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.


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