Thursday, March 20, 2008

Canadian housing crash?

Is Canada heading for a housing crash (Canwest News Service) ?

Well, maybe not for the exactly same reasons or to the same degree because Canadian lending practices are somewhat different, but probably anyways. Simply put, a lot of Canadians depend on a healthy American economy for their jobs. As well, demographics alone will likely account for devaluation of stand-alone houses in Canada (supply relative to demand) over the next couple of decades as the "boomers" pass through and on, unless significant immigration keeps the population growing, and things might vary widely from province to province.
Immigration levels contribute heavily to the projected population growth at the national level, as the fertility rate is assumed to remain below the replacement level in all scenarios, a situation observed since the 1970s...According to these new projections, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia are the only provinces in which more than one scenario projects that average annual growth would exceed the growth rate for Canada as a whole.
Expect a serious financial poop-storm in any case; our next door neighbour, the USA, is going through a serious rough spot, and I can't see *any* structural reasons (and certainly no political reasons) that the recent "recession" won't get much worse for them and us.

Understand this: bad political decisions (by this, I mean specifically government interventions, especially attempts to "make things better") will cause us far more damaging and far more-long-lasting financial pain than any purely business reasons. Mark my words.


Anonymous said...

C'mon Ron, don't add to the hysteria the banks and big brokerage houses are trying to foist off on the Canadian public.
At the present time mortgage defaults in this country are tracking at normal levels and a recent poll revealed that approximately 30% of households are paying down their mortgages ahead of schedule.
Commodity prices are on a roller coaster but are generally well ahead of last years numbers. Living in Peace Country you are aware, I am sure, of what grain prices are doing. Wait until the farmers cash in this year's crop. Unlike the manufacturers in the East who pocketed the profits they made from the low buck, farmers know, better than most, that investing in equipment to improve productivity is essential to survival. The cash that agriculture will pump into the system this year and next will be staggering.
Will there be a slowdown? You bet. But that's normal after a prolonged run-up in a hot economy and when our major trading partner goes down the tubes. However, the rest of the world still wants what we have and, though they may not fill the void, they will take up some of the slack.
The pin-striped thugs in the big financial institutions would like nothing better than a full blown panic so the government will be forced into bailing them out of their own mess just as the Federal Reserve in the States has done. So, my advice...don't eat it, Elmer, the straw sticks in your teeth.

Ron said...

Powell: I don't expect things to be as bad as in the US but I do expect a significant correction (which you also allude to), and my demographic comments were meant longer term (like 10--20 years).

That said, the *last* thing I want is anybody bailed out with government bucks, ever.

I appreciate your visit here. Thanks for the comment.