Toronto home prices could be in for a big fall according to housing bubble watch
You've heard it before, and you'll (likely) hear it again before home prices actually plummet: Analysts say the local real estate bubble is about to pop.
Canada is one of the most vulnerable housing markets on earth right now for what economists calls a "house price correction," according to Bloomberg Economics, following only New Zealand on the outlet's newly created "housing bubble dashboard."
These findings are based on each nation's current price-income ratios and price-rent ratios, both of which are said to be "well above their long-run averages" in Canada.
In essence, this means Canadians aren't making enough money on average to comfortably pay their mortgages, based on current home price trends.
This problem is even more pronounced in major urban centres, such as Toronto.
Good chart from Bloomberg on housing valuations in different countries based on a combined measure of price-to-income and price-to-rent. The most stretched and vulnerable to a house price correction are New Zealand, Canada and Sweden. (Bloomberg) pic.twitter.com/ujhfMVUlHV— Financial Markets English (@FinMktsEnglish) July 31, 2019
"Policy makers may already be acting given Canada's government has introduced a tax on foreign buyers," wrote Bloomberg economist Niraj Shah, who created the bubble dashboard, in a piece published today.
The mortgage stress test put in place by Canada's federal government in January of 2018 also worked to cool a formerly white-hot housing market — enough to stabilize prices, but not enough to actually boost affordability.
"While this all should help contain the housing bubble, the dashboard suggests house prices still remain substantially elevated," said Shah to The Star this week of Canada's recent policy changes aimed at cooling the market.
A pop isn't imminent, in other words, but we're well-poised to experience one if government policies change.
"The next challenge will be whether global house prices rise as central banks get ready to lower interest rates," wrote Shah for Bloomberg Wednesday, "with the Federal Reserve set to cut rates for the first time in more than a decade on Wednesday."
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