Canada’s housing market is back on a roll, a finding that should be evident in the September sales data that the Canadian Real Estate Association will release on Tuesday.
The slump that began in the summer of 2012 came to an end this past summer, with sales topping economists’ forecasts, and the market showing a surprising amount of momentum.
Preliminary numbers from local real estate boards suggest that September’s national figures will continue the streak of strong results. The Toronto Real Estate Board said the number of houses sold in the Toronto area via the Multiple Listing Service during September came in 30 per cent higher than a year earlier, while Calgary’s real estate board posted a 19-per-cent increase. Sales in Vancouver, the Canadian city hardest hit during the recent downturn, rose 63.8 per cent from a year ago.
It’s worth noting that the market was in the doldrums at this point last year, which inflates the year-over-year comparisons. But the numbers still point to a market that has recovered, and then some. The 7,411 houses sold in the Toronto area was 9.6 per cent higher than the 10-year average for September. Calgary’s sales are 14 per cent higher than the long-term average for that month, and Vancouver’s sales are now back in line with the average.
Bank of Montreal senior economist Robert Kavcic said he expects that sales nationally will come in about 15 per cent higher than last September, and that prices will have risen by 8 per cent over the year.
While Mr. Kavcic sees the housing market as “pretty balanced and well-behaved,” Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce economist Benjamin Tal thinks it is probably too hot for the comfort of regulators and the federal government.
South of the border …
If you’d bought a flimsy McMansion in one of America’s sweltering boom zones just after the recession struck, you could have had it for a nickel. Now, prices are soaring once again. The boomiest boom areas of the boom time are booming!
The shithole oil boom towns of Montana arebooming so much that not only is real estate unaffordable, but the towns can’t afford to build schools to hold all the new kids or treatment plants to treat all the new sewage. (These towns are also infested by bloggers, a sure sign of the end times.)
In Phoenix, a place where no one in their right mind wants to live by choice, housing demand is so high that buyers searching for affordable homes are now forced to buy in the exurbs of Phoenix, an area even less desirable than Phoenix proper.
You can buy a $100 million Manhattan penthouse instead, if you like.
In Vegas, a literal desert inhospitable to human life, home prices are finally stabilizing after rising 30% in the past year.
In Texas, “known for its open spaces and cheap property” and novelty gun-shaped belt buckles,bidding wars are breaking out, which is a relatively new phenomenon in a state whose greatest natural resource is vast expanses of dusty plain. Bloomberg reports:
The boom shows that the U.S. real estate market’s rebound is extending beyond areas such as Arizona, Florida, California and Nevada, where prices are soaring after being hardest-hit by the crash that started in 2006. Texas, which largely avoided the collapse, is benefiting from employment growth and an expanding population, the more traditional forces of housing demand.
In other words, everything is going just as it should. Now’s the time to snap up all the real estate you can—with borrowed money. And flip it! Up is the only direction! Next stop—catastrofortune!
Elsewhere on earth …
Real Estate Institute of Victoria chief executive officer Enzo Raimondo said October was due to have about 4500 auctions, on a par with May …