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.

You can read the rest of the story below.


5 Tips for Buying in a Buyers Market.

It’s a Buyers market! This is what we hear on the News, in newspapers and from professionals in our community. It is a great time to buy, prices are coming down, there are a lot of homes to choose from and sellers are getting more anxious to sell their homes. On the other hand there is the belief that it may not be a good time to buy because prices may fall further. How do you know when the best time is to buy? Below there are five things to consider if you are trying to decide if now is the right time to purchase a property.

  1. Timing the BOTTOM is very difficult for many reasons. The timing of the bottom of the market is different in every region. Just because the market has bottomed in one region of BC doesn’t mean that the same is happening here in Kamloops. There are many different factors that go into the state of every market. Waiting for the absolute bottom often causes buyers to miss it and get stuck in the upswing of the market, making purchasing a home more difficult. Buy a home because you need to or have found the right one for you, not because you are waiting for the bottom, often the bottom is seen in the rear view mirror.
  2. Often the best places sell FIRST. If you find a home that is perfectly suited to your needs and desires then buy it! When that perfect home comes along, and you chose to wait it can be scooped up from under you. Often if a home is desirable to you it is also very desirable to others looking. Buyers have to put some value on a home that meets or exceeds their needs that is not a monetary value. Desirable homes in desirable areas in a down market hold their value much better than less desirable homes in less desirable areas.
  3. Find a home you can GROW with. Think long-term when purchasing a home. Find a place that you can see yourself in for years to come. The Real Estate market is cyclical with ups and downs. If the market is on the decline now, there is no telling when that will change. We all wish that we could have a crystal ball to predict the future, but that just isn’t the case. Over the long term Real Estate has proven to be a good investment, so thinking long term will help with your decision.
  4. Use TECHNOLOGY in your search. Then internet has a wealth of information on home buying. Use the internet to your advantage! Educate yourself in order to prepare for that important purchase. The more you know the better off you will be. There are many free services you can find on the internet to make your search easier.
  5. BUYERS AGENTS are there to help you! Find yourself a good buyers agent who will help you search through all the listings in Kamloops. A buyers agent will find the best suited homes for you. There are other advantages of having your own buyers agent which are: they arrange appointments for you on your time, keep you up to date on current market conditions, prepare a comparative market analysis on any home you may be interested in purchasing and finally negotiate a contract. Most people are not well versed on contract negotiation and real estate purchasing, having an agent on your side is always beneficial. Don’t forget, the best part about having your own representation is it is FREE!

There are many factors that go into your decision to purchase a home. Buyers have their own personal reason for purchasing and you can’t time the market. Become an informed buyer, help yourself in this dynamic market. Remember, knowledge is power!

No tolls on Coquihalla Highway.

Coquihalla Toll Booth

I still can’t believe it! The tolls on the Coquihalla are no more. I think this is great news for Kamloops and all the the surrounding communities that are serviced by the Coquihalla. It’s very beneficial to tourism and it may affect Real Estate prices in Kamloops over the long haul. Now people have one more reason to make the trip to the Loops!

“It took almost two decades from the project’s completion, but Premier Gordon Campbell is finally lifting tolls on the Coquihalla Highway, effective immediately.”


Harper disagrees with pessimistic report on Canadian housing market.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper disagrees with a report issued By Merrill Lynch Canada.

Harper disagrees with pessimistic report on Canadian housing market.

“The report, issued Wednesday by Merrill Lynch Canada economists David Wolf and Carolyn Kwan, said many Canadian households are more financially overextended than their counterparts in the U.S. or Britain.”

“They said it’s only a matter of time before the “tipping point” is reached and the housing and credit markets crack in Canada.”

5 Tips for Selling Your Home in a Buyers Market.

What is your home worth? Click here for a free online home evaluation.

Over the past few years Sellers in Kamloops have had much more power in the Real Estate market than buyers. Homeowners have seen incredible growth in their investments but now we are seeing a strong shift in the market.  Buyers now are much more selective when buying a home, this is because homes are more plentiful, are on the market longer and the prices aren’t increasing at this point.

There are five very important things that Sellers need to know when preparing to list their home on the market.

  1. The market sets the price of homes, not the realtor, the Seller or the neighbour. The changing market will dictate your home sale. DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY. The best thing to do is accept the fact that it is a buyer’s market and work within the market’s limits. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that the market is going to appreciate like it has over past years. Price appropriately from the beginning, this will allow you to experience much less frustration while selling your home.
  2. Buyers are much choosier when it comes to finding themselves a new home.  They are very easily put off by simple things such as uncut grass, over grown bushes, scuffed hardwood, brightly painted walls, stained carpets, outdated fixtures or finishings and dripping sinks. By simply improving your “curb appeal” preventing buyers from finding simple things wrong with your property, the better off you will be. You would be surprised to know how much of a difference it makes to just paint interior walls a neutral colour.  Also don’t forget to DE-CLUTTER your home. The less you have in your home the better.  De-cluttering the fridge magnets, counters, tables, shelves etc. the better. Remember the larger you make a room feel the better.
  3. Educate yourself about the market and current market conditions. You will help yourself understand the market in your specific neighborhood and in Kamloops as a whole. Don’t base your information on the “List Price” or asking price of a property, the SALE PRICE is the only number that matters in current market conditions. Also, more recent information will better reflect the current conditions, for example if your neighbour sold their home four months ago that doesn’t mean that the same home will sell at that price today.
  4. Get a home inspection. It will give you an idea about what your home needs.  Also it will prepare you for any offers that you will receive on your home, as buyers will almost always have a home inspection done. Having a home inspection prior to listing your home will give you a chance to fix anything that would be an issue in the eyes of a buyer.
  5. List your home with a Realtor who you trust and is devoted to selling your home. Listing your home by owner in a buyer’s market makes selling your home incredibly difficult for many reasons. Most home owners have a day job, don’t have access to listing their property on the MLS and other proven marketing techniques. They also are not well versed in the market and are not connected to other Realtors who work with qualified buyers actively searching in the market. Selling a home is a full time job and most For Sale By Owners have a very difficult time selling their home in a buyer’s market. You need a professional who will prepare a thorough market analysis, who will give you a realistic asking price for your home and is not afraid to give you the bad news with the good. When your Realtor brings you an offer, make sure you consider any and every offer. Remember offers are negotiable. Often the first offer is the best offer and you don’t know where the next one is coming from. Buyers are now less anxious and more willing to walk away in this market; don’t assume there is an endless supply of well-qualified, serious buyers.

We are now in a buyers market and it all comes down to accepting the new market conditions and adjusting appropriately. Remember the housing market is very dynamic and always changing. There are ups and downs and it never stays the same for long. Don’t get frustrated, find a professional you trust and you will sell your home in these tougher times.

Please feel free to leave some comments.

5% increase a year for 30 years is real cycle news.

An interesting article from the Vancouver Sun.

“Real estate markets are cyclical but despite their ups and downs, home prices in Metro Vancouver have appreciated, on average, more than five per cent every year for the last 30 years.”

“That’s the good news that is inherent in investing in a home. If you are buying to live in your home, you couldn’t be making a better investment.”

Read the whole story here:


Fewer new MLS residential listings in August.

Fewer new MLS residential listings in August

MLS new residential listings in Canada’s major markets retreated in August 2008 from record levels in the previous four months, according to statistics released by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). With new listings down from the peak, the resale housing market is stabilizing.

After four consecutive months in which new MLS residential listings topped 50,000 units, some 47,657 homes were listed via MLS on a seasonally adjusted basis in August 2008. This is a decline of 5.3 per cent compared to the previous month. New listings having eased in many major centres, and now stand at their lowest level this year.

This trend has been most evident in Calgary and Edmonton, where fewer new listings and rising sales activity have stabilized the resale housing market. New listings remain most elevated relative to sales activity in Saskatoon and Vancouver, making them the most balanced major markets in the country.

Seasonally adjusted MLS sales activity in Canada’s major markets edged down by 3.4 per cent on a month-over-month basis to 24,887 units in August 2008. The number of transactions was down in every market except Calgary, Edmonton and Regina, with Vancouver posting the largest decline in sales activity.

Sales activity in August was down from year-ago levels in the five most expensive major markets in Canada – Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Toronto and Edmonton. As a result, the overall major market MLS residential average price posted another year-over-year decline in August, despite the fact that average prices recorded year-over-year gains in 20 of 25 major markets.

“When comparing statistics, remember 2007 was a record year for real estate sales in Canada,” says CREA President Calvin Lindberg. “In light of that fact, our current market can certainly be characterized as stable.”

“The Canadian market fundamentals are still solid, and mortgage rates are still at near record low levels,” the CREA President adds. “The challenge is for sellers to price their home to meet the local market realities, and for buyers to realize there is no real estate bubble that will burst and send prices to new lows.”

The average sale price of residential properties sold via MLS was $316,052 in August. This is 5.1 per cent below where it stood in August last year. Five major markets saw year-over-year declines in average price in August: Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, and Windsor.

“Price declines in the pricier major markets are pulling down the overall average price,” said CREA Chief Economist Gregory Klump. “Significantly lower sales activity in Greater Vancouver compared to a year ago means that the most expensive market in Canada now has less weight in the overall average price calculation,” he explained.

“Sales activity is down in a number of resale housing markets in Western Canada that earlier posted hefty price increases. Prices continue rising in other markets where price gains have been more modest,” said Klump. (CREA 15/09/08)

Fewer homes being added to the market.

Fewer Homes Being Added to the Market (BC Real Estate Association)

Vancouver, BC – September 12, 2008. British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports residential sales dollar volume on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in BC declined 49 per cent to $2.2 billion in August, compared to August 2007. Residential unit sales were down 47 per cent to 5,175 units during the same period. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $421,685, down 4.1 per cent from August 2007.

“Fewer home sales and larger inventories have tilted most BC housing markets in favour of homebuyers,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “However, a significant decline in new listings last month may be a signal that potential home sellers are now taking a wait and see approach.”

New MLS® residential listings in August fell 22 per cent from July on a seasonally adjusted basis, the second largest month-over-month decline in 25 years.

Compared to July, nearly 2,000 fewer active MLS® residential listings were available in the province, a decline of 3 per cent. “Home seller fatigue is now a possibility, as slower demand and competition among sellers lessen the chance of a timely sale,” added Muir.

Year-to-date MLS® residential sales dollar volume in the province declined 22 per cent to $25.4 billion compared to the same period last year. Transactions declined 27 per cent to 54,635 units, while the average residential price increased 7 per cent to $465,132 over the same period.

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