Canada may face housing bust: Robert Shiller

I hate to keep bringing bad news to the blog. Of course this is just another opinion. Robert Shiller is predicting that real estate markets in Calgary and Vancouver will be hurt the most if there is a serious down-turn in housing prices.

Canada may face housing bust: Robert Shiller

The Canadian housing market could face a similar housing bust to the United States, particularly in more bubbly markets as Vancouver and Calgary, said Robert Shiller, the Yale University professor who predicted both the 1990s stock market boom and bust and the US housing slump.

Mr. Shiller, co-founder of the S&P Case/Shiller Home Price Index, said psychology is the primary driver of bubbles and it appears that Canada has been caught up with home buying fever just as the United States and other countries around the world.

Asked whether that meant Canada could face a similar bust Mr. Shiller said: “Yes, especially in places that went up a lot like Vancouver and Calgary. I don’t think Toronto has been quite as extreme.”

Mr. Shiller said there was a natural connection between the United States and Canada.

“I would be surprised that the bubble that appeared in the United States and elsewhere didn’t appear in Canada,” he said in an interview with the Financial Post. “It’s psychology, I think that drives it.

Mr. Shiller, whose book Irrational Exuberance came out in March 2000 just as the tech bubble peaked, said it was essential for the U.S. government to pass a financial bailout, though he believes the United States is facing a “severe recession,” regardless.

“I’m concerned problems are deeper than can be handled by the bailout but that doesn’t mean the bailout doesn’t do some good,” he said.

He said a bailout might help restore some confidence to the stressed financial system.

“What creates a crisis is a lack of confidence,” he said.

He said the housing crisis was primarily a policy failure by U.S. authorities.

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1 comment

  1. Shiller is right on! Vancouver home owners spend close to 65% of their income on mortgage. Not sure there is much room to spend more.

    People say foreign buyers are the price increase. Well, if Vancouver can find more foreigner buyers who would buy anything at any price with a obvious negative rent yield then great somehow rich but not so money wise people will invest money here.

    People will buy anything if the price keep on increasing until it start descreasing then everybody flees all at once.

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