.

  16. The change is designed to discourage speculation, says Jon Stovell, president of Reliance Properties.

    Thank god we have those altruistic developers to save us from too much speculation. And hey if a couple bucks lands in their pocket from that speculation they’re trying to stop then good on them.

  17. Thanks for the info, Leo. I thought that sale was crazy high last year so it’s interesting to see that they only got 5% more this year.

  18. “The game isn’t over, or you wouldn’t be digging up price slashes and foreclosure numbers on the daily.”

    You find them at the click of a mouse,there’s no digging involved Intorotwit .The slashes increase as the market tops out and insolvencies/bankruptcies increase. Your whole hood has been the core leader ICYMI.

  19. Interesting article in the Vancouver Sun, although I question their stated motive.

    Vancouver developer hikes fee for re-assigning a pre-sale condo in effort to dampen speculation

    …Reliance has been telling buyers who want to sell their rights to a completed condo before the units are completed that they have to sign a “modified” agreement. It stipulates that instead of paying the developer 1.5 per cent of the initial purchase price to get permission for an assignment sale, they have to pay 25 per cent of the profit made on the assignment.

    To illustrate with random numbers: If, in the past, if Buyer A bought a pre-sale condo for $500,000, he or she could assign it to Buyer B for $600,000 by paying the developer 1.5 per cent of $500,000, or $7,500. Now, the developer is charging 25 per cent of the $100,000 profit, or $25,000.

    http://vancouversun.com/business/local-business/developer-hikes-fee-for-re-assigning-a-pre-sale-condo-in-effort-to-dampen-speculation

  20. The price of the home is locked in at the beginning of the agreement, and a portion of the monthly rent goes toward the principle. If, after five years, the buyer still hasn’t obtained the necessary status in Canada, the foreign buyers’ tax will still apply.

    This may be one of the reasons why no one thus far has gone for the program. That sounds like a bit of a speculative activity, or potentially, trap. The somewhat flippant comment, “The housing market crashed on us, and we had about six houses for sale,” suggests the developer believes that prices will continue to escalate.

    If I were signing up for this, I’d hope he’d be right. If the price is locked in at closing, the lease is for 5 years, and the prices are the same or up, you’re good. If they’re down, then you lose out. If they’re down a great deal…well you get the idea. And you must buy, regardless.

    I guess the silver lining is it probably wouldn’t be attractive to a speculator for the reason above. I’d always want an out, not be holed up in a lease. P.S. tax avoidance is distinct from tax evasion…

  21. Just like when the arrogant owners can’t accept reality that the game is over…

    The game isn’t over, or you wouldn’t be digging up price slashes and foreclosure numbers on the daily.

    No surprise that developers are finding ways around the foreign buyers tax
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/rent-to-own-foreign-buyers-1.4330035

    Yes, and:

    In an emailed statement Wednesday, the finance ministry said: “We have reviewed the structure of the rent-to-own model offered by this company.” A ministry spokesperson confirmed the government found no issues with the program.

  22. “Oh yeah because it’s a bullshit index.”

    Just as Ross Kay has stated and he helped create it.

    I love it when the desperate mortgage brokers now realize their easy lending days at the trough are running out fast and are crying the blues pleading to please keep the bubble bloating.

    Just like when the arrogant owners can’t accept reality that the game is over and joe average is maxed out or can’t qualify as affordability indexes hit historical highs as bank employees fess up to sleazy lending practices.

    Tougher mortgage rules would cause ‘substantial damage,’ says broker

    https://www.thestar.com/business/2017/10/04/tougher-mortgage-rules-would-cause-substantial-damage-says-broker.html

  23. Does anyone know what 1264 Montrose sold for this year vs last year? It looks like it had some minor renovations done (kitchen counters and backsplash + some inside paint).

  24. Oh yeah because it’s a bullshit index.

    Still vastly more reliable than the John Drake index.

    My sense is in listening to what the NDP is saying now, is that they don’t intend to directly interfere with the market.

    I am shocked! SHOCKED!

    Four new bankruptcies and one new foreclosure so far this week.

    Desperately looking for price slashes and checking government websites for bankruptcies and foreclosures—the life one leads after foolishly underestimating Victoria real estate!

  25. “The middle income market for houses in the core is in trouble and I suspect that is to do with affordability. That market segment is deflating. In my opinion a 32% drop just in this middle income market segment in one year is significant.”

    Solid assessment JD. Affordability is back to where it was in 2007 and 2009 before it declined as per RBC.

    I don’t buy the mortgage broker BS that the average income family in the mid 80’s K can easily afford a $650K mortgage. The numbers in the core are proving it and with rates heading up several more times in the next 12 months. Mid 80’s K will not pass the stress tests.

  26. The bands are by SFH sales for September. It is not about income, but rather lower third, middle third, and upper third of sales

    But that’s just an arbitrary measure. What is the assumption behind choosing a third, a third and a third? I f you were trying to determine the months of inventory for first time house buyers, middle income and upper income households would you still select a third, a third and a third?

    My assumption of 20-70-10 is also arbitrary as I don’t have the figures of how the income levels of what is middle, upper and lower income. My guess is that the distribution will be close to 20-70-10 but it might not be.

  27. A 15-20% increase in price has a funny way of elevating a lot of 750K+ houses to 900K+ houses. That may be a partial explanation for why numbers are falling in the lower brackets and holding steady in the upper.

    But that’s not what happened. The number of sales in the upper income market didn’t increase.

    And while prices did increase, that meant the lower income housing market was elevated into the middle income market too, but sale volumes STILL declined.

    The middle income market for houses in the core is in trouble and I suspect that is to do with affordability. That market segment is deflating. In my opinion a 32% drop just in this middle income market segment in one year is significant.

    My guess is that most of these prospective middle income buyers are choosing neighborhoods outside of the core rather than settle for a lower quality house in the city. And those in the lower income group that have been priced out of the house market are choosing condos.

    At some point a middle income family makes the decision that the quality of the house is more important than the location. Personally, I couldn’t live in some of these dumps in the city. And a condo is not an option with a family. The solution is to buy further out, get a bus pass, and accept the longer commute times into the city. At least you can read the newspaper on the way in to the city.

  28. “The idea is intriguing to look at differences in health costs, but the way he explained it sucks.”

    I think he misses the boat that borrowers here take on more debt than the US in mortgages and especially HELOC’s because they don’t have the health costs.

    The government would not be implementing all the mortgage rules and now OSFI if things were such a lock to move up 4% a year forever. Nice fantasy but not reality.

    2231 Windsor Rd relisted and slashed again, now a $175K slash total.

    4109 Larchwood Dr in Golden Head slashed $30K to $769K

    Lots of really weak slashes like 2584 Lincoln Rd in Oak Bay slashed only $25K.

    The “red hot” 2 bed 2 bath condos still getting whacked.

    2920 Cook St , #304 slashed $25K

    415 linden avenue #102 slashed $20K to $299K.

    420 linden ave #503 slashed $25K

  29. House sales are down in the core from last year from 2,422 to 1,552 for the first nine months of each year. But they are not down universally among the income groups. The number of sales of upper income Houses over $900,000 hasn’t change much. The drop has been almost exclusively in the middle income $600,000 to $900,000 market.

    For the visual learners in the group:

    Make of that what you will.

  30. My sense is in listening to what the NDP is saying now, is that they don’t intend to directly interfere with the market.

    Best possible scenario for the provincial NDP is if the feds trigger a decline in the market. They can say the bubble appeared under the Liberals’ watch, the feds popped it (vote NDP next time!), and we’re doing our best to help by building affordable housing.

  31. The middle income market should be much larger than just one-third. I would think that at least two-thirds of home buyers would be considered middle income. A 20-70-10 split might be more realistic of the market.

    The bands are by SFH sales for September. It is not about income, but rather lower third, middle third, and upper third of sales.

  32. Rudin said Tuesday that the final version would be similar to what OSFI had outlined in its earlier proposal.”

    Thanks rush4life. As usual, when the government announced something is out for consultation, they have already made their decision and do not intend to change it based on the consultation. In this case I believe it’s a good thing though! Stress test will hopefully protect our banking system in the long run, although I wonder how many people will simply move to non-OSFI lenders.

  33. Scroll down to the cad housing data debt to income but stripped of healthcare costs.
    http://www.themacrotourist.com/posts/2017/09/27/still-one/


    I don’t really know what to make of that chart because the methodology is not explained. He says he uses the Teranet index, but the teranet index doesn’t give you prices, so how he managed to divide teranet by disposable income I have no idea. Also what is “real estate”? Average price? Median price? What type of home? All homes?

    The idea is intriguing to look at differences in health costs, but the way he explained it sucks.

  34. It would be interesting to see numbers for the median and mean home prices, based on data for all home types, condos, town homes, duplexes, and SFHs. Since, in the core, the number of condo units is increasing rapidly compared with any other type of home, and since condos are the cheapest type of home, one could see a flat or declining mean or median home price notwithstanding a rise in the price of units in every sector of the market.

    Yes, although I find in those cases the average is better than the median (perhaps with ouliers like penthouses and waterfront removed). Problem with the median and different property types is that the median represents neither. Depending on sales, your median will either be a really expensive condo, or a really cheap house.

    What about this:
    Take the proportion of sales by unit type and use that to scale in the median. For example, if 40% of sales are SFH, 40% are condo, 10% townhouses, and 10% other, then get the average dwelling price by doing 0.4SFH median + 0.4condo median + 0.1townhouse + 0.10ther.

  35. The number of sales of upper income Houses over $900,000 hasn’t change much. The drop has been almost exclusively in the middle income $600,000 to $900,000 market.

    A 15-20% increase in price has a funny way of elevating a lot of 750K+ houses to 900K+ houses. That may be a partial explanation for why numbers are falling in the lower brackets and holding steady in the upper.

  36. Of course if the house prices haven’t moved much or even gone up over the next few months then they will bring in the spec tax.

    My sense is in listening to what the NDP is saying now, is that they don’t intend to directly interfere with the market.

    Meaning, a speculation tax on property may be implemented regardless of market conditions. Of course, we don’t know what they’re planning to do with such a tax – something toothless like a 2% tax, or something onerous like Ontario in the 1970’s.

    Personally, I think they should close off buying via the Partnership Act as well as require the beneficial owner to be known on the LTO docs. None of this “hiding in the shadows” nonsense; ordinary sunlight is the best disinfectant. I think this, a publicly transparent buying and sales history platform, and a spec tax, will go a long way to bringing the markets in BC back from the twilight zone. And then there’s OSFI…

  37. House sales are down in the core from last year from 2,422 to 1,552 for the first nine months of each year. But they are not down universally among the income groups.

    The number of sales of upper income Houses over $900,000 hasn’t change much. The drop has been almost exclusively in the middle income $600,000 to $900,000 market.

    I think that is skewing the median and averages to the high end. But why isn’t the HPI eliminating this skewing as it is suppose to?

    Oh yeah because it’s a bullshit index.

  38. We will find out February about the spec tax with the new full budget; my guess is if the OSFI changes and threat of increased interest rates manages to drop house prices a significant amount (10% or more) then the NDP won’t be adding fuel to that fire in the way of a spec tax. Of course if the house prices haven’t moved much or even gone up over the next few months then they will bring in the spec tax. I would think they want to bring it in to help pay off all the promises they need to keep… either way i’m waiting out til March to buy – even though it means living in a one bdrm apartment with myself, my wife, and are soon to be first born (coming Jan 1). Fun times hahaha.

  39. The middle income market should be much larger than just one-third. I would think that at least two-thirds of home buyers would be considered middle income. A 20-70-10 split might be more realistic of the market. That could change the MOI by price band significantly.

  40. Good on the OSFI, put the screws to this bloated pig. Should have happened years ago but better late than never. Now we need a new spec tax from the NDP.

  41. OSFI not waiting for housing, debt risks to ‘crystallize’

    New rules designed to cut out risky mortgage lending will be finalised this month and implemented two to three months later, Canada’s top banking regulator said on Tuesday.

    Jeremy Rudin, Canada’s Superintendent of Financial Institutions, said in a speech his organization was taking pre-emptive action to reduce the risks arising from high household debt across the country and frothy housing markets.

    “We clearly see the potential risks caused by high household indebtedness across Canada, and by high real estate prices in some markets. We are not waiting to see those risks crystallize in rising arrears and defaults before we act,” Rudin said.

    The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) proposed in July that it introduce a stress test for all uninsured mortgages and ban “bundled” mortgages, where federally regulated lenders team up with unregulated rivals to bypass rules on lending limits.

    http://www.bnn.ca/osfi-not-waiting-for-housing-debt-risks-to-crystallize-1.874298#_gus&_gucid=&_gup=Facebook&_gsc=UeSJ2jO

  42. https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/head-of-osfi-sees-potential-risks-in-high-home-prices-debt-loads/article36469549/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&amp;

    OSFI news – I saw they had a meeting today so I was following for it. here are the highlights of the article:

    “The head of Canada’s banking regulator says it will put forth updated mortgage underwriting guidelines by the end of the month.

    Superintendent Jeremy Rudin said Tuesday that after the final version of changes to its B-20 guidelines are submitted, which included a stress test for uninsured mortgages, he expects them to come into force two or three months later.”

    ” In July, OSFI put forward for consultation a raft of proposed changes to mortgage underwriting guidelines, including a stress test for uninsured mortgages.

    Rudin said Tuesday that the final version would be similar to what OSFI had outlined in its earlier proposal.”

  43. My on the ground impression is that a large percentage of the record low inventory is sellers reaching for the moon.

    Yep, some truly whacky asking prices out there right now. And they are predictably sitting around and doing nothing.
    As for the price trend, I’m still confident that with these low months of inventory we will continue to see price appreciation until that changes. Sometimes we will see medians flatten out, sometimes we will see the HPI flatten out, but they won’t actually stop rising until the months of inventory gets above about 6.

  44. Agreed Marko

    That is my impression too – albeit based on less info that you see. For example in all of Fairfield and Rockland only 14 houses listed for sale under 1.5 million. A couple of those are more development opportunities than houses to move into. Six houses under 1,000,000. Very few fresh listings. I have looked at one or two of these and let’s just say that for a couple of these houses it is not a shocker that they are taking a while to sell.

  45. Of course, the numbers are skewed….a condo, for example, sold for $7 million last month. Of course the average was going to be high.

    I personally gauge the market based on easy to compare boxes and easy to compare condos.

    For example, 3224 Frechette, had a lot of offers on it. Listed for $695,000 and sold for $790,000.

    When I start seeing places like this selling <$750,000 then I will personally conclude that the market is correcting, but I am not seeing that at this time. I don’t look too much into the up/down averages/medians every month especially in the lower volume fall/winter months.

    My on the ground impression is that a large percentage of the record low inventory is sellers reaching for the moon. When you exclude those there is an extremely low number of semi-attractive market priced properties and on those you get quite a bit of interest.

  46. Last time our medians were showing surprising strength when the bears thought they should be crashing the bears were all abuzz about “skewing” of the median by a changing mix of sales. That is a higher than normal proportion of the sales being higher end or lower end could “skew” the median up or down.

    I thought the discussion was overdone at the time, but the skewing is a real effect.

    I’m curious if the mix of homes has changed much over the year. From the graphs Leo showed it seem that mid range homes are selling like hotcakes so perhaps the skewing is not currently an issue.

  47. It would be interesting to see numbers for the median and mean home prices, based on data for all home types, condos, town homes, duplexes, and SFHs. Since, in the core, the number of condo units is increasing rapidly compared with any other type of home, and since condos are the cheapest type of home, one could see a flat or declining mean or median home price notwithstanding a rise in the price of units in every sector of the market.

  48. The last national recession ended May 2009, so one could argue that Canada as a whole is overdue for a recession. What could the triggers be? (1) Housing slump led by Toronto and Vancouver, (2) US recession, (3) NAFTA Trade war, (4) Shooting war between Little Hands and Rocket Man.

    Other than the last, which is totally unpredictable, I don’t see any of those happening immediately. I don’t see a BC specific recession unless the government goes overboard in cracking down on Vancouver and triggers a housing crash.

  49. I’m going to stick my neck out and assert that recession was a lock the moment left coasters elected tax-and-spend NDP government. It may seem simplistic and get me flamed, but there it is. That said, I still talk with lots of retirees from other parts of the country who want their own detached house with a yard and privacy, goldilocks-sized, no snow, and no stairs, and that suggests continued support for the mid-tier detached market.

    I don’t trust the perceived ‘strength’ of the condo market. Look at the speculation and corruption in Vancouver, where thousands of units sit empty. Maybe the new stress-testing will slow things down, but I doubt it. Debt is still too easy.

  50. As a hope to be homeowner in the next few years in definitely feeling less fomo than in the spring. It is interesting to see some houses way over priced and just sitting on the market. Looks to be not as many desperate people out there bidding for the crap either. Thanks for the great info Leo 🙂 I really appreciate the quality and frequency of your posts. I’m sure it is quite an effort to maintain this blog.