Sunday, April 15, 2007

Closing the BC Housing Blog down.

I will be closing the BC Housing Blog down tomorrow. So if anyone wants to take over the name for their Blog, it should be up for grabs soon.

If you have been reading this Blog for the Feeds you can create your own list of Feeds in Internet Explorer 7, which has it's own Feeds Section. It's included with your Favorites aka Bookmarks.

Monday, April 9, 2007

March Housing STATS Summary

If you haven't seen the latest Real Estate STATS you can follow the links on my sidebar. It looks like Inventory is up (as much as 46% in some areas since last year), Sales are down, but prices are holding, if not increasing in some areas.

The US Housing Market is still showing signs of getting weaker.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Housing Market????

If you have been reading my Blog you already know my story. I Sold my House last year, in the Lower Mainland, and found that the Housing Market had lost its energy. Was it seasonal or was there a trend starting?? I moved to my new town and rented, while keeping an eye on Real Estate. I found a house that was almost perfect; location, size, neighbours, etc. and decided to buy back.

I admit I am still extremely curious of what is to come. Will House Prices hold?? Are we to expect the same housing slump that the US is experiencing?? Is the US RE Market actually suffering as much as is being reported?? How much will Canadians pay for Real Estate??

There are other countries in the World that have worse affordability issues than we do, even at our current prices. Is this influencing our Market? The internet has definitely opened up information and made our MLS available to anyone with an internet connection.

From where I sit I am seeing the Canadian Housing Market still moving along, especially in Alberta. It will be interesting to see what the Spring Market brings. More Listings? Or more Sales?? I guess only the market knows, and time will tell.

Don't forget to check the RE Board STATS for this month which should be out over the next week.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Alberta Housing Blog Feeds

Just added, two Alberta based Housing Blogs to my feeds.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

So I did it......I bought a house.

Well I did it, I bought a house last week. It was in a great location, the size I wanted, and I got it for 10% less than comparables last summer. I know it's a falling knife but it is what I wanted and location, location. I can cover my mortgage and tax's with rent if I need to and it is in move in condition so I won't have to sink any money into it. I plan on keeping it for many years ahead so unless something happens I will be OK.

I planned on renting for some time but when the perfect house came on the market I decided to go for it. I didn't settle, I wasn't pressured to buy, and I was able to bargain the price down. I know if I waited longer I could save a bit more money. But would I be able to get into the neighbourhood I wanted and the house I wanted??

I want to thank all the Housing Blogs out there for opening my eyes to the other side of the housing industry that the RE Community and Media have failed, until recently to tell. I have learned a lot. If it wasn't for the Housing Blog's I would have bought last Fall and paid more for a house that I wasn't really happy with.

I made some good money on my last house and I have room to take a loss. I still agree that Real Estate is going to correct over the next few years. I don't think BC is going to see the same loss' as the US just like we haven't seen the same gains. I am anticipating a 90's style correction.

My advice to any first time home buyer is to wait. It looks like things are starting to change and public opinion is following. The Media is starting to take notice and even my RE Agent agrees as well. Don't over pay for something just because you are feeling pressured. Wait for the perfect house to come along. While you are waiting prices should be coming down so you are in a win, win situation.

I was going to close this Blog down, but I have decided to keep it going for others to view the feeds I have on the side bar.

Enjoy and good luck in your house hunting,

Uncertain Buyer.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Canada strength at risk from U.S. slowdown

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund believes the risks to the Canadian economy from the U.S. housing slowdown remain a threat to recent strong growth rates, according to a report on Tuesday.

"The strong recent performance of the Canadian economy is likely to continue, although growth risks are tilted to the downside given the possibility of a larger-than-expected U.S. slowdown," the IMF said in an annual assessment of the Canadian economy. Full Article.

Buyer's Market Sets In - Lower Mainland Housing.

By Jeff Nagel Black PressFeb 11 2007

Lower Mainland home sales were down again in January while the number of real estate listings was up and prices tended to either hold steady or sag.

New statistics released for last month by area realtor groups continue the recent trend of softening home prices and less of the frantic buying pace seen up until last summer.

The average length of time to sell a home climbed from 49 days a year ago to 58 days last month, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported.

“Buyers are realizing they have an increase in home selection and are taking more time when making a decision to buy,” said president Rick Valouche.

New listings were 17% higher than a year ago in Greater Vancouver and 14% higher in the Fraser Valley. Sales in January dropped 6% and 14%, respectively.

“We’re currently seeing double-digit increases in both our new and carried-over listings inventory, a continuation of the trend started last September,” Valouche said.

A typical detached house in Greater Vancouver sold for $641,600 in January –– down from $643,800 in December and off from a peak of around $650,000 last fall.

The benchmark price is still up 13.5% from a year ago.

Typical attached homes and apartments edged up slightly to $411,500 and $332,500 respectively.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board said median prices for detached homes dipped to $450,000 from $455,000 in December. That’s still also up nearly 13% from a year ago.
Median apartment prices in the Fraser Valley edged up 0.5% from December to $190,000 and median townhomes climbed 4.7% to $300,000. Link.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Home Sales drop 14% YOY in the Fraser Valley

FVRB notes drop in January sales
Feb 11 2007

"Multiple Listing Service sales and listings were down in January, over the same month last year. "

"According to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board the total number of sales processed in January was 1,001, a decrease of 14 per cent compared to the same month last year when 1,165 sales were processed. However, it is an 18.8 per cent increase compared to the 842 sales processed in January 2005. "

"New listings in January increased by 14 per cent compared to 2006. As well, the Fraser Valley MLS saw an increase in the number of expensive properties listed. "

"More than 75 single family homes listed at one million or more entered the Fraser Valley market in January, says David Rishel, president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. "

“There is also a range of choices for average home buyers, with almost 600 homes valued between $250,000 and $500,000 listed last month.”

"The Board received 2,425 new listings in January compared to 2,127 during the same period last year, bringing the total active inventory in the Fraser Valley to 6,099, an increase of 29 per cent over last year. "

"The average price of a single-family detached house in the Fraser Valley in January was $494,177, an increase of just over 11 per cent compared to the same month last year. In January 2006, the average price was $444,771. "

"Townhouses sold for an average of $302,591 in January, an increase of 16.2 per cent from 2006 when they sold for an average of $260,445. The average apartment price went up 18 per cent in one year, from January 2006’s average of $169,473, to $199,995 in 2007. "

A Home's Real Value

We obsess too much about whether our houses earned or lost value and ignore the longer view our elders took.
By MARK POTHIER February 11, 2007

"These days, people tend to think of houses as places to stay while waiting to go somewhere else. Maybe they anticipate corporate headquarters moving jobs out of state or fear layoffs will arrive with the next quarterly report. Maybe a marriage has started to fray. Perhaps they covet a bigger house with more amenities. Judging by the displays at Home Depot and Lowe's, everyone seems to require the same gleaming appliances, stone counters, and hangar-sized bathrooms. But to homeowners of my in-laws' generation, the attachment to where they lived was as secure as a foundation. Houses were not acquired primarily for investment purposes or seen as banks to tap for debt consolidation and cars. They would not have considered buying one with the idea of “flipping” it for profit. And the only growth trends they followed were their children's and, later, grandchildren's, with each additional inch of height etched in pencil on a wall. But they also bought during a time when prices were modest, job security was the norm, pensions were still intact, and marriages usually lasted longer than the mortgage. Home ownership was less complicated then." Full Article.

Fraser Valley RE Board wants housing taxes lowered.

Taxed through the roof
By Monique TammingaTimes ReporterFeb 11 2007

"Is it time for governments to start cutting some slack on overtaxed home buyers? "

"The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board thinks so. "

"Anyone looking to buy the average-priced home in Langley Township ($530,000) is going to pay $8,600 in property transfer tax (PTT) to the province, up front. "

"If that person is looking to buy a new home, the buyer will also pay $31,000 in GST to the federal government. " Full Article.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Welcome to a new economic cycle

Canada's industrial engine is sputtering. The rest of the economy is purring. How did it happen?
HEATHER SCOFFIELD reports from Windsor.

"WINDSOR, ONT. -- The people of Windsor are fond of saying that when it comes to slowdowns, their city is first in, first out."

""This always happens in Windsor. We feel it first. We're a barometer of where the economy is really going," says Gary Parent, president of the Windsor and District Labour Council."

"Windsor's unemployment rate is nearly in the double digits."

"Companies, especially manufacturers, are shutting their doors or treading a fine line of solvency. The bingo halls have turned out the lights. Charity money is drying up. The food bank is busier than ever."

"And houses are going up for sale so fast prices are actually falling." Full Article.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Housing market fallout

HSBC says profit will be hit by soaring sub-prime home-mortgage defaults
Duncan Mavin, Financial Post, with files from news services
Published: Friday, February 09, 2007

"HSBC Holdings PLC, one of the world's largest banks, is sounding alarm bells over the slowing U.S. housing market, saying its profits will be hit by soaring home-loan defaults from the sector's riskiest mortgage borrowers."

"The bank is warning that it has been forced to hike its total provision for bad loans by 20% because of defaults by sub-prime borrowers in the United States, where house-price growth is stalling."

""The impact of slowing house price growth is being reflected in accelerated delinquency trends across the U.S. sub-prime mortgage market, particularly in the more recent loans, as the absence of equity appreciation is reducing refinancing options," the U.K.- based bank said on Tuesday." Full Article.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

New house prices flat in December, Inventory being added. - Canada.

"Of the 21 cities included in the new housing price index, Calgary showed a November-to-December decrease in prices of 0.5 per cent, while Victoria had a decline of 0.4 per cent."

"The drops were attributed mainly to a moderating market. Calgary and Victoria had been among the most heated real estate markets over the past several years."

"December prices for new homes in Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Windsor, St. Catharines–Niagara, Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton were also down from November."
Starts higher

"While prices at the end of 2006 showed signs of flatness, 2007 housing starts got off to a good beginning, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said."

"January starts across the country came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 249,300, CMHC said. That was up from 212,600 in December."

"Starts of urban multiple units, such as condominiums, shot up 31.4 per cent to 124,300 units.
"The volatile multiples segment bounced back in January, accounting for most of the growth this month," said Bob Dugan, chief economist at CMHC’s market analysis centre."

"Urban single starts jumped 5.9 per cent to 92,000 units" Full Article.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Toll, Centex, Lennar Join `Moron' Speculators in Land Grab Bust

"Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Brian Tuttle owns so much land that he paid $3.6 million to get rid of 125 acres ready for development in the middle of Florida's Palm Beach County. "

"``In 2005, I was a brain surgeon, and in 2006, I was a moron,'' said Tuttle, who walked away from his deposit on the land rather than lose even more money buying it and building homes on it. ``The only good news is that I'm not alone.'' "

"The worst housing slump in 16 years made a lot of smart money vanish. D.R. Horton Inc., Pulte Homes Inc., Lennar Corp., Centex Corp. and Toll Brothers Inc., the five biggest U.S. homebuilders, said plummeting land prices cost them a combined $1.47 billion in the fourth quarter. " Full Article.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Housing Prices Down, Listings Up - Lower Mainland.

Home Buyer's Market Sets In
By Jeff NagelBlack PressFeb 06 2007

"Lower Mainland home sales were down again in January, while real estate listings were up and prices tended to either hold steady or sag. "

"New statistics released for last month by area realtor groups continue the recent trend of softening home prices and less of the frantic buying pace seen up until last summer. "

"The average length of time to sell a home climbed from 49 days a year ago to 58 days last month, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported. "

"New listings were 17 per cent higher than a year ago in Greater Vancouver and 14 per cent higher in the Fraser Valley. Sales in January dropped 6 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively. "

"A typical detached house in Greater Vancouver sold for $641,600 in January – down from $643,800 in December and off from a peak of around $650,000 last fall. The benchmark price is still up 13.5 per cent from a year ago. "

"Typical attached homes and apartments edged up slightly to $411,500 and $332,500 respectively. "

"The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board said median prices for detached homes dipped to $450,000 from $455,000 in December. That figure is still up nearly 13 per cent from a year ago. "

"Median apartment prices in the valley edged up 0.5 per cent from December to $190,000 and median townhomes climbed 4.7 per cent to $300,000. " Link.

CMHC is warning a record housing bull market has already peaked, and we're now slipping into a bearish trend.

Borrowing is only going to get tougher

"How many times do I have to warn -- debt is Public Enemy No. 1?"

"Well, here's another warning for overly-indebted Canadians, who keep spending more than they earn, with the ratio of debt to personal disposable income now at a staggering 122%.
Borrowing against home equity to keep creditors happy is going to get tougher, if a new forecast by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. is right. "

"CMHC is warning a record housing bull market has already peaked, and we're now slipping into a bearish trend. Now, let me be clear: CMHC is not predicting a crash. But we are heading into a slowdown, especially in Ontario where the automotive, forestry and manufacturing sectors have taken a hit -- and that means home price gains will slow, too. "

"In fact, in some cities, like Windsor, prices may even fall. " Full Article.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Prediction: More pain for homeowners - US

A glut of almost 1 million homes sitting vacant may mean another downturn in the housing market, analysts say.
February 5 2007: 12:26 PM EST

"CHICAGO (Reuters) -- A glut of vacant homes suggests that the U.S. housing market has not yet stabilized and may be poised for another downturn, Merrill Lynch said in a research note released Monday."

"Now that oil prices and mortgage rates have stopped falling, we will be back lamenting the downturn in the housing market and its spreading effects on the economy in the second quarter, much as we were in the summer and fall 2006," Merrill Lynch economist David Rosenberg wrote."

"Looking at the inventory backlog and still-stretched affordability levels, this story is far from over." Full Article.

Friday, February 2, 2007

The Pizza Guy.

I am sitting in an empty house so I ordered pizza for lunch. The pizza guy was really interested in what I sold and paid for my house.

He said he was in the market so I told him to check out "Housing Blogs". He proceeded to write it on his hand and said "Thanks!"

P.S. - From where he was sitting he felt the market was slowing down.



Fraser Valley January Housing STATS are out.

"The total number of sales processed in January was 1,001, a decrease of 14 per cent compared to the same month last year when 1,165 sales were processed, however an 18.8 per cent increase compared to the 842 sales processed in January 2005.

New listings in January increased by 14 per cent compared to 2006. As well, the Fraser Valley Multiple Listing Service® saw an increase in the number of expensive properties listed.

“High-end buyers will see that over 75 single family homes listed at one million or more entered the Fraser Valley market in January,” says David Rishel, president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. “There is also a range of choices for average home buyers, with almost 600 homes valued between $250,000 and $500,000 listed last month.”

The Board received 2,425 new listings in January compared to 2,127 during the same period last year, bringing the total active inventory in the Fraser Valley to 6,099, an increase of 29 per cent over last year.

The average price of a single-family detached house in the Fraser Valley in January was $494,177, an increase of just over 11 per cent compared to the same month last year. In January 2006, the average price was $444,771.

Townhouses sold for an average of $302,591 in January, an increase of 16.2 per cent from 2006 when they sold for an average of $260,445. The average apartment price went up 18 per cent in one year, from January 2006’s average of $169,473, to $199,995 in 2007."

Take a look LINK.

Is Vancouver's Housing Market Overheated?? If so, like the US, it will probably correct.

America’s best and worst housing markets
Sellers are loving Seattle, Detroit area is stuck in the doldrums

"Steadier, more tempered growth translates into a stable real estate conditions because affordability remains in line with local economic conditions."

"While speculators and flippers in places such as Boston and San Diego are running for cover, in other parts of the country they are basking in robust residential sales."

"Cities showing gains exhibited high job growth and positive net migration figures. They were also areas in which home affordability remained close to national averages through the boom, making them less prone to the corrections and adjustments seen in overheated markets. "

"From 2004 to 2005, median homes prices in most of the cities that are now resisting downturn, such as Austin and Charlotte, grew at slower rates than the national average. "

"This made them less susceptible to the sudden swings of a high-flying, highly speculative market such as Miami. In this area, median home price exploded from $232,000 in 2003, to $391,000 at the end of 2005, driven by a market in which builders couldn’t keep pace with demand. Miami’s real estate market has since corrected, moving down 5.6 percent from its peak. "

"“In the highest growth markets, there were a lot of folks who panicked when they saw prices going up by 8, 10 or 12 percent a year and rushed to buy in,” says Kermit Baker, a senior research fellow at Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. "

"“Once prices started to fall [in high growth markets], speculators got an itchy trigger finger because prices went up so high that it was very difficult to buy; affordability had gotten out of hand and people worried that if they waited six to eight months to sell, they’d be left holding the bag. The result is a short-term adjustment.”" Full Article.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Limited Posting, Moving.

I am moving this week so I probably won't be posting. The Blog Feeds on my sidebar automatically update so there is always something new to read. I should be back by the middle of next week.

Make sure you check out January's Housing STATS. I have links on my sidebar, they should be coming out in the next couple of days.

Remember, Real Estate doesn't always go up. "Home price slide not over." Be careful with your money.

Housing Prices to Collapse?? 47% Think Yes. - US.

Experian-Gallup Survey Shows Nearly Half of Consumers Say Housing Price Collapse Is Possible in Their Local Residential Real-Estate Market
Thursday February 1, 6:00 am ET

"COSTA MESA, Calif., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the latest Experian-Gallup Personal Credit Index(SM) survey, nearly half of all consumers (47 percent) say they think a housing bubble and collapse of housing prices is very likely (16 percent) or somewhat likely (31 percent) in their local residential real-estate market within the next three years. This is up from the 37 percent of Americans who felt this way in May 2005 and the 42 percent voicing this opinion in April 2006. More information for the Personal Credit Index(SM) can be found at"

""Housing market conditions may not have reached bottom at this point, with 57 percent of renters thinking there is the potential for a price collapse in their local areas over the next few years and 18 percent of all Americans expecting prices to decline during the year ahead," said Ty Taylor, president of Experian Consumer Direct. " Full Article.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

US Key Interest Rate stays at 5.25%.

U.S. Federal Reserve leaves key interest rate unchanged for fifth straight meeting
Canadian PressPublished: Wednesday, January 31, 2007

"WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. Federal Reserve has left a key interest rate unchanged for a fifth straight meeting while repeating worries about inflation."

"The central bank voted to leave the federal funds rate, the interest that banks charge each other, at 5.25 per cent, where it has been since last June. "

"While the Fed had been expected to start cutting rates later this year, economists are now worried that the central bank may feel the need to resume raising rates for fear that inflation pressures will not keep easing. "

"The rate action was supported by a unanimous 11-0 vote of the Federal Open Market Committee, the panel of Fed board members in Washington and regional bank presidents who meet eight times a year to set interest rates. " Full Article.

Does the Government see the Top of the Real Estate Market?

Federal government to sell real estate worth $1.5 billion
Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 08:07 AM By: 680News staff

"Toronto - Ottawa is set to sell $1.5 billion worth of real estate." Full Article.

Ottawa set to sell $1.5-billion in federal buildings
Sale is first phase of plan to lease back dozens of properties

"TORONTO, OTTAWA -- Ottawa is preparing to sell $1.5-billion worth of office properties across the country as part of the first phase of a plan that will see dozens of federal buildings go to the private sector with the government as a long-term tenant, sources say." Full Article.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Canada's Most Expensive Homes

Lauren Kerensky, 01.31.07, 12:01 AM ET

"Though the country is a latecomer to the multimillion-dollar housing market, and property remains relatively inexpensive when compared with cities like London, New York and San Francisco, Canada's real estate market is on the rise. And while the American dollar might buy you a slightly larger McMansion there than in the U.S., the asking prices are no bargain." Full Article.

Speculators. Housing, Oil is there a difference?

Here's an article that I came across while on the Calgary Contrarian Site that was really interesting. It talks about oil and its crash after Speculators got out. Read this Article, and think about what has happened to the Real Estate Market over the past few years.

Oil: It's Back To Supply And Demand
The speculators who bid up the market last year are in retreat. So much for the new reality

"Last July, when crude oil was surging toward $80 a barrel, the talk of a new reality in the energy markets hit a fever pitch. Some said China and India would so voraciously suck up supplies that we might never see $50 a barrel again. Others noted that the nations that make up OPEC had finally figured out how to put the screws to the West for good, emboldening Iran and Venezuela to send prices higher with a mere rattle of their sabers. The "multi-decade supertrend" mantra echoed through the canyons of Wall Street" Full Article

"Last July, when the median price of housing was surging toward $500,000, the talk of a new reality in the housing markets hit a fever pitch. Some said immigrants from China and India would so voraciously suck up Real Estate that we had better buy, or be priced out forever. Others noted that the Olympics would keep prices increasing forever. The "multi-decade supertrend" mantra echoed through Condo Sales Offices all across the Lower Mainland."

Foreclosures surge locally, UP 87% in Bristol County

By BRIAN FRAGA, Standard-Times staff writer

"Foreclosure proceedings in Bristol County jumped nearly 87 percent in 2006 due to a nationwide housing market slump that has left millions paying for more house than they can afford. "

"The Warren Group, a Boston real estate data tracking firm, also reported yesterday that, statewide foreclosure petitions, as the proceedings are known, increased 70 percent over 2005. In addition, there was a 46 percent increase in homes actually advertised for auction, the report said. " Full Article.

Calgary's Tax Assessments come out this week, suburbs to pay more.

Tax burden spreads across Calgary

"With tax assessments for 2007 set to hit mailboxes today, the city's chief assessor says despite an overheated housing market, Calgary's tax base is levelling off. "

"While some households are due to see significant tax hikes for the coming year, Ian McClung said there will be a break for some inner-city areas that have traditionally bore the brunt at tax time as the market begins to balance out" Full Article.

You can't beat Wall Street, it's a fixed game.

Wall Street unleashes its 'weapons of mass manipulation' on you
Monday January 29, 7:32 pm ET
By Paul B. Farrell

Arming Wall Street with more firepower to dominate irrational investors

"ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. (MarketWatch) -- Sorry investors, but you're at a distinct disadvantage, running a handicap race. You're one of America's 94 million Main Street investors and the odds are 100:1 against you given the enormous firepower of Wall Street. And thanks to behavioral finance, it's getting worse, the gap's widening." Full Article.

Major home markets' slump continues - US

Boston and Detroit led the way down, according to latest figures from Case Shiller Weiss. Seattle bucks the trend.
By Les Christie, staff writer
January 30 2007: 12:04 PM EST

"NEW YORK ( -- Housing prices fell in nearly every major U.S. market in November, though some Northwest markets are bucking the trend, according to the latest numbers from Case Shiller Weiss."

"Some of the smart money is betting that the decline will continue. Case Shiller real estate derivatives are down an average of about 3.9 percent for its 12-month future contracts, which expire in October of 2007."

"Boston prices have swooned by 5 percent for the 12 months through November and Detroit was off 4.5 percent. Of 20 major cities tracked, all but three showed declines in November and seven recorded 12-month losses."Full Article.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Canadian Oil Sands Q4 profit falls 26%

Canadian Press

CALGARY — Canadian Oil Sands Trust said its profit fell to $128 million in the fourth quarter, down from $174 million in the year-earlier period, as its bottom line was hit by higher Crown royalties, higher operating expenses, and higher foreign exchange losses.

Profit amounted to 27 cents per unit, in the fourth quarter of 2006, down from 38 cents per unit, Canadian Oil Sands announced Monday after markets closed. The trust is the largest partner in the Syncrude oil sands project.

Cash from operating activities increased to $412 million, or 88 cents per unit, in the fourth quarter of 2006, up from $281 million or 61 cents per unit for the fourth quarter of 2005.

For the full year ended Dec. 31, net income was $834 million, or $1.78 per diluted unit. That compares with 2005 net income of $831 million, or $1.80 per unit diluted. Cash from operating for 2006 was $1.14 billion, up from $949 million or $2.07 per trust unit.

Canadian Oil Sands units closed Monday at $30.79, up 35 cents or 1.15 per cent on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Full Article.

US Housing Bubble Debate Video

Here's a Video that I found while reading a comment on Housing Panic. It's between the an economist, Peter Schiff, and the NAR's chief economist, David Lereah.

It's interesting that David states Real Estate is Local then tries to use National RE STATS to say that the Housing Market is fine. Check it out.

Launch in external player


US Housing Market Improving in 2007?? 45% Say No.

Finance Poll

New home sales fell in 2006 by the largest amount in 16 years. Will this year show an improvement?
Yes 32%
No 45%
Results will be flat 25%
62260 Votes to date

LINK To Poll - At Bottom Right of Page.

Things to watch for this week.

  1. What will the US FED do with interest rates?
  2. How does the US Rate affect the Canadian Dollar?
  3. January Real Estate STATS should come out by Friday, maybe early next week.
  4. Price of oil. Saudi's are fine with $50/barrel.

Funds good way to invest in property

Sun Jan 28 2007

"But if you're simply looking at real estate as an investment, there may be better ways to go about it. Like a mutual fund for instance. There are not a lot to choose from but one of the better ones is offered by Fidelity Investments."

"I spoke to Steve Buller, manager of the Fidelity Global Real Estate Fund a couple of weeks ago and he said, "Real estate is a relatively new investment universe. Commercial property hasn't always been something that could be done via publicly listed securities." " Full Article.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Housing Bubble is Global.

Australian homes are 'severely and seriously unaffordable': report
30 January 2007

Housing affordability in Australia ranks among the worst in the world, a new study has revealed.

The 3rd Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey found Australia to have the most pervasive housing affordability crisis of all the countries in the study. The survey looked at the housing markets in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and the US.

The study also rated every capital city in Australia as 'seriously' or 'severely' unaffordable in the global study of 159 cities. A city is deemed unaffordable when the median house price passes three times the median household incomes. Housing is 'seriously' unaffordable when it passes four times median household income and 'severely' unaffordable when it passes income five times.

Sydney was named the most unaffordable city in Australia and ranked seventh of the 25 most unaffordable housing markets in the world. Perth, Hobart and Melbourne also joined the list. Median prices in Sydney are 8.5 times median income - worse than London at 8.3 times and New York at 7.2 times. LINK

Bring on the housing slump

L.A.'s economy cannot survive insanely high home prices.
By Joel Kotkin, Joel Kotkin, an Irvine fellow at the New America Foundation, is the author of "The City: A Global History" (Modern Library Paperback).January 28, 2007

"FOR THE LAST five years, speculators, big developers and homeowners have gorged on Los Angeles real estate. The huge run-up in prices — more than 135% from 2001 to 2006 — has greatly increased the spending power of property owners. Yet there has been a worrisome consequence: Working and middle-class families are moving out — and failing to move in — because they cannot afford a house here. Long term, that's not good for the local economy. As perverse as it sounds, what L.A. needs now is a real estate bust. "

"Recent history is illustrative here. The big and rapid declines in property values in the early 1990s, after the last real estate bubble popped, helped open the door to homeownership for a new generation, many of them immigrants. New owners of delinquent or moribund commercial properties, especially downtown, fueled a spike in business activity, much of it stemming from immigrant and minority entrepreneurship." Full Article.

Canada's Housing Market Clarified, an honest article.

Compounding mishap a matter of interest in celebrating real-estate gains
Canadian PressPublished:
Sunday, January 28, 2007

"So add "timing, timing, timing" to the old real-estate adage about investing in "location, location, location." In Toronto, after its exuberant 1980s bubble, the annualized 1989-2006 gain from $273,000 to $352,000 was just over one per cent. "

""The percentage increases that have occurred across the country over the past 25 years show that real estate is also a solid investment."

"Of course, even this assessment might need clarification for those who bought at the previous property-market peak in 1989."

"For example, someone who paid that year's Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. estimated average price of $147,000 for a Canadian home, then watched its value plummet in the mid-'90s before reviving to the Re/Max estimated 2006 price of $277,000, would have a 17-year gain of 88 per cent - representing a compound annual growth rate of 3.8 per cent. " Full Article.

Housing Market Humor, Flipper Nation.

This is a spoof on House Flipping. It involves a couple of Housing Speculators, a Real Estate Agent, Mortgage Broker, and the Trades that are involved in a House Flip.

Flipper Nation: The First Flip

There's more where this came from at:
If you cannot view this video, you can check it out at YouTube instead.

Fed Rate Cut, don't get your hopes up.

This week's Fed announcement on interest rates will focus investor attention
Published: Sunday, January 28, 2007 11:41 AM ET

"The Fed makes its next rate announcement on Wednesday under very different expectations from just a few weeks ago. "

"Everything we're seeing suggests that the downside risk to the U.S. economy is abating," said John Johnston, chief strategist, The Harbour Group at RBC Dominion Securities.

"And with that you're getting any hopes for a Fed rate cut kind of being pushed away." Full Article.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Buy a House!! We have a Shopping Mall.

Housing, not a good place for your money. - US

The two worst markets over the next 10 years are going to be the U.S. and Japan,

Trend toward short-term investments short sighted
analyst: Investors now keep stocks an average of 11 months
Ray Turchansky, Freelance
Published: Saturday, January 27, 2007

"Opinions presented at this week's Edmonton Charted Financial Analysts Society Forecast Dinner as to where economies and stock markets are headed were literally all over the map."

"The New Yorker said housing woes will torpedo the U.S. and hurt lumber in Canada, while a world wheat shortage could lead to a global recession."

"Nisbet said that the best investment returns during the next few years will come from emerging-market resource-based countries, with the caveat that "global warming is dead serious" and that 15 years from now alternative-energy companies will be the best performers." Full Article.

Homburg to buy $15.4m worth of land in Calgary

Real estate company Homburg Invest Inc. plans to buy about 16 hectares of land in Calgary for nearly $15.4 million.

The site in northwest Calgary known as Henderson Farms will be developed primarily with 1,000 single family houses, the Halifax company said late Friday.
Homburg said the purchase price includes $12.65 million in cash and financing as well as the issue of 350,000 Class A subordinates voting shares at $6.71 each, worth $2.35 million, to the sellers.

The transaction is slated to close by Feb. 28.
Homburg Invest owns and develops office, retail, industrial and residential apartment and townhouse properties throughout Canada, the United States and Western Europe.

The Canadian Press

Developers adjust as building frenzy eases

Major projects expected to keep activity levels strong
By Monte Stewart - Business Edge
Published: 01/26/2007 - Vol. 4, No. 2

""Last year was just full-go ahead," he said in an interview."

"However, he added, developers and buyers understand there's a slowing trend in real estate sales."" Full Article.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Vancouver Condo Supply up 75%!! Since December 2005.

Supply of condos is exceeding demand
Study: Housing prices are driving many buyers out of the market
Paul Luke, The Province
Published: Friday, January 26, 2007

"Rising prices for condos across the Lower Mainland have triggered a jump in the number of unsold units in new developments, PricewaterhouseCoopers says"

""Consumers have to have a higher income to be able to afford the average product and we very quickly have a diminishing pool of potential buyers.""

"The supply of pre-sale condo units in new developments jumped by more than 55 per cent from 2,780 units in January, 2006 to 4,350 units at the end of December 2006, Hennigar said. In the high-rise category alone, unsold units in pre-sale inventory jumped almost 75 per cent between December 2005 and December 2006." Full Article.

They don't make Houses like they used to, "Thank God for that."

RenoMark raising the bar for consumers
Program sets workmanship standards
By Joy Gregory - Business Edge
Published: 01/26/2007 - Vol. 7, No. 2

"Dudar says when he hears people talk about how they don't build homes like they used to, "I say, 'Thank God for that!' " He's convinced Alberta's new home industry builds some of the best product in the world. He's also convinced those who renovate older homes need to enter the redevelopment with their eyes open, especially if the home has already been renovated - and the current home owner isn't privy to the real scope of work."

"Dudar has seen electrical services that can no longer pass code, carpet covering asbestos tile and heating ducts drilled through structural support beams."

"The homes we go in to renovate (were often built when) there were no true standards." Full Article.

Economist says east-west divide will persist

By CASSIDY OLIVIERStaff reporter
Jan 26 2007

"Strong market prices for oil, natural gas and base metals have bumped the value of the Canadian dollar, but have also created a rift between eastern and western provinces, according to a senior economist"

"He said that, while for the most part there is optimism for the average Canadian, certain economic indicators remain concerning."

"In the West, for example, housing affordability in Calgary and especially in Vancouver have deteriorated dramatically despite a general increase in regional housing starts. " Full Article.

Vancouver Housing Market Blog in The Tyee

The Vancouver Housing Market Blog is in The Tyee today. Check out the Article here. Here's a Link to an older article as well.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

2006 Was the Worst Housing Slump in Nearly 20 Years - US

Finally, some honest Real Estate reporting. I guess it really has to be, in your face, obvious before the MSM will report it.

So 2006 is the Worst Housing Slump in 20 years. So what does this mean for Canada?? We have had a slow, arguably declining, market since late summer of 2006.

Is 2007 going to be Canada's Worst Housing Slump in 20 Years????

Has housing market bottomed out?

Sales of existing homes fell in 2006 at fastest rate in nearly 20 years
By John W. Schoen
Senior Producer

"The final housing numbers for 2006 are in, and they confirm what anyone who bought or sold a home last year has suspected: It was the worst housing slump in nearly two decades."

"After a historic five-year boom propelled by a strong economy and low interest rate, the real estate market went bust in 2006, according to the final tally released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors. "

"Double-digit price gains that sparked a frenzy of condo flipping and speculative building also came to an abrupt halt last year. " Full Article.

Biggest existing home sales drop in 17 years

Housing demand down 8.4 percent last year; Dec. sales off 0.8 percent
Updated: 12:47 p.m. PT Jan 25, 2007

"Sales of existing homes fell in December, closing out a year in which demand for homes slumped by the largest amount in 17 years."

"After a five-year boom, housing slowed significantly last year, which has caused ripple effects throughout the economy with rising job layoffs in construction and other housing-related industries."

"David Lereah, chief economist for the Realtors, said that even with the December setback, he still believes that sales of existing homes have hit bottom and will start to gradually improve.

"He said that in 2005, 40 percent of the market represented purchases of second homes and investors buying homes looking to resell them for quick profits."

"He said that speculators had now left the market and that should leave sales at a more sustainable level."

“With fingers and toes crossed, it appears that we have hit bottom in the existing home market,” he said." Full Article.

REMAX Housing Article.

I just wanted to say thanks to 1130AM for doing a non-biased report on this REMAX claim. 1130AM reported, Housing had an annual return of around 5% while the Stock Market would have given you a return of around 10%. They also mentioned that Housing was a lot more volatile over the last 25 years. Furthermore they didn't even mention the RE Industry or REMAX.

Yesterday, REMAX claimed that the Canadian Housing Market had a 11% yearly return on your investment over the last 25 years. The true return was around 3-5% if you use compund interest. It was blatant Spin to encourage people to purchase RE, which was proudly published by our mainstream media. Another thing they failed to mention was the Stock market would have yielded a far better return over the same period. I think most media sources have changed this error in their reports, only after the public brought it to their attention.

"Nationally, the compounded annual rate of return is 5.3 per cent, the real
estate firm said, correcting an earlier release that said average home values appreciated 11 per cent annually over the 25-year period." Globe and Mail

A lot of Blogs, yesterday had postings on this where you can get the anti-spin.

Remember this every time you see an article in the Paper that quotes the RE Industry. They have a vested interest in you buying and selling your house. It is nothing more than an advertisement.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

To rent or to buy?

Debate simmers in hot housing market
David Friend, Canadian Press

"TORONTO - Staking a claim in the Canadian housing market has never been this expensive, and it's enough to make some prospective buyers consider renting a long-term home - but is renting going to save money or is buying still worth the investment? "

"Financial planners say both are viable options, depending on your lifestyle choice and personal discipline"

"However, even in a torrid market "you shouldn't think this is really going to be the end-all and be-all, your best investment," Mastracci cautions.

"It may not be - especially if you buy at a high time."

"If you buy today and, lo and behold, real estate values roll back, you're not going to look like such a great investment manager for a while."

"Over 20 to 30 years most homeowners might get an annualized return of four to six per cent, he estimates. " Full Article.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

History may not repeat, but it definitely rhymes.

Boom and Bust in Alberta
An oil boom creates scores of multi-millionaires but then the party ends

"For a while, it seems as if money really did grow on trees. And everyone wanted a piece of the action."
"During the 1970s, the province’s population increased by a third. Four thousand people a month flood into the province, looking for a share of this modern-day gold rush. "

"Apartment vacancy rates approached zero as Ontarians and Maritimers arrived daily in search of high-paying jobs. " Full Article.

Hot Housing Market!! Hurry and buy before they are all gone.

Homebuilders Earnings Drop, Stock Rises.

D.R. Horton Profit Plummets
January 23, 2007 5:36 PM ET

"DALLAS (AP) - Fresh reports from two large builders added to signs that the housing market is still sinking, but home-building stocks rose as D.R. Horton Inc. beat Wall Street's grim expectations."

"Horton, the nation's largest homebuilder by deliveries, said earnings fell 64 percent in the last three months of 2006 and orders fell, too."

""We're about 12 months into this slowdown," CEO Don Tomnitz said. "Most of these downturns are longer and deeper (than expected), and right now we don't see anything on the horizon that would change that opinion."" Full Article.

Interest Rate Cuts, Don't Count On It.

Inflation edges up to 1.6%
Last Updated: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 8:20 AM ET
CBC News

"Canada's annual inflation rate rose to 1.6 per cent in December from 1.4 per cent the month before as housing costs rose again and drivers paid more for gasoline."

"Don't expect [Bank of Canada] governor Dodge to even mention rate cuts until we see a rising unemployment rate," he said." Full Article.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Discount House Sales, COMFree in Lotusland.

ComFREE in Lotusland
'Peg firm takes on Vancouver market


"Winnipeg-based ComFREE Real Estate -- Canada's largest private sales company -- is expanding into the country's steepest housing market. "

""Vancouver's market is about the same as Winnipeg in a way. It's slowing down (but) being Vancouver, of course, everything is hugely inflated by Winnipeg standards," Dunlop said. "It's a natural market for us. There isn't any market that isn't.""

"We're always going to grow, the MLS is always going to shrink," Dunlop said. "We're probably within a couple years of putting the MLS out of business in Edmonton, which would be the first time that's ever happened."

"Dunlop said ComFREE's franchise in Edmonton controls a third of the market in Alberta's capital city. It has made a bigger splash there than it has in Winnipeg, where it was founded a decade ago." Full Article.

Housing in Winnipeg in top 10 for affordability.

We’re one cheap city Winnipeg in top 10 for affordability
Mon Jan 22 2007
By Jen Skerritt

"For the second year in a row, Winnipeg was ranked among the most affordable places to live in an international study. Regina is considered the most affordable city in Canada, with Winnipeg and Quebec City tied in second place. "

""Anybody going out to Calgary right now on a job offer is crazy, because the prices of homes are unbelievable, and rent is atrocious," said Suszynski, who recently returned to Winnipeg after living in Calgary since 1993. "

""I had never really planned on coming back, but with prices going the way they are, and with crime way up in Calgary...," Suszynski said. " Full Article.

Is Canada's economic star fading? Weak Demand for Oil?

The commodities sector has carried the market in recent years. Those days may be numbered ?
David Berman, National PostPublished: Monday, January 22, 2007

"If you're wondering whether there has been an important shift in the commodities market, look no further than Jeffrey Rubin. The chief economist and chief strategist at CIBC World Markets has made a name for himself in recent years as one of Canada's strongest energy bulls, arguing that dwindling supplies and surging demand for oil had created a perfect environment for producers: Crude oil, he said, was on its way to US$100 a barrel."

"But today, with oil prices tumbling toward two-year lows and his target off by nearly 50%, Mr. Rubin is taking a second look. It's not because of the warm winter; it has more to do with weak demand, as fuel-conservation measures such as the use of ethanol kick in." Full Article.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Vancouver Housing Market, Some Good Advice.

Here is an excellent Video that was presented in the comments section at VHB.

Take a look. Video Link.

U.S. housing market, another shoe to drop.

More volatile trading expected ahead
Malcolm Morrison, Canadian PressPublished: Sunday, January 21, 2007

"But Wolf said investors are in for some downward revisions to earnings estimates going ahead for the energy sector particularly. "

"Those price assumption that had been embedded in prior projections I think at this point look rather too optimistic."

""But we still believe that there is another shoe to drop, so to speak with respect to the U.S. housing market."

"He said there is a good chance that the weakness will spread to consumer spending later in the year, reflecting a levelling off in consumer wealth that is coming from weaker housing market."

"Construction employment is also worrying, he added." Full Article.

Lack of Housing, 13 Days Straight, Missing Your Family, is all the Money Worth It?

Workers following the dollars to oil-rich northern Alberta
By Doug Struck, Washington Post January 21, 2007

"FORT McMURRAY, Alberta -- The plane from Calgary touched down as a cold dawn cracked the sky, and Rob Smaldon, a compact man wearing a baseball cap, sighed, "Ah, back in paradise." He was joking." Full Article.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Here's a Blog I found that is owned by a Realtor. He has decided to write a Blog that seems to be honest and direct about the Real Estate Business. Check it out. Link

Friday, January 19, 2007

Condo Prices Reveal Housing Trends

Comparing condo prices may be the best way to gauge the direction of housing prices.
By Les Christie, staff writer
January 18 2007: 1:20 PM EST

"In the third quarter of 2005, NAR stats for single-family homes show that prices fell 1.2 percent from a year earlier, with 30 percent of markets showing declines. "

"Condo prices not only dropped more steeply, 2.1 percent, but 46 percent of markets showed declines." Latest home prices

"Which gives a truer picture? Adam Koval, a former investment banker who now runs, which covers San Francisco's real estate market, insists condos are the way to go." Full Article.

House as an ATM Machine?

12MoDef -- hip hop for a U.S. housing bubble on the edge
E-mail Harry Koza
Read Bio
Latest Columns

"Anyway, a company in California (where else?) called Mortgage Payment Deferral Inc. has come up with such a fiendishly clever idea for a new kind of mortgage that they've actually applied to patent it. It's the "no payment for 12 months" mortgage. Forget those picayune no-money-down mortgages or those cheesy negative amortizers -- they're, like, so last year. This one, which the company calls the "12MoDef" mortgage, (as in 12 months deferred) is, as MPD's president, Jeremiah Miller says, "a truly wonderful product.""

"It's elegant in its simplicity. Instead of U.S. consumers refinancing their homes and withdrawing the accumulated equity to spend on buying stuff made in China, their bank can withdraw the equity and keep it. Obviously, this is much more efficient. Freed -- at least for a year -- from the burden of making monthly mortgage payments, the consumer can then direct himself to paying down the outstanding balances on his 17 maxed-out credit cards. "

"Canadians are fortunately, by and large, still wedded to that increasingly old-fashioned notion of buying a house to live in and actually paying off their mortgages some day. That sounds rather quaint by modern California standards."

"Meanwhile, in New York and Washington, D.C., 2,500 condo projects have been cancelled, and builders are turning existing unsold buildings into rental units, according a New York Times story last week about the travails of condo speculators. One example: You need to sell it for $890,000 (U.S.) to break even, or accept an offer between $800,000 and $840,000, or rent it out for $4,000 a month (though it costs $6,800 a month to carry). Some choice: a quick fat loss or death by a thousand monthly payments." Full Article.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Has Housing Hit Bottom? - US

About That Short Housing Slump…

"Has housing hit bottom? Not if history is any guide, says Hugh Moore, a partner at Guerite Advisors, a money manager in Greenville, S.C. Using data from the seven previous housing cycles since 1959, Moore concludes that the sector will fall further—and land hard. "

"Take housing starts. In the past, they fell an average 51% from peak to trough. So the current downturn, with housing starts off about 30% from the January, 2006, peak has further to go. And it may meet recession on the way. That's because in six of the seven cycles, when starts fell more than 25% from their most recent peaks, the economy tanked."

"Another gloomy stat: In the same seven cycles, the amount people spent on new housing as a percent of gross domestic product fell an average 28% from market peak to trough. Worse, in six cycles, recession kicked in when the ratio fell more than 10% from its most recent peak. In this slump, Moore says, that ratio has fallen 10.5% from its fourth-quarter peak."

"History also shows housing corrections take an average 27 months. Thus, the current doldrums may linger a year or more. "It's just going to be this slow, grinding drain on the economy," says Moore, who adds that month-to-month housing stats producing relief rallies are "just noise."" LINK

By Mara Der Hovanesian

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Vancouver Condos Crowd out Business

Vancouver's downtown may become victim of its urban housing success.
Housing policy crowds out business

By Linda Baker Published: January 17, 2007

"Commercial tenants say they are feeling the squeeze."

""We were disappointed there wasn't more new building in the city," said Iain Mant of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin, a law firm based here. This spring, Mant said, the 350-employee firm will relocate from a "fairly oppressive" 37-year- old building to the Bentall V, the only new office tower under construction downtown.
"We thought we would have more options to consider," he said. "But the projects you kept hearing about ended up being residential and hotel." There are currently 47 residential buildings under construction in the central core."" Full Article

Calgary Real Estate Listings Up 42% YOY. Gains still expected?

Realtors predict moderate gains in Calgary, Edmonton
Last Updated: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 2:22 PM MT
CBC News

"Already in January 2007 there are more listings than at the same time last year, 4,221 compared to 2,482. Stanners said sellers and buyers who were unsure of where the market would go at the end of 2006 have since regained confidence, meaning more homes are on the market." Full Article

Real Estate Agents ReListing Homes - US

New Listing! (Sort Of)
Agents are pulling houses off the market and then presenting them as new offerings

"He pulled the house out of the regional database of active listings and then immediately reinserted it, changing the property ID number used to track properties over time. "

"The result: The house appeared to be hitting the market for the first time. "

""It's in the best interests of my client [the seller]," Simone said in a November interview. "I started doing it consistently this year. I do it as much as I can."" Full Article.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Calgary Housing Market Blog.

Looks like the Calgarian Contrarian 2 is back from a month long Holiday. If you are interested in the Calgary side of things, check out his Blog.

Bank of Canada rate stays at 4.25 per cent

Bank of Canada leaves key interest rate unchanged at 4.25 per cent
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2007 10:07 AM ET
Canadian Press

Full Article

Uncertainty in US Housing Market

Data point to uncertainty in US housing
By Krishna Guha and Eoin Callan in Washington
Updated: 11:42 p.m. PT Jan 15, 2007

""The question is: is this the bottom? Or is there another downward leg to come?" he adds."

"Mr Bernstein thinks demand could weaken again, as investors pull out of the housing market." Full Article.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Housing Gains Slowing...With a 46% increase in inventory could this be a bad year for Real Estate?

Housing Gains Slowing
By Jeff NagelBlack Press
Jan 14 2007

"Greater Vancouver house prices sagged again in December but the overall real estate market still ended the year with major gains"

"“The record-breaking sales pace of 2005 continued well into the first five months of 2006,” said president Rick Valouche. “Sales activity has been quieter since June.”"

"Home sales fell 12.4 per cent in Greater Vancouver and 10.7 per cent in the valley, where active listings are 46 per cent higher than a year ago. " Full Article.

Real Estate Speculators in Calgary?

Did Property Investors/Flippers help contribute to Calgary's sudden increase in Housing value? It's quite obvious that this is rampant in some US Real Estate Markets, and Vancouver's Condos have had their fair share.

How much of our Real Estate Market is speculator driven? It may be more than you think.

Sellers are overly optimistic: real estate agent
Last Updated: Monday, January 15, 2007 3:32 PM MT
CBC News

"At least a third of condos and houses on the market in Calgary are vacant, prompting concern from a real estate agent that sellers aren't being realistic about the price they hope to get for their properties." Full Article.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Bought Real Estate in Naples during the Housing Boom?

If so you may want to take a close look at this Report. Naples Real Estate Market Report

I got this lead from Housing PANIC.

Condo Price Index
Average Prices per Square Foot by Quarter
vs. 12% Trend Lines from January 2001
2 Bedroom Condos, Similar Size, Similar Communities

I would say 12% annual growth, as a normal trend,has been exaggerated by this Realtor. If he went back a few more years it would be a lot less.

Want a good dose of Real Estate Spin with some good Counter Spin?

Go check out Ben's Real Estate Blog, it's over on my side bar under Feeds. He does a great job of finding Housing related News Articles that show the ugly of the US Housing Market.

The posters in his comments section offer some good counter spin to these, sometimes surprising, Housing Articles.

Go check it out. The Housing Bubble Blog

TSX set to rise this week

Malcolm Morrison, Canadian Press
Published: Sunday, January 14, 2007

"And although the TSX appears set to recapture some more lost ground this week, the near-term future is murkier."

"It looks like we're going to push higher but my suspicion is that maybe the next five to 10 per cent move is down rather than up," said John Johnston, chief strategist at the Harbour Group at RBC Dominion Securities."

"Everything is still looking a bit stretched and there is probably more downside than upside in the near term and that we run into the risk of a correction -- back to around the 12,000 level, about five per cent."

"The TSX moved higher last week after a series of punishing losses, largely based on tumbling commodity prices, which at one point pushed the main index down 3.5 per cent from the start of the year."

"A rebound in oil prices was a big reason for the turnaround last week. Crude prices closed as low as US$51.88 a barrel last week, a drop of 15 per cent since the beginning of the month."

"Copper was another notable decliner, falling sharply as housing construction slowed and inventories piled up."
Full Article.

Bleak world view doesn't pay off....or does it?

Offer of BMW driven away
Bleak world view doesn't pay off
By Paul Jackson

"I talked myself out of a long-term free loan of a top-of-the-line BMW sports car this past week. But, as in so many under situations in my life, I immediately started digging a hole under the kind BMW offer. "

"Natural gas is down 40%, I warned my would-be benefactor. Oil has taken yet another dive from its high in the $78-a-barrel range to the mid-$50 range. "

"The fellow who predicted the 1987 stock market crash is predicting a similar collapse within months if not weeks. "

"Warming up to my case, I pointed out there could well be many more Enrons, WorldComs and
Adelphies out there in which tens of thousands of people lost their pension plans and life savings. "

"Even in Canada, we had Nortel, which while not run by a bunch of shysters now serving time in U.S.federal penitentiaries, was surely run by incompetent managers who took the stock down from $120-a-share to less than $1 at one point. "

"More recently, we had the flipflop on income trust policy -- and I have no sympathy for whose loaded with spare cash who invested in income trusts -- on the basis every legitimate financial expert will tell you never to invest in anything simply for the tax advantages. "

"Next I pointed out both Ford and General Motors are losing billions of dollars a year and shedding workers as quickly as they can. If the stock market does collapse, or if Ford and GM and other large companies have to merge with their Japanese competitors to salvage themselves, the ripples will spread throughout the entire automotive industry. "

"Plus, Communist China is about to start dumping under-priced cars on world markets. When all these converge, people -- who already hold sky-high debt -- are going to have to sell
everything off at 10 cents on the dollar and with that the housing boom will fall apart, too. "

"Well, since my friend knows I read every issue of Business Week, Forbes and the Financial Post cover-to- cover, said colleague gulped and decided now was not the time to buy the BMW.
I surely know how to put together a compelling assessment."

"So it's still the $75-a-month Calgary Transit pass for me. "
Full Article.

The author of this article has a strong argument for being cautious with your money this year. He also goes on to point out how his friend is making a lot more than him. It makes you think.

Sure, High Rollers do make more money, but they also have a greater potential to lose it all. There is a reason why very successful people only make up a small percentage of the World's population.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Bubble Trouble - End of the Housing Boom

ComFree...will they succeed?

I have been noticing a lot of Ads on the TV and Radio for ComFree, so I thought I would check them out.

Who is ComFree?

ComFree started in Winnipeg 11 years ago and we've
become the first and only private sale company in North America to take an
appreciable amount of market share away from the commissioned agents. We have
helped thousands save over $300 million in needless commission fees.

ComFree represents almost 15% of Winnipeg's resale market and that makes
us Winnipeg's largest real estate office. But, our biggest impact has been in
Edmonton. We launched in the vibrant, fast-growing Alberta capital just five
years ago and now command more than a third of that market. That means one out
of every three homes in Edmonton is listed with ComFree. We're the largest real
estate company in that city and that's a North American first for a private sale
company. FAQ's

It will make the future of Real Estate more interesting if Real Estate Companies are listing internationally. There will be more exposure for foreign investors etc.

I think I am going to look for a summer house in Perth. LINK

Friday, January 12, 2007

Is the US Housing Slump Real?

Or is it just being over hyped by Housing Blogs?

Read this message from the President of the Merced CountyAssociation of Realtors. LINK

Bank of Canada expected to hold line on rates

Globe and Mail Update
  • Tuesday, Jan. 16 Bank of Canada likely to keep rate steady
    "The Bank of Canada is expected to announce it will keep its target overnight rate unchanged at 4.25 per cent."

Full Article

U.S. housing bubble has the potential to blow up real good

HARRY KOZA - Senior Analyst for Canadian markets at Thomson Financial/IFR.
E-mail Harry Koza
Read Bio
Latest Columns

"I don't subscribe to the theory that because of a couple of benign recent U.S. housing statistics, there's going to be the fabled "soft landing" and now is a good time to buy a house."

"No, I'm in the camp that thinks we're only seeing the first leg down in what BMO Harris's chief strategist Don Coxe refers to as a Triple Waterfall Event (see The portents of that parlous occurrence are not to be found in the official stats, but rather, on the margins of the housing market."

"Official statistics are so massaged and seasonally adjusted and weighted-averaged and smoothed that I often find them hard to believe. It seems like only yesterday (Dec. 12, 2005, actually) that the National Association of Realtors was predicting that the U.S. national median house price would rise about 6.1 per cent in 2006. After all, gushed NAR, over a full year, the national median price "has never declined since good record keeping began in 1968."

"After the recent "good" news about the U.S. housing market, the median price was still down about 2 per cent for the first 11 months of 2006. That makes that NAR forecast fairly embarrassing, but the market has discounted the actual small drop as a mere healthy correction, hardly the harbinger of an incipient downward cascade in house prices -- or at least, not yet." Full Article.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Real Estate Blogs

This may be old news to you, but it is new to me so I thought I would share it. I got the lead, from a poster on Rob's Real Estate Blog, about a site that tracks Blog traffic. You can view the top Blog sites rated on traffic and based on genre.

Go check it out. LINK

Another Misleading Housing Headline.

Calgary home average nears half million
CanWest News Service; Calgary Herald
Published: Thursday, January 11, 2007

"The average price of a "NEW" single-family detached home in Calgary will soar by nearly 38 per cent in 2007, nudging close to the half-a-million-dollar mark _ an increase of more than $200,000 in three years, says Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation." Full Article.

I almost fell out of my chair when I saw this headline.

Even though they are refering to New Home construction, it still seems to be out of pace for most wages in Calgary. Mind you they may be building more "high end" new homes to appeal to the executives who are making the big bonus'. The average person is still out priced.

Those builders had better hope oil doesn't continue its downturn. Oil touches 18-month low as speculators rush exits

Real Estate STATS, can they be trusted to give you the right picture?

Housing market pain not revealed by stats
Home sellers are crying but the data doesn't seem to reflect their woes.

By Les Christie, staff writer
January 11 2007: 6:09 PM EST

"An Indiana man writes to say he can't sell his house even asking less for it than he paid - four years ago. "

"A Duluth, Minnesota, reader writes, "The housing market is brutal, has been for months. Prices dropping at least $20,000, some as high as $60,000 just to get them sold. Most aren't selling even with the drop.""

"It's not just the Rust Belt."

"Yet, when the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released its third quarter median sales prices, the downturn was very modest, just 1.2 percent compared with 12 months earlier." FULL ARTICLE - Also on my side bar under CNN.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Some Housing Bubble Videos.

"Paper Money - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog", has compiled a library of Housing Bubble related videos.

The latest Videos are Advertisement's created by the "National Association of Realtors" trying to market buying and selling Real Estate in the US.

When you see these two Ads back to back it really shows how hypocritical this industry is.

Go check it out. LINK

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

US Homebulders not doing very well due to cancellations and increased use of incentives.

D.R. Horton net sales fall short
Texas-based homebuilder cites challenging selling conditions; shares down 1.7% during morning NYSE trade.

"CHICAGO (Reuters) -- Homebuilder D.R. Horton Inc. reported lower quarterly sales orders Tuesday that came in well below market expectations, citing challenging selling conditions."

"Though the cancellation rate fell to 33 percent in the first quarter from 40 percent in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006, D.R. Horton said in a statement that "we continue to experience higher than normal cancellation rates and an increased use of sales incentives in many of our markets."" Full Article

Monday, January 8, 2007

Gauging where housing market is headed - US

"David Lereah, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, recently said that the home sale market has started to stabilize and could even turn around by spring 2007. Other economists are less optimistic. "

"Even though most housing experts would not recommend buying at the top of a market cycle, last years' home buyers bought with reckless abandon, confident that home prices could go nowhere but up. Now that conditions are generally better for home buyers, many are waiting on the sidelines for a clear sign that the market has bottomed out."

"However, savvy real estate investors take a different approach. They buy when the market is soft and sell when the market is hot. " Full Article.

Okanagan Real Estate STATS Are Out.

If you are interested the Okanagan Real Estate STATS have finally come out for December. The LINK is on my sidebar.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

My Thoughts on the Housing Market and its Future.

As a consumer I always research everything before I buy. I am in the market for a new home and have been reading trying to get a feel for the Housing Market and where it's headed.

I have set up Google Alerts where I get emails sent to me every time a new article comes out concerning housing, real estate, housing bubble etc. Plus I read Blogs, Real Estate Board Stats, MLS, and look around my neighbourhood.

Here are some of my observations:
  1. Canadian Real Estate is definitely slowing down. Which is leading to some minor price reductions. Those that are being stubborn and are asking too much aren't selling. It is a Buyers Market out there. Still far from a crash and prices are still quite high. Will this change next year?
  2. The US Market is definitely in serious trouble. There are so many News Articles pointing towards this that it is hard to miss. Prices in some areas are down almost 40%.
  3. Housing does go down!!! If another person tries to tell me it doesn't I'm going to lose it! Just look at a Graph that shows the History of Housing Prices, it goes up and down like a Stock. Of course it goes up in the long run, so does everything else you buy, it's called inflation. There are definite ups and downs, and sometimes they are extreme.
  4. The Real Estate Industry is not working in your best interest. They are interested in keeping the Market going. They are always optimistic during any state of the market. The US NAR has gone from, "Prices will never drop." to, "Now that prices have dropped, it's a great time to buy." I don't blame them because it is their job to sell Real Estate. Negativity does not sell. People just need to be more aware of their tactics.
  5. In Canada the RE Industry is still claiming that next year will be a strong one for RE. While there are a lot of Economists that are cautioning against that.
  6. Canada seems to be following the US market, they usually say that we trail about 6 months behind.

I would say this is not a good time to buy a house. The market is likely to start showing more signs of deterioration when more supply is added to the market in the Spring. The market has lost its momentum, this is giving buyers more time to think clearly about their purchase. As I am.

The Year of the Price Cut

Overreaching is so 2006.
By S.Jhoanna Robledo

"So is it a soft market, or isn't it? The consensus is forming: Sellers just can't overreach and expect a huge payout the way they did a couple of years ago. New York asked, an online database that gathers information on most listings in the city, to run the numbers and find the largest price drops of the year (leaving out mixed-use and multiple-unit buildings and new developments). Bargain-hunters and bonus-toters, this may be your moment."

1120 Fifth Avenue, Penthouse 15A A full-floor, two-bedroom,
penthouse at Fifth and 93rd.
Asking Price Then: $12 million
Asking Price Now: $7 million
Drop: 41.6 percent - Full Article.

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.


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