I'm going to exerpt a few things that jumped out at me.
Seems that they haven't noticed the declines and low sell/list numbers yet. And come on - only 8%? That is still double the historical, long-term YOY gains.
Forecasting is hardly an exact science.
Many professional watchers were just as surprised as the rest of us by last year's sizzling housing market performance.
...preliminary numbers put out by The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver for 2006.
So what can we expect for 2007?
Three experts who watch the local real estate market very closely...predicted that housing prices will go up again this year but only by 8% or less.
Home sales are decreasing and it is taking longer to sell. Why?Errm, maybe this has something to do with it -
The Royal Bank of Canada released its Housing Affordability Index in December and not surprisingly, Vancouver has the highest index in the country. It now takes 75% of "median pre-tax household income...I think that they may have been doing some reading over at VHB. That same argument has been made there for the last year or so.
" Unless people have a huge increase in earnings, it's going to be difficult for people to step and pay more."
...interest rates dropped and buyers found they could carry bigger mortgages for less.Until the rates go up, and the value of their asset falls. Ooops.
Builders scrambled to meet the demand and now a lot of that pent-up demand has been met.And more, I'm sure. But the "pent-up demand" part kind of stumps me. I believe "instilled (by marketing) demand" would be a more accurate turn of phrase.
Affordability is making it increasingly difficult to pass on...costs to consumers.
On balance, there is still enough of a demand to push up prices slightly. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is predicting a 7% increase on average. It says demand will be fueled by a strong provincial economy, increasing wages and an additional 45,300 people moving here.Well, it wasn't Cam who said that. I think he may have left his cue cards in his desk for his successor.
...a more balanced market will discourage speculators from buying up several pre-sale apartments at a time, hoping to flip them for a quick profit once they are built. She also says the days of lineups and sellouts of condos may be behind us.That is so 2006. Do you smell coffee? Good Morning!
There are plenty of others who are not as optimistic for 2007. Discussions in local housing market blogs predict sharp price decreases for the year ahead, although some writers admit their predictions for 2006 were far too pessimistic.OK! OK! Mea culpa X 3. (smug bastidges)
I dunno. Is that bearish? Or just non-commital? I think the latter. The MSM still does not want to stick it's collective neck out too far, it seems. Can't blame them, I guess. Relative anonymity makes that much easier to do. I'm calling for -17% to -23% by September (any of my earlier predictions are as meaningless as this one).
Should you buy if you can afford it? Both Hennigar and Pastrick say the long term prospects look good for real estate, barring any unforeseen shocks. Short term buying and selling do not make sense however, if prices only go up 6 or 7%, that might not be enough to cover your taxes, real estate and legal fees.
If worse comes to worse, I can just delete this whole blog and disappear down the memory hole!
The article exerpted above can be read in it's entirety at the CBC link up top.