Housing crash is coming says portfolio manager

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An Edmonton portfolio manager is so sure there will be a crash in the housing market that he’s written a book on how to survive it. Hilliard MacBeth from Richardson GMP wrote the book after realising the extent to which many of the hundreds of households he manages funds for are very exposed to the housing market. MacBeth says that historic data suggests that we could see a correction of 50 per cent, taking prices back to the level they were at when the current bubble started, which he says was 1999 or 2000. With high levels of household debt and some investors owning large property portfolios, he sees a potentially devastating problem for the market and wider economy. MacBeth’s prediction for the crash is spring or summer next year. The book is called “When the Bubble Bursts: Surviving the Canadian Real Estate Crash”. Read the full story.
  • James Loewen on 2014-09-25 9:05:04 AM

    From his article: " So the advice is that people who have a lot of debt should sell and rent. The number one advice would be to sell the condo.."

    From Eco 101 - If all condo owners from 30-50 sell there condo's, thus increasing supply from an already high supply situation - while maintaining the present demand of condo's - PRICE DECREASES.

    If Price / Value of condo's drops then due to this over influx of supply below then remainder of condo owners existing debts on the condo's, there's a negative-equity position for owners and would as it did in the US incite owners to simply "walk away" from their condo given owing more than its worth. Resulting then in further supply, thus further price reduction.

    Its brilliant ... forecast a correction in prices - then give the advice that will actually cause the collapse of the condo market and actualize your very prediction.

    Its similar to predicting a decrease in XYZ stock in Canada, then colluding with every investor and client to recommend the sell position of a stock thus increasing sell orders with minimal buys, stock will have to decrease and I'm now cited as a wizard by creating its own demise.

    Great "Self Actualizing Prophecy".
    (am not even going to touch the fact that owning is forced savings for most, that without equity created in homes most wouldn't have any retirement planning and all the other pro's of ownership vs renting etc)

  • Dustan Woodhouse on 2014-09-25 10:45:35 AM

    Well put James Loewen. I too disagree with this sort of hype. My own counterpoint; http://dustanwoodhouse.ca/vancouver-real-estate

  • Brian Lambert on 2014-09-25 11:30:53 AM

    Good way to hype your point to sell a book? The bubble did not start in 1999-2000, actually the housing recovery started at that time as home values were depressed for over 10 years with little to no growth. Like all housing recovery's some time the market does not know when to slow down as we are seeing today in some of the bigger city centers, but its good to note that it is not happening everywhere. The book will probably be a BUST?

  • Ron Butler on 2014-09-25 12:00:02 PM

    This guy is late to the party; Garth Turner has predicted a housing crash "next year" for the last 5 years. We have all seen how well this has worked out for Garth.

  • Ken Mahon on 2014-09-25 12:16:21 PM

    Edmonton isn't exactly the centre of the universe when it comes to real estate activity and values in Canada. Edmonton volume on MLS is a fraction of Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. Prices in Edmonton are significantly lower than prices in the other 3 larger centres. Edmonton is also a strong government town and we in the private sector know that government employees seldom lose their jobs so if there is a crash in values, which I doubt, Edmonton will likely be least affected. Our Company lends in both BC and Alberta and we are seeing strong activity by well financed developers who do not hold their finished product inventory for long as there are lots of strong buyers - Doesn't look like a market that's going to crash to me.

  • Daniel McKay on 2014-09-25 3:13:37 PM

    Not to mention that Edmonton's Downtown has been going through a major revitalization, being spurred by the construction of the new Arena. If the proposed upgraders end up being built NE of the city in the next 3-10 years, that will be a huge boost as well. MacBeth is either a complete hack, or he is pushing this false propaganda to sway investors away from real estate in favor of the investments he sells. Either way he is clearly dead wrong.

  • Strathcona on 2014-09-25 4:12:57 PM

    I'm a bit astounded of how many heads are in the sand here.

    Yes, I would agree that by applying the usual metrics of household income to purchase price, and price to rent ratio, Edmonton is one of the cheapest cities in Canada. There's a reason for that. it's cold in Edmonton, very few people make it their first home in Canada.

    What does Hilliard know? he only handles the books, and sees the insides of the accounts he handles. I live in Edmonton, and work in oilfield. Everyone loves RE here, they say it can't go down. The most important thing to have in investing is having money of some kind, not brick and mortar liabilities.

    Too many are in debt in Canada, with half of them living paycheque to paycheque. Keep paying more for your housing at your peril. I sold, and will continue to rent. I'll later buy a home from a nice family when the oil price tanks. They'll have to keep milk in the fridge for the kids somehow.

  • Victor Simone on 2014-09-25 6:57:13 PM

    If the macro marketplace suddenly experiences bidding wars for government bonds ? Sure, I could see it affect real estate prices in Canada, since rates would need to rise as governments try to fund their debt requirements.

    I'll try a prediction: Until China stops buying Yankees for Euro debt, we won't need to see a rate spike.

  • dudley on 2014-12-15 6:17:04 PM

    Looks like what's he's saying is don't invest in real estate for 2015. Invest in mutual funds instead - Oh! and I know someone who can help you with portfolios.

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