Sunday, October 16, 2011

Where are we

Thanks for the responses. We do seem to be on the down-slope of the curve below, somewhere around denial and anxiety (BTW I agree denial should probably come before anxiety)

We are certainly in a flat market at best in most parts of Vancouver and the Fraser valley. Many areas are well into 7-8 MOI and by definition into a buyer's market. However how soon price drops follow depends on many things that we need to keep an eye on:

1) China is primary amongst these. Not only are the Chinese the big money buyers in many areas (yes they are) but our dependence on resources also makes their financial situation doubly important for our housing market. They stumble and we fall.

2) Interest rates. Super low. No sign yet of any of the irresponsible Central banks that got us into this mess allowing long or short rates up. In fact the US Central bank is even buying it's own long bonds to keep rates low. BTW- They started talking about doing this late September. Do you think they may have Wall Street insiders know a little sooner??

No wonder people are marching in the streets, the current system reeks of corruption.

Anyway back to rates- no increase on the horizon. On the contrary if Europe falters, then US and Canadian bonds will be seen as a safe-haven and rise. Only if things get REALLY bad and banks can't borrow and therefore can't lend will we see pressure on mortgages. I would not bank on this happening ;)

3) Government policy. After a series of catastrophic policy decisions (IMVHO) helped pump up RE, turning the virtuous Canadian economy into a borrow and spend US-wannabe, I cannot forecast what these bozos will do next. The C-team in Ottawa seems to have remembered their fiscal Conservatism a little now, but I would not put it past them to give way if housing drops and reach for the CMHC-pedal again. Pumping up the CMHC is the way Government increases debt and liabilities for us all, without it showing up on the country's balance sheet. Meanwhile they can pretend to be holding the line on the deficit (which is already 'structural' according to the Auditor General).

4) The US. We are still very dependant on the US - for 70% of our exports in fact. So any re-recession will also hit us and you can expect Carney to remove the 1% he gave to savers. More money will have to be transferred from the prudent savers to the reckless speculators.

5) Watch the stock-market. Lo and behold the market went up and we got a bounce in Vancouver sales the last few days. It is an odd correlation. I suspect it is multi-factorial..there is a feel-good, we are all wealthy attitude, there is the insiders who cash out stock options, and of course there are the Chinese who sell hundreds of Millions of stock and diversify to whatever and where-ever they can.

Can I forecast all of these. Nope. Not even one of them. And they will move in opposite directions. If Europe starts defaulting, expect a number of things- long interest rates here to drop, short interest rates to be cut, the USD to rally, commodities to drop, China to drop, and our market to drop!

So what will be the net effect? ...ummm

Anyway we will be watching the inventory numbers and I will have some MOI up mid-week for you all to look at -including the Fraser Valley. Glad to be rid of Adsense. I am sure it works for some, but it sure didn't work for me!