CMHC sounds overvaluation alarm

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Several major markets are overvalued, and many more are being overbuilt, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Agency.

Nine major markets are overvalued and seven are being overbuilt, according to the Crown Corporation’s Q2 Housing Market Assessment.

“While we see weak evidence of problematic conditions overall nationally, we do detect moderate evidence of overvaluation, meaning house prices remain higher than the level personal disposable income, population growth and other fundamentals would support,” Bob Dugan, chief economist, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, said in a release.

The Crown Corporation breaks down its assessment by market, assigning a rating of “strong,” “moderate,” and “weak” evidence of problematic conditions.

Markets with strong evidence of problematic conditions

Toronto:
“Fewer launches of new single detached projects in recent years meant demand is increasingly absorbed by the high end resale market. As a result, inventories of both new and resale single-detached homes have declined contributing to rapid price growth,” CMHC said in its report.

Calgary:
“House prices in Calgary have not been completely supported by economic and demographic fundamentals, leading to a moderate evidence of overvaluation,” CMHC said. “In addition, we detect moderate evidence of overbuilding in Calgary as the vacancy rate rose to an elevated level.”

Markets with moderate evidence of problematic conditions

Vancouver:
“We see strong evidence of overvaluation in Vancouver’s housing market. Single detached home prices are higher than levels supported by economic fundamentals and inventories of new and resale homes are declining while demand remains high,” Robyn Adamache, principal market analyst (Vancouver), Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, said. “We’re also keeping an eye on overheating and price acceleration which are slowly advancing but evidence of these conditions remains weak.

“Overall, we see moderate evidence of problematic conditions in Vancouver.”

Edmonton:
“New home inventories have been on the rise, while the number of units under construction remains elevated,” CMHC said. “There is a potential for the market to exhibit signs of overbuilding moving forward as inventory is expected to increase further.”

Markets with weak evidence of problematic conditions

Hamilton:
“Price growth for single-detached homes has been stronger than warranted by increases in fundamental factors such as population, employment, and income,” CMHC said.

To read the entire report, click here.
 
  • Paul on 2016-04-27 12:49:09 PM

    Neighbourhoods in Hamilton that people fought to escape are now being called prestigious and sought after. Your typical below Barton Street home where all the drug dealers and prostitutes are sold for around $60,000 about 15 years ago. Now the same homes are in the $200,000 range and most still need gasoline and a match!

  • john pasley on 2016-04-27 1:10:07 PM

    Ramble and go on all you want but this is not what it's like in most of the country.That's because blanket policies across Canada don't work which the gov't,the banks, and CMHC has been told for the past 30 YEARS.There should be special policies in place for the big cities in this country to address their issues and a standard policies for the rest of us who don't suffer these wide cycles of property values,price increases,foreclosures etc.

  • Michael (Toronto) on 2016-04-27 1:20:10 PM

    So, which is it, CMHC? First you say for Vancouver it's moderate, then strong, no wait, sorry... we meant it's weak, and so you split the difference, ending at moderate again!?? Not saying that CMHC doesn't provide a valuable set of services in the market, but this report is yet more of our tax money wasted on a ridiculous and meaningless "study"...

    Quoting from article;

    "Markets with moderate evidence of problematic conditions

    Vancouver:
    “We see strong evidence of overvaluation in Vancouver’s housing market."

    Then further on, still about Vancouver;
    "We’re also keeping an eye on overheating and price acceleration which are slowly advancing but evidence of these conditions remains weak. Overall, we see moderate evidence of problematic conditions in Vancouver.”

  • Michele Hall on 2016-04-27 1:26:35 PM

    a little late in the game to be catching on to this one

  • Michael (Toronto) on 2016-04-27 1:31:03 PM

    As for Toronto, CMHC says that a lack of supply is causing a rise in prices.

    Economics 101, Semester 1, Day 1; That is how every free market system works... and the point at which demand and supply intersect is called equilibrium. Equilibrium means balanced. Balanced means all things are operating as they should.

    So, tell me how is this strong evidence of a problem? If prices rise beyond affordability, then people incrementally stop buying and prices plateau, and/or supply of alternatives increase to alleviate the strain. Equilibrium maintained... until someone *ahem* decides to mess with it and disrupt the automatic self-balancing system with their ill-conceived good intentions.

  • BJ on 2016-04-28 12:28:21 AM

    CMHC's recent data had foreign ownership at 3% - so I take what they say with a degree of skepticism. That being said...

    Michael (Toronto) - they didn't teach the effects of foreign buyers paying cash for properties (and not caring about price, interest rates, wages etc.) in Economics 101, Semester 1, Day1.

    There IS a problem, and there is going to be one - equilibrium or no equilibrium.

    I'm speaking of Vancouver/Victoria, but prices have outpaced peoples ability to afford them. Foreign buyers are paying $100K-$200K+ OVER not only the purchase price but the appraised value. Think about that - is that evidence enough?

  • Crystal on 2016-04-28 1:45:47 AM

    Michael (Toronto), you are completely correct about economics 101, however, because government has been playing with lowering interest rates and devaluing our currency by doing so, this has brought debt level to an unsustainable point. So, here we are in a situation where if the government raises rates they risk putting many into foreclosure...don't raise rates and continue to devalue our dollar and face a continued rise in (real) inflation putting strain on our disposable incomes in our country. $200 is the average amount Canadian families have of disposable income = SCARY!!! Our economy is a quagmire with no solution in sight. Now we have a government who is looking to spend their way out of trouble...absolutely unreal our government thinks lowering interest rates to raise personal debt levels to unprecedented highs is a good thing for us???

    Do people not realize when a government "creates" jobs and "employs" people, the money has to come from somewhere. There are places where the government could spend some capital, which would make sense (long term GDP producing jobs)...my 5 year old can understand if you rob peter to pay paul and susan puts her hand out and so on, pretty soon rob has nothing left and nobody has anything anymore BECAUSE ROB DOESN'T HAVE ANYMORE MONEY TO PAY EVERYBODY! We should be spending money in competing with other countries to produce goods/services, invest in education to create long term wealth/jobs and a lasting sustainable economy. People think government OWE them something and they should be looked after by the government, wtf! Canadians have become an entitled nation of babies and whiners, and if we continue down this path...by the virtues of econ 101, there will be a breaking point and who knows what that's really gonna look like!?????

  • Eric on 2016-04-29 7:18:03 PM

    Michael, have you read the entire report? I bet you didn't.

  • SAM on 2016-04-30 10:23:27 PM

    Money laundry use in housing + shadow flipping by realtors + many thousands of empty homes bought and left empty by foreign investors + shortage of homes + no real intention from BC and Federal governments to intervene and mitigate the situation = Great housing crisis and Skyrocketing prices = tragic impacts on the BC society in the years to come.

  • SAM on 2016-04-30 10:29:01 PM

    Money laundry use in housing + shadow flipping by realtors + many thousands of empty homes bought and left empty by foreign investors + shortage of homes + no real intention from BC and Federal governments to intervene and mitigate the situation = Great housing crisis and Skyrocketing prices = tragic impacts on the BC society in the years to come.

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