Canada should avoid a house price collapse

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Canada should avoid a house price collapse

Canada should avoid a house price collapse

As we look around Europe, the USA and many other parts of the world, political and economic uncertainty is all around us. There are very few countries which have managed to avoid the worst of the worldwide economic downturn but the likes of Canada and Australia to name but two have performed admirably during these difficult times. Indeed Canada has finally broken away from the shadows of the USA and its standing on the international investment stage has grown dramatically. This has led to a number of issues which need to be addressed in the short to medium term one of which is the ever increasing price of real estate in Canada.

Some experts believe that the Canadian property market is well overvalued and in danger of a major correction while others believe we should see a more controlled slowdown in property price increases and a more sedate market in the medium term. So, what are the main issues surrounding the Canadian real estate market in the short to medium term?

Interest rates

An interest rate hike in Canada would almost immediately impact demand for property and have the potential to send prices plummeting. This is a potential nightmare scenario which some experts believe could happen but when you bear in mind the Bank of Canada is more in favour of further interest rate cuts than increases, perhaps we can cross this potential issue off the list. When you also take into account the fact that inflation in Canada is relatively subdued, we are unlikely to see any interest rate rises in the short to medium term.

Quote from PropertyForum.com : “The authorities in Manitoba, Canada have today announced a review of the role in which real estate agents play in the buying and selling properties.”

Mortgage finance

One issue we have seen arise across Europe over the last few years is that of the availability of mortgage finance and the strength of mortgage providers. Indeed, some countries in Europe are experiencing an economic recovery while their banks and mortgage providers are still struggling to shore up their balance sheets. The Canadian banking system is perhaps more robust than many others around the world, it has been expertly managed and there is more than sufficient capital available to finance short, medium and long-term mortgage arrangements. A disruption in mortgage finance appears to be very unlikely in Canada.

Unemployment

A sharp increase in unemployment would result in mortgage payment issues, see a slowdown in the economy and have a detrimental impact upon real estate prices in Canada. At this moment in time unemployment in Canada is hovering around the 7% mark and many experts believe it would take an increase to 10% before any impact on property prices. This seems to be highly unlikely when you bear in mind the performance of the Canadian economy, the way the government has managed its finances and the short to medium-term outlook for the country. A significant increase in Canadian unemployment would not appear to be on the cards at the moment.

Conclusion

A number of experts are now concluding that the Canadian property market will begin to slow, we will see a prolonged correction in property price growth over the next decade or so and the sector will become more aligned with the economy and the outlook in the short to medium term. There are some who believe we will see a house price crash, the economy will slow and unemployment will rise but at this moment in time the odds are certainly stacked against this particular scenario.

Canadian property may look overvalued on an array of different levels but we are unlikely to see the “popping” of a house price bubble which many people fail to see.

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2 Responses to “Canada should avoid a house price collapse”

  1. Canada should embrace a house price ‘correction’ so that people can afford the houses they buy. We have the guy that is responsible for your overpriced housing doing the same thing here in London – and now London is full of parasitic foreign investors and buy to let landlords living off the back of a generation he has priced out of housing. I would vote for the first political candidate that promised to drive down house prices.

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  2. The market has to slow down before it drives renters nuts. The housing market just started slowing down in the Yukon. After 18 years of doubling every six years, to the point where a mobile home is worth $250,000 ( you can see the stats and prices for yourself at http://www.ajmalcolm.com ) Something has to change. Incomes have not gone up with the price of homes. A year’s total income could pay for a home, when I was a kid. Now it’s 4 or 5 years of total income. How did that happen? Either way, it seems to be the best bet for finding a source of money for retirement, but I bet you that there are not too many young families that will be able to buy a home without some sort of family support. It’s just so expensive, and to boot, the Yukon government just made it illegal to go camping if you are homeless. 2/3 the size of Texas, with a small population and no camping if you can’t afford a quarter million for a trailer!

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