Toronto’s Splendid Housing Bubble Turns to Bust

Market freezes up at the top. Average price of detached house plunges C$175,000 in 12 months.

Home sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Canada’s largest housing market, and among the most inflated in the world, plunged 32% in April, compared to a year ago, to 7,792 homes, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), a real estate lobbying group. The sales plunge affected all types of homes, even the once red-hot condos:

  • Detached houses -38.4%
  • Semi-detached houses -29.3%
  • Townhouses -22.1%
  • Condos -26.0%.

The sales slowdown was particularly harsh at the higher end: Sales of homes costing C$2 million or more collapsed by 64%. The market is freezing up at the top.

Prices follow volume. Both types of prices the TREB publishes – the average price and its proprietary MLS Home Price Index based on a “composite benchmark home” – fell from April last year. This is a confusing experience for the real estate industry, sellers, and buyers, since prices have ballooned for 18 years, interrupted by only one brief dip during the Financial Crisis, and the rule has been that prices will always go up and that you cannot lose money in real estate.

The average price in April for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) plunged 12.3% year-over-year to C$804,584. A drop of C$113,600. By market:

  • In Toronto itself: -8.2% (-C$76,860) to C$865,817.
  • In the rest of the GTA without Toronto: -15.2% (-C$137,070) to C$767,359.

Detached houses – which are generally more expensive than other home types – got hit the hardest:

  • Detached houses -14.4% to C$1,030,103 (down by C$175,000)
  • Semi-detached houses -6.4% to C$792,385
  • Townhouses -7.8% to C$645,172
  • Condos +3.2% to C$559,343

While Condo prices still gained 3.2%, that gain was down from a 6.1% gain in March, and down from double-digit gains earlier.

The average price was impacted by two factors, the TREB said: by “changes in market conditions,” and by the sales collapse at the higher end of the market, which changed the mix of sales, and therefore affected the average price.

The TREB’s proprietary Home Price Index, which is based on a “composite benchmark home,” and which “strips out” the impact of these changes in mix, “was down by only 5.2%” year-over-year.

The inventory of homes for sale surged 41% from a year ago, to 18,206 active listings. At the rate of sales in April, this worked out to a supply of 2.3 months, up from 2.1 months in March. The average days-on-the-market before the home is sold or before the listing is pulled without sale more than doubled to 20 days, up from 9 days in April last  year.

Months’ supply and days-on-the-market show that the market is cooling from its red-hot phase, that sellers aren’t panicking just yet, and that potential buyers are somewhat more cautious and reluctant, as the “fear of missing out” is being wrung out of the market.

The TREB tried to put a positive spin on the declining home prices: “April’s price level represents a substantial gain over the past decade.” That’s true – as noted above, prices surged without much interruption for the past 18 years. But all good price bubbles come to an end.

And there is always hope to somehow keep the bubble inflated: “A strong and diverse labor market and continued population growth based on immigration should continue to underpin long-term home price appreciation.”

So too bad for the millennials who’ve been shafted by this housing bubble, and too bad for systemic risk to the financial system, but the housing bubble must go on.

The TREB outlines its lobbying efforts. Even as the Bank of Canada and policy makers and regulators at federal and provincial levels have been trying for over a year to cool the runaway housing bubble with interest rate hikes, policy changes, and tax changes, the TREB, lamenting the “current policy-based volatility,” wants them to back off, and exhorts its members to fan out and apply pressure on politicians and policy makers:

With a provincial election campaign about to begin, GTA REALTORS® hope that all of the provincial parties will make housing issues a priority.

In recent months and years, there has been significant intervention in housing markets by all levels of government, through regulatory changes and taxation. We believe the next step should be tax relief, especially from Land Transfer Taxes….

Because no one is allowed to try to tamp down on a housing bubble that is threatening the financial system and has elevated Canadian households to top levels of the world biggest debt slaves.

And what will the US Housing Bubble 2 do when mortgage rates hit 6%? Read… Wow that’s Fast: Mortgage Rates Jump to 2011 Levels 
 

Would you like to be notified via email when WOLF STREET publishes a new article? Sign up here.

 

  70 comments for “Toronto’s Splendid Housing Bubble Turns to Bust

  1. Eric
    May 3, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Wolf,

    I live in Walnut Creek CA (Contra Costa County) and I think we are nearing the top. The number of homes available for sale and the number of actual sales is falling. It really does feel like 2007 again. Prices have reached such a height that very few homeowners can afford to move unless they are leaving the state or downsizing. I am selling in June due a change in family circumstance. I believe I will be able to get out before prices begin falling because there are still enough buyers who are willing to pay these crazy prices. Not sure how long it will last…

    • May 3, 2018 at 12:36 pm

      Real estate moves very slowly. You’ll have time “to get out” :-]

      • Frederick
        May 3, 2018 at 1:19 pm

        I’m sure I agree with that Wolf Once sentiment turns negative you might just be screwed Better a month early than a day late IMO Buyers should be aware of the risks especially after the housing debacle in 2008/2009

        • rhodium
          May 3, 2018 at 8:17 pm

          Yeah, but what I’ve noticed is people selling will often sit on their house for a long time waiting and trying to sell at the price they expected to get for it. People are slow to make concessions and compromise and that’s why it takes awhile for a housing bubble to fully deflate.

        • Karl M Andersen
          May 5, 2018 at 1:46 am

          Houses peaked in mid 2005 yet 2008/2009 is often mentioned.

      • Keith
        May 3, 2018 at 4:59 pm

        But Consumer sentiment can change quickly

      • Gibbon1
        May 4, 2018 at 1:40 am

        Old comment from that doctor housing bubble blog. ‘Price fixes everything’

        My dad sold a house in 2008 when prices were tanking. Other houses in the neighborhood has been on the market for 6 months to a year. Dad got the house appraised, put it on the market for 20% less than that and it sold for the ‘appraised value’ in 30 days.

        He played chicken with $250,000 on the table and won.

    • Bart
      May 3, 2018 at 3:24 pm

      You will be fine in June but for what its worth:

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-03/homebuyers-catching-a-break-in-some-of-the-hottest-u-s-markets

      Wolf, any reason to think the deterioration this time will be quicker than 2007? To me, the patient seems sicker than 2007. $21T millstone is pretty heavy and the US economy’s can only carry so much weight.

      • May 3, 2018 at 8:29 pm

        I’ve heard some anecdotal stuff from RE brokers during sauna conversation recently (no internet, no one pays much attention, people just relaxing) about some sudden slow-downs in traffic and increases in inventories. But I’ve heard this before over the past few years, and it blew away again.

        Every broker in the Bay Area that has been in RE for 15+ years knows this is a bubble and that it will deflate. So they’re all nervous. But they have to hide it during the day. In the sauna occasionally, they might let their guard down. So a lot of times, these are just worries. But at some point, these worries will come true.

    • RangerOne
      May 4, 2018 at 4:22 pm

      I’ve been starting to see talk about crazy profits people are making off homes well above what standard rentals would bear because of Air B&B.

      Maybe the next bubble will get blamed partly on them.

  2. raxadian
    May 3, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    How did this bubble last 18 years anyway?

    • Frederick
      May 3, 2018 at 1:15 pm

      It didn’t everywhere Lots of places in the US you can buy a great house for less than it sold for in 2000 The only problem is either the taxes are too high or the job market is terrible
      Take the Raleigh/ Durham area in NC Housing market is good but go a half hour outside the triangle area and there are lots of inexpensive homes available

      • raxadian
        May 3, 2018 at 1:36 pm

        Toronto is in Canada, not the US.

        • Prairies
          May 3, 2018 at 2:00 pm

          The same logic would apply in Canada though. From the people I have met from the East coast the prices stayed flat because the jobs were gone as lumber mills closed and metal working jobs were shut down.

          Toronto and Vancouver are the peak markets, both are failing now that the government stepped in and did what it should have done years ago.

          Seeing these markets crumble with a little interest increase and a throttle back on external investment shows how little support the Local economy really had. Canadian politicians could have avoided the mess years ago, but enjoyed the profits too much to complain.

        • Paul
          May 14, 2018 at 10:28 am

          Everyone I know who owns a home in Toronto, is way over extended with major credit card debt, mortgages, lines of credit which are all getting full, they use one to make payments on the other, while their incomes pay for about 50% of their living expenses and credit cards and lines pay for the rest including the interest on the debt (used to pay the debt from the debt). The game has been the same for the past 5 plus years, “keep doing it and our house will just be worth 200k more next year so nothing to worry about!” And the foreign money has limits, the so called rich ppl from overseas, are also running out of money and econ conditions are not so great for them either. So, 2 mil for an average house in a city where the average income is 70k or 45K net of Taxes and no major economic windfall insight, due to banks and govt idiots is now blowing up like a balloon. It does not take a rocket scientist to see this coming 2018-2019-2020 re in gta and gvrd is going to be worth 50 cents on the dollar at best with very little takers.

      • Gibbon1
        May 4, 2018 at 1:45 am

        I’ve seen decent houses in California outside the hot spots that sold for more in 2000 than they are listed for 18 years later.

    • Lenz
      May 3, 2018 at 11:35 pm

      Why get Wolf’s interpretation? Let Stephen S. Poloz the ninth and current Governor of the Bank of Canada. In July 2017, Poloz raised the Bank of Canada’s key interest rate to 0.75%, the first interest rate increase in Canada in seven years.

      He sounds a lot like Wolf now, accept claiming they did the right thing to “save” the economy by hanging the savers. Interesting watch.

      streamed live on May 1, 2018
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvG8CMqtGNE

      btw Wolf, the speech was held in the (Yellowknife Chambers of Commerce) I was never aware that one could stab a color. =p

  3. May 3, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    All PYRAMID or PONZI schemes ALWAYS fail at the top when potential buyers thin out. Ultimately these R.E. bubbles are that.

    The fact that this Ponzi scheme was “self-organized” does not mean it wasn’t a scheme in the final analysis.

    You can’t lose if you don’t play — and if you are a homeowner of long-standing (e.g., not a ‘player’) — and you are able to do so — GETTING OUT AT THE TOP and RENTING FOR A WHILE might be an excellent strategy — if there are rental units available, at the right price — and livable for your circumstances.

    BTW, in my opinion, the “product” here, that is being pyramided — is gullibile new entrants, each buying in a a higher price.

    And Government or various NGOs are willing promoters of the scheme — and here it is the FED . . . all the way back to Mr. Greenspan.

    • Frederick
      May 3, 2018 at 1:21 pm

      Once the stock market tanks hard( and it’s looking precarious lately) housing will follow If I owned I’d be selling asap

    • Bobber
      May 3, 2018 at 6:16 pm

      You got that right. I have several million in the bank and income well into the six figures. I found out I would qualify for a government insured 3% down mortgage. They are begging for the next crisis. Sol many people are going to walk away from mortgages if the prices collapse. They’ll try to stay in the houses though, and the politicians will have pause kicking them out. This RE debacle has no controls at this point. Screw the honest taxpayer while you still can, is what they are saying. Filet Mignon for everyone. Tax cuts for the 1%. Party like there’s no tomorrow.

      • Arizona Slim
        May 4, 2018 at 12:32 pm

        Just think, you can put 3% down and if the value declines by more than 3%, oops, your dream of homeownership just became insolvent.

  4. Jack
    May 3, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    The local media and RE agents around here in the GTHA (Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area) are trying to keep prices from falling any more than what they have so far. Everyday, there’s some new RE guy on radio or TV dismissing any sort of price correction.

    • Frederick
      May 3, 2018 at 2:20 pm

      So “Fake News” then They would do that People need to disconnect from that MSM nonsense and think for themselves Cutting the cable is the best thing I ever did

      • R2D2
        May 3, 2018 at 9:57 pm

        You mean you don’t watch idiot box anymore :)?

        Same here; giving up TV years ago made me not only far more productive, but I also enjoy life a lot more without that brainwashing machine being around.

      • Jack
        May 3, 2018 at 10:41 pm

        Just today, May 3rd, the latest buzz phrase on a radio interview I heard with some RE shill, was, “but on seasonally adjusted basis… blah… blah… blah…, BS, BS, BS. This GTHA is not a Silicon Valley type of employment area despite what the politicians say.

      • Maximus Minimus
        May 4, 2018 at 11:00 am

        Excellent choice; did it about five years ago. Propaganda used to be free in the old days.

    • alex in san jose AKA digital Detroit
      May 3, 2018 at 3:22 pm

      Jack – That sounds like my local newspaper, the San Jose Mercury News, which insisted that RE was great right through 2008 and we all ought to buy now.

      • Mike G
        May 4, 2018 at 1:47 am

        Real estate and car dealers are the mainstay of local newspaper advertising, they’re not going to bite the hand that feeds.

    • pa
      May 14, 2018 at 11:05 am

      Yes it is called FAKE NEWS. Local media is pure FAKE NEWS. Knowing that all MSM is FAKE NEWS should be old news by now! Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

      • Pa
        May 14, 2018 at 11:07 am

        After being a Realtor for many years and seeing the level of lies deception and disgusting misinformation by them to clients in order to make a commission. ZOLO.ca is the only place you should look at for any re data.

  5. May 3, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    But… my co-worker said that I was an idiot for thinking that housing could go down, I even told her specifically about Canada but she said Canadians are more financially responsible than Americans…

    • Frederick
      May 3, 2018 at 2:21 pm

      Remind your do worker about a bit of history known as the Great Depression

    • david
      May 4, 2018 at 1:29 pm

      We’re certainly more smug.

    • Bob
      May 6, 2018 at 11:28 am

      Marie,
      Canada is the money laundering capitol of the world. Here in BC, we have the “Vancouver model” of transnational crime, known world-wide, for how to launder money through real estate. See “How Chinese gangs are laundering drug money through Vancouver real estate” https://globalnews.ca/news/4149818/vancouver-cautionary-tale-money-laundering-drugs/ (It takes a few minutes to load.)

  6. Peter
    May 3, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Toronto isn’t the only one, Vancouver has seen sales drop listings jump and prices slide. Criminal Behaviour being exposed almost daily….

    Americans may be surprised to learn we cannot get verifiable data aside from the dreck spewed out by the RE boards. No Zillow in ONT or BC but Nova Scotia has full disclosure. When this finally collapses house sales organizations will be pilloried.

    BTW Marie. Many Canadians ARE idiots :
    – have higher debt loads than Americans before the GFC (in spite of watching the debacle unfold south of the border 10 yrs prior)
    -Interest rates climbing, (Canadians CAN’T get 30 yr fixed mortgages, 5 years max and then renewal.)
    -48% of mortgages renew this year at higher rates (and going higher)
    -FIRE industry and politicians have pumped this for years.

    You will be reading about the collapse soon enough. I will then go house shopping. (not an idiot:-)

  7. Prairies
    May 3, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    In 3 months this same story will apply to Vancouver. Sales numbers are down while prices are going up. Weird how the metric for prices is calculated slower than the sales volume.

  8. Shawn
    May 3, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    I’m wondering if the 15% transfer tax on non-resident buyers has anything to do with it?
    https://wolfstreet.com/2017/04/20/toronto-house-price-bubble-foreign-buyers-tax-double-ending-by-brokers-paper-flipping-by-property-scalpers/

    Or how much is due to increasing mortgage rates and mortgage affordability or overall indebtedness of Canucks.

    I don’t see a single major American city doing what Ontario did with property taxes. If we had that in San Francisco the “housing crisis” as it’s called, would be over in a blinck.

  9. Gorbachev
    May 3, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    I can’t speaking for all of Canada ,but you are behind the

    curve for Toronto.Sales of 1 to 2 million dollar homse are through the roof.

    • OutLookingIn
      May 3, 2018 at 3:19 pm

      When comparing the ratios of price-to-value and then look at the average Canadian debt-to-income ratio, it becomes quite clear. Canadian’s are swimming in debt levels well above their heads.
      This has somewhat proven itself to be the case, when looking at the recent surge in home equity cash outs. Houses are ATM’s again.
      Look for a return of “Jingle Mail” as homeowner’s who are underwater, give up the lost cause and send the house keys back to the mortgage holder.

      • Jim Graham
        May 3, 2018 at 5:32 pm

        I thought that mortgages in Canada are full recourse, which means you can’t just default and walk away from the house you borrowed upon, as you can in much of the US. Canadian lenders can come after debtors for their other assets.

        • Jack
          May 3, 2018 at 6:15 pm

          Jim, that’s correct with the exception of Alberta. Walking away from a mortgage is not the norm here in this frozen country (unless the borrowers are from overseas).

        • May 3, 2018 at 8:51 pm

          Actually, there are two non-recourse provinces, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

          And in the US, there are only 12 non-recourse states:
          Alaska
          Arizona
          California
          Iowa
          Minnesota
          Montana
          Nevada
          North Carolina
          North Dakota
          Oregon
          Washington
          Wisconsin.

          The rest of the states and DC are full recourse (including Florida). But that didn’t stop people from defaulting on their mortgages during the Financial Crisis. The thing is if a bank gets a deficiency judgement after it sells the home and tries to collect the deficiency, the former homeowner can just declare bankruptcy and thus escapes the deficiency judgment. This is a huge waste of money for banks if they cannot collect.

          So if it’s just one homeowner here and there who defaults, banks will throw the book at them. But if 5% of their borrowers default, they’re completely at a loss. That’s what happened during the Financial Crisis. Banks knew you cannot squeeze blood out of a turnip.

          https://wolfstreet.com/2017/04/25/mortgages-u-s-canada-recourse-states-non-recourse-states/

        • kam
          May 4, 2018 at 8:58 am

          The facts of the individual borrower naturally varies, but if you cannot afford your mortgage, it is unlikely you have much else for the bank to take.
          And “consumer” bankruptcy in Canada is cheap and easy.

        • Alistair McLaughlin
          May 4, 2018 at 11:02 am

          The non-recourse only applies to provincially regulated lenders in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Loans from federally regulated institutions are full recourse, even in those provinces. And most mortgage debt in those two provinces, like elsewhere in Canada, is held by the big banks, which are federally regulated. So non-recourse will not be much of a factor, even in on the Prairies.

      • kam
        May 4, 2018 at 8:45 am

        Canadian government debt more than double what is commonly told. Add that to your mortgage payment (well, it is taken off the top of your check, but you are still paying for it).

        • Maximus Minimus
          May 4, 2018 at 12:06 pm

          You must be referring to what for businesses would be called off-the-book liabilities, e.g. CHMC that insures all these mortgages would have to be bailed out just like similar US agencies.

    • May 3, 2018 at 8:10 pm

      Gorbachev,

      OK, let’s deal with numbers, rather than “through the roof” (in which direction?). In April, which ended 3 days ago (so this is not far “behind the curve”), sales of homes between C$1 million and C$2 million PLUNGED by 54%, to 1,333 homes (from 2,886 homes in April 2017), according to TREB’s data.

      Wishful thinking will get you every time. Happens to me too occasionally :-]

    • R2D2
      May 3, 2018 at 10:01 pm

      Watch out; that roof might come down on you comrade :).

  10. SimplyPut7
    May 3, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    In the morning, the media in Toronto were saying average GTA prices were higher than May 2017, they must have gotten a lot of backlash, only a few outlets are pumping that story now.

    https://news.vice.com/en_ca/article/wj7v79/toronto-home-prices-climb-above-dollar800000-for-the-first-time-since-may-2017

    Many headlines try to pretend it’s not that bad out there, they say prices are stabilizing. But some parts of the Toronto area have prices down to 2015 levels. The media/realtors say the condo market is still hot but there are a lot of speculators in that market, and they are taking possessions of condos they thought would be easy flips with mortgage rates of 6% or in some case more than 9% – when rates are low.

    What happens when rates go up?

    • Paulo
      May 4, 2018 at 12:57 am

      A little report from Campbell River, mid Vancouver island. (I sold my home there in 2006, relocated rural).

      Small postage lots .25 acre….$200,000+. New construction…$300/sq ft. Permits are plus. Do the math….1200 sq ft rancher on a postage stamp size lot will price out approaching $600K. 8 years ago I sold my Mom’s 1200 sq foot rancher in CR for 225K, and that was a fair cash price. Today it might fetch the high 300s.(It was tired and dated). Still…….

      My ex home town is now a refuge for Vancouver and Victoria escapees, and for folks who were burnt out of Alberta (Ft Mac) last summer. Lots and lots of Albertans here.

      In my rural heaven, a 45 minute drive west from CR, houses are being snapped up. Nice view homes in the village go for $300K. 5 years ago they couldn’t give them away, and those that did sell were under 200K…..around 175.

      It is freaking insane. My friend’s son is building a house in Campbell River. By the time it is done he will owe between 600 and 700K. He is a logger and his wife is a nurse. The nursing job is steady but logging can shut down in a week….and do so for years depending on markets. Nuts nuts and more crazy. The bubble is stretching. KABOOM!!!!!!!

  11. May 3, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Demand the Bank of Canada stop creating false demand when they buy bonds no one will buy. Demand they stop rigging the markets with ultra low interest rates (lowest in 5000 years) to save big corps and their buddies. Demand free markets and much, much, higher interest rates.

    • Alistair McLaughlin
      May 4, 2018 at 11:07 am

      BoC hasn’t been buying any debt. The CMHC did buy over $100 billion of mortgage debt from the banks in 2008-09, but the BoC did not engage in QE.

  12. akiddy111
    May 3, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    Along with the Toronto market, the NYC condo market appears to be having a tough time.

    A little experiment i carried out :

    I saved, and am tracking, 8 new Manhattan condo listings (from Zillow) at prices ranging from $1m to $3m – that were posted between April 15th and April 20th last month.

    I check activity at least daily. None have gone pending. I am a little surprised (but not shocked).

    Keep in mind that these are fresh April listings. Also, 3 of these are re-listings after either a remodel, a reduced price, or both.

    This may not seem like a big deal, but if i was a realtor in NYC with 8 fresh condo listings in April, i would expect at least a couple of them to go pending within the first 2 weeks.

  13. van_down_by_river
    May 3, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Wow! Only C$805,000 to live in the Canadian version of Buffalo NY – what a deal.

    Wage earners are now locked out of the housing market. The typical wage will simply not support the required mortgage and now people who work for a living are getting squeezed out of apartments as well.

    On top of everything else, those of us who have been priced out of domiciles find out our government stabs us in the back. The government works for elite who own a coveted house but works against those without housing. For instance, if you can’t afford housing the government will not grant you TSA Pre-check – when you travel international you will be stuck standing in line for hours with foreigners while people granted elite status (which is not granted to those without housing) breeze right through. This is but one small example of how we are starting to be divided.

    If you can afford housing the government works for you. If you make only 94k/year and are priced out of housing the government works against you. The money I pay in taxes is used to pay customs agents to harass me when I return to my native USA.

    Insult to injury – my tax dollars go to pay housing for people who don’t earn wages. Thinking about quitting my job and working in fast food so I will qualify for subsidized (read free) housing. I like working as an engineer but I also like not having to shower at the gym and sleep in a 2008 Dodge caravan.

    • kam
      May 4, 2018 at 8:50 am

      Working citizens cannot compete with foreign money. Foreign money is not from the working poor in China.

      What is going on under the table takes an army of lawyers and realtors to create the facade.

  14. Lee
    May 3, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    “Take the Raleigh/ Durham area in NC Housing market is good but go a half hour outside the triangle area and there are lots of inexpensive homes available.”

    30 minutes outside of that area and you can get cheap houses?

    Must be nice.

    Here in Oz there basically aren’t any ‘cheap’ houses. Well, cheap is a relative word. If by paying $4 or 5 million for a house near the beach is expensive then paying A$750,000 for one in a different area then I guess it is ‘cheap’.

    But if you want ‘cheap’ you really do have to go to Woop Woop and then what you’ll is ‘relatively cheap’ as there are few jobs, few people, and hours from civilization.

    Here are a couple of newspaper articles about ‘cheap’ houses in Oz:

    In Victoria:

    https://www.domain.com.au/news/10-of-the-cheapest-towns-in-victoria-to-buy-a-house-20180105-h037m3/

    In NSW:

    https://www.domain.com.au/news/the-10-cheapest-towns-in-nsw-to-buy-a-house-20180420-h0z0hb/?utm_campaign=featured-masthead&utm_source=smh&utm_medium=link

    And what about ‘cheap’ grazing land? If the land has good rainfall the cost per acre is around $A4000. If not, the price falls to around A$1000.

    Now contrast those prices to what you can get in Japan.

    You can get a nice, fairly new house an hour outside of Tokyo with fast, efficient train service for anywhere from US$200,000 up. All the amenities of a modern city too. A condo near the beach 2 hours away can be bought for as cheap as US$10,000. A better one with 100 square meters of space in a very nice building 1 hour from Tokyo and only a 10 minute walk from A Bullet Train stop can be picked up for around US$100,000.

    And here is a cheapie in the BVI with great views, nice weather, and beaches close by:

    http://www.coldwellbankerbvi.com/listing-irma-deal%21-barton-house-450.html

  15. Sound of the Suburbs
    May 3, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    Start reading up on minsky moments and debt deflation.

  16. Thomas
    May 3, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    I started seeing similar things in DC. High-end houses and condos are staying over 30 days and prices getting slashed. This was absolutely unthinkable just 2 years ago. And there are a TON of luxury condos coming online in 2019. Not sure if this is due to government hiring freeze or other market conditions.

  17. james wordsworth
    May 3, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    Three points:
    1. Immigration remains strong, so you have a continuing level of new demand. Toronto is the fourth largest city in North America and more than half the population was not born in Canada. A lot of the people buying are not really familiar with Canadian economics.
    2. Crap houses. The houses being built are absolute crap, and that is being incredibly kind. And anyone buying a condo needs their head examined. the repair costs on these in a few years will be awesome.
    3. Property taxes. When your house price is going up by 100,000 a year you don’t worry too much about property taxes, or even rising rates. But when prices start to fall property taxes are going to become an issue. Remember in Canada fire, police and teachers are all quite well paid.

    Finally we have a trump wannabe moron who looks like he might actually become the provincial leader – and he has told developers that he wants to allow building on the green belt around Toronto.

    • Paulo
      May 4, 2018 at 1:04 am

      Good time to move. :-)

      Seriously.

      At least the new leader doesn’t snort coke like his brother did/died.

      There were decades I was embarrassed to call myself a BCer because of the politics. Then along came the Fords. :-) Now, it’s all good. Maybe…probably not. Not.

      • Prairies
        May 4, 2018 at 10:24 am

        I have been spoiled having Brad Wall for so long. No crazy scandals, just jealous opposition. Too bad he retired.

  18. Buckaroo Banzai
    May 3, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    “continued population growth based on immigration should continue to underpin long-term home price appreciation.”

    Unless these immigrants are bringing six-figure jobs with them–unlikely given that many of them are coming from the third world–this is cockeyed optimism at best.

    • MC01
      May 4, 2018 at 2:01 am

      I suspect the kind of immigrants the Toronto Real Estate Board has in mind is chiefly from a certain country in Asia and armed with suitcases filled to the brim with cash, which are even better than six-figure jobs.
      That cash may be of dubious origin but as Emperor Vespasian said in similar circumstances “Pecunia non olet” (Cash has no smell).

      Everybody likes that kind of immigrants. In fact we cannot get enough of them: it’s one of those Asian exports that’s universally beloved no matter the hazards to public health such as aspirational pricing for everything with four walls (roof is an option and will cost you) and thirty years mortgages now being (relatively) commonplace.

      Too bad the supply seems to be drying up.

      • robt
        May 5, 2018 at 9:44 am

        That’s 30 year amortization, not 30 year term. Typically if you get a fixed rate mortgage it’s a 5 year or less term renewal.

  19. mean chicken
    May 3, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Here comes the dump we all knew was being set up. Rinse and repeat courtesy central banker criminal enterprise.

  20. Gershon
    May 4, 2018 at 12:47 am

    More and more indications and warnings are popping up that Housing Bubble 2.0 is getting ready to burst in a most spectacular fashion.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/05/dubai-stocks-dive-27-month-real-estate-woes-180503202003557.html

  21. marc
    May 4, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    In Manhattan the very high end is struggling. Above 1.5 huge slow down. Below that still active.
    That said brokers are nervous end even sometimes nice, returning emails. It is clear from open houses that buyers know the market is turning and they take their time, testing low bids instead of participating in bidding wars that I haven’t seen recently (except for flawless stuff).
    Not related but the commercial RE in NJersey has also turned.
    Prices were ridiculous anyway.

  22. RangerOne
    May 4, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    I got sucked into buying a 2 bedroom condo in December 2017 in San Diego. I think the price was more than I liked, but it was a rare opportunity to buy from family pretty much an entire down payment paid for by a gift of equity. The the paper sale price being set at the banks appraised value.

    If prices tank I am willing to camp out in that house for at least 10 years. Would be nice to trade out sooner but at least it locks down the neighborhood we want with good schools for our 2 infant daughters.

    There are still occasions to buy around SD even with their somewhat stupid prices. But I do think we all have to be realistic that you might lose some cash by trying control your housing costs and buying.

Comments are closed.