Saturday, January 6, 2007

New Blog Feed - BusinessWeek Online -- Hot Property

I have just added a new Blog Feed to my side bar. It's a section in Business Week Online called Hot Property. There should be some interesting Posts in there.

I'll keep it up for awhile and see how it goes.

Bubble's pop was akin to a slow leak - US

Home sales tumbled in 2006, but prices mostly dipped. Even so, don't expect a boom soon.
By Kenneth R. Harney, Washington Post Writers GroupJanuary 7, 2007

"WASHINGTON — What's the shape of the post-bubble, post-correction real estate
market? And what does it mean for buyers and sellers in the new year?"

"All of this suggests that the 18-month market correction that followed
the four-year housing boom has just about run its course. From a national
statistical perspective, we're somewhere near slack tide — but no one's looking
for another frothy high tide anytime soon. " Full Article

This is a good article that seems to be unbiased. The author is under the impression that the housing downturn is over in the US.

I think it is too soon to tell. The Spring usually brings on more inventory and this will lead to more supply. If demand doesn't increase then there will be more erosion in the US housing market.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Is the Media Starting to Challenge Realtor Claims? - US

Mass. Realtor group twists truth on low home sales
By Scott Van VoorhisBoston Herald Business Reporter
Wednesday, January 3, 2007 - Updated: 12:16

"It’s the same outfit that criticized talk of a “housing bubble” back when people were talking seriously about million-dollar “fixer-uppers” in toney towns like Newton."

"Now the Massachusetts Association of Realtors has another news bulletin for you: The housing “correction” may soon be over. "

"That was fast."

"With serious buyers scarce, that observation may be at odds with what many would-be home sellers are experiencing in the current market. "

" And it is also at odds with an even more telling measure: the Realtors’ own statistics."

"The monthly sales numbers are grim enough to challenge the most optimistic person to find a shred of a silver lining. "

"Yet the tougher the numbers, the happier the talk in the trade group’s official press releases. "

Full Article.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

RBC is saying House Prices are going to drop.

Wealth Effect
Thursday, January 4, 2007

This week's property tax assessments may have you worried about having to pay higher property taxes. But there's another potential affect of higher assessments -- a psychological one.

When house assessments go up -- it creates something called *the wealth effect*. People feel richer and are willing to spend more. If you're thinking about borrowing money against the value of your home -- think twice. Home equity loan companies or banks are happy to loan you money but there are risks. The biggest risk is the value of your house dropping.

RBC has something they call the affordability index. In Calgary -- for example -- the average house price is four hundred and five thousand. Its affordability index is forty-two and a half. The higher the number -- the less affordable a house is.
Toronto has an average house price of four hundred and forty six thousand. And an affordability index of fifty point four. So houses there are less affordable than Calgary.

So how does Vancouver compare? In Vancouver the average house price is almost five hundred and seventy five thousand and the affordability index is seventy-five. So compared with the rest of the country our house prices are way out of whack.

The less affordable houses are -- the harder they are to sell. That puts more pressure on housing prices to fall. RBC predicts the Vancouver housing market is near a turning point -- where prices will begin to fall. The signs are all there. The number of sales is down. The number of houses on the market is up. So that's the reverse of what we've been used to. Now there are more sellers than buyers. So RBC is saying that house prices are going to drop. By how much is the big unknown. Nobody knows. Hypothetically, let’s say they fell by a third, that would only bring prices down to where they were two or three years ago. We'd still have the most unaffordable houses in the country. Which brings us back to the original point. Given all these indications that house prices could fall - it's dangerous to borrow against the value of your house when that value is expected to drop by an unknown amount. Remember -- you'll still have to pay back whatever you borrowed. LINK

Housing Predictor Forecasts Major Price Drop

"The U.S. real estate market will take the largest drop since the early 1990's in 2007, according to Housing, which forecasts real estate markets in all 50 U.S. States."


Lennar warns on earnings

Home builder sees no sign of market recovery, cuts fourth quarter earnings target again; write downs and asset revaluations will cause net loss.
By Chris Isidore, senior writer
January 2 2007: 10:18 AM EST

"Lennar (Charts) also said it has "not yet seen tangible evidence of a market recovery." And it announced it would sell much of its interest in a joint venture known as LandSource, which owns a major amount of undeveloped property near Los Angeles." Full Article.

An Example of the Declining US Housing Market

Here is a post that I found on a Realtor's Blog. She tells a story of a House that was purchased 18 months ago for $595,000 it ended up selling for $439,000 after being on the market for 75 days.

I guess Real Estate does go down. In this case 26%

Go take a look. LINK

"The truth is, it's a market. The market doesn't care what you paid for your house or how much you think its worth or what your neighbors think it's worth. The market isn't personal, whatsoever. Price is determined by what a buyer is willing to pay and a seller is willing to sell for."

Foreclosures are rising in the US

Foreclosures nationwide were up 43% from a year ago in the third quarter of 2006. Here are the rankings for the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas.By Melinda Fulmer

"Foreclosures are rising in many parts of the country, fueled by a slowdown in home sales, slumping real-estate prices and rising payments on adjustable-rate mortgages. "

"Homeowners who have lost a job or faced another economic crisis are finding it hard to refinance or take out home-equity lines of credit to bail themselves out, analysts say. " FULL ARTICLE.

Vancouver House Prices Declining.....20% by the end of 2007??

Take a look at the "Vancouver Housing Market Blog". There are a few good posts, with some analysis on the Vancouver Housing Market. Looks like prices, in some areas, are dropping slowly month to month.

If this trend keeps going there will be a 20% drop, by year end, in some Vancouver areas.

Vancouver Housing Market Blog - See side bar for Blog Feed.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Residential Stats Are out for December

Residential Stats are now out for Fraser Valley and Calgary. Looks like prices are leveling off and listings are up.

Should be interesting to see how things turn out in the Spring. Here are the links:

Fraser Valley Stats.
Calgary Stats.

They are also on my side bar.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Vote: Is worst over for housing?

Over at MSNBC there is a POLL being conducting on the future of the Houisng Industry. Go take a look. The current standing is:

Live Vote

Is the worst over for the housing market? * 9200 responses

Yes -- sales and prices will turn up next year.24%
No -- the market will flat-line or keep going downhill.61%
Too soon to say.15%


High-flying Canada facing hard landing?

'Substantive Hangover'
Jacqueline Thorpe, Financial Post
Published: Tuesday, January 02, 2007

"There comes a point when you've been flying high for so long the only place to go next is down."

"Some economists say it could be quite a way down for the Canadian economy in 2007 with the manufacturing sector contracting, the housing boom fading and a non-trivial possibility the United States could fall into recession."

""Canada obviously has really enjoyed the rising commodity prices, the rising terms of trade, the positive real income shock," says David Wolf, Canadian economist at Merrill Lynch in Toronto. "It really has been boom times, but commodity prices have bottomed out, terms of trade has bottomed out and we may be starting to see the beginning of a more substantive hangover."" Full Article.

New Blog Feed added to Side Bar.

You may or may not have noticed that I have included Feeds of some of my favorite Housing Blogs on the side bar.

Today I added Housing Doom. It's a good US Housing Blog site that I have enjoyed reading. There are two posters there, Debi Averett - "Twist" and John McLeod.

It's a good Blog, go take a look.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Flipper's new approach: Lower price

By SHEILA MULLANE ESTRADAPublished January 1, 2007

"BELLEAIR BEACH - Bruce Sparks painted a bright red "4 SALE" sign on his home's roof in September, hoping to attract a buyer for his waterfront home."

"It was a desperate attempt by a man who had hoped to flip the house for a quick profit the way so many investors had done before him, when the real estate market was still booming"

"Now, several months later, the house remains unsold, and Sparks is facing foreclosure, said Richard Doyle, Spark's real estate agent."Full Article.

Hopes, fears and bold predictions - Canadian Economy

Globe and Mail Update

"Economists generally foresaw the slowdown in the U.S. housing market, but underestimated the toll that the U.S. slump, the lagging effect of a high dollar and global competition would have on Canada's economy, especially the export sector" Full Article.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

If the Housing Market is so strong, what's with all the negative News?

I just did a search on for Housing related articles. There are a lot of negative articles out there, along with some positive articles. If you take into consideration what consumers were being told the last couple of years, the Housing Market will never drop, it is different this time, there is no Housing Bubble. Then why are there so many negative articles out there?
  1. Housing 'unsustainable'
  2. US housing bust raises odds of recession
  3. TD warns of housing bubbles in Western Canada
  4. Sagging housing values, high fuel prices strain US shoppers
  5. Canadian housing starts better than expected: CMHC
  6. Drop in housing starts reported across Canada
  7. Western housing market 'vulnerable'
  8. Housing starts drop more than expected
  9. Housing market still sturdy, but cooling
  10. Vancouver housing market really nuts


Check out my Feeds below.

The Big Picture

Soot and Ashes: From Housing Panic

The Globe and Mail - Business News

The Best Real Estate Anywhere! - Vancouver Realtor Blog

The Housing Bubble - US

Alberta Bubble

Financial Planning and Personal Sanity

Housing Doom - US

vancouver (un)real estate

Vancouver Condo Info Real Estate

Housing PANIC - US - Real Estate

BusinessWeek- Hot Property

CBC | Money News