Nothing to see here, say brokers

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Brokers believe Canada's smartest real estate investors will see through one industry player's recent doomsday stance.

"I like to think most savvy real estate investors won't be selling off their real estate holding because a portfolio manager wrote a book," MortgageBrokerNews.ca commenter, Paul Hudson wrote. "That makes about a much sense as investing your retirement savings in all in one company's stock because a financial advisor believes he has a theory."

A portfolio manager with an upcoming book release has sounded the housing correction alarm bells but one broker has already poked a hole in his theory.

In the original Globe and Mail article, Hilliard MacBeth of Richardson GMP advises 30-50 year-old condo owners – the cohort who make up the majority of condo ownership – to sell their condo units because they are “terrible” investments. But as one savvy MortgageBrokerNews.ca reader points out, this could be a direct cause of a housing crash.

“If all condo owners from 30-50 sell their condos, thus increasing supply from an already high supply situation -- while maintaining the present demand of condos – price decreases,” James Loewen of RMA The Loewen Group said on MortgageBrokerNews.ca.

He further explains that the result would be an influx of supply which would create a drop in prices and, as a result, negative equity positions for current owners who may choose to walk away from their condos – a situation that has already happened in the United States following 2008’s recession.

“It’s 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,” Loewen said. “It’s 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.”

For his part, MacBeth is predicting the housing correction will be put in motion this fall.

“The housing market pretty well dries up starting in about October, November and then the new wave starts in February or March,” he told The Globe and Mail. “I would think that, depending on the price of oil, depending on world economies and all that, we’ll see next spring, next summer.”

MacBeth’s book, When the Bubble Bursts: surviving the Canadian real estate crash, is due to be published in March 2015. 
  • OkanaganBroker on 2014-09-25 11:54:26 AM

    I am soo tired of all these naysayers and doom predictors, and as James notes this lovely book also provides the stimulus for just such a thing to happen...Though I guess anything to sell a book...Headlines based on fear sell...Hopefully his book gets filed under fairy tales...

  • Ross Kay on 2014-09-25 4:44:46 PM

    Like 1988, Canada has already completed the stages necessary that assures a correction is imminent.

    Anyone who only now is recommending solutions to surviving the "crash" could have missed the boat, as the final stage has only been drawn out by CREA's use of misleading data.

  • Paul Hudson on 2014-09-25 4:48:34 PM

    I like to think most savvy real estate investors won't be selling off their real estate holding because a portfolio manager wrote a book. That make about a much sense as investing your retirement savings in all in one company's stock because a financial advisor believes he has a theory

  • Walter on 2014-09-25 7:19:17 PM

    to the Okanagan Broker
    so how are your house prices doing from the peak?

    A little off you say?

  • OkanaganBroker on 2014-09-25 7:28:15 PM

    Hi Walter...Definitely off from years past, but 2014 has been a banner year, everything $350,000 and under has been selling fast, and appraisal reports are indicating price increases this year in that price range due to demand, or at least suggesting market recovery. Many high end homes & NEW homes ($600,000+) are selling for MORE than appraised values. In speaking with my appraisers we are shaking our heads at new home construction pricing...the appraisers can't justify the high selling prices, but the homes are selling regardless...(we are talking $40-$50,000 differences between sale price and lower appraised values. Big influx from Alberta & Vancouver markets again too

  • Walter on 2014-09-25 7:36:36 PM

    http://hotelivory.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/a-very-long-view-on-house-prices/

    This most have seen before and the data is now old, but from the date of this original and then updated being 2008 is again showing that its not different this time, Dutch housing went WAYYYY UP and now way back way down. One thing that is shown to be a certainty is; no, its not different this time. Fundamentals, rules and constants do not change But one thing that is always a constant but is a variable one and why guys like Garth get laughed at is, getting the timing right. Timing is always everything!!

  • Walter on 2014-09-25 7:53:26 PM

    as to prices going back up, irrational exuberance was a nice termed coined before the big bust up in 2008??
    I don't recall seeing any new factories or jobs appearing in the okanagan. Surge is coming from out of province and out of country and yes many houses in the 300K are selling but sub 300 are now showing up. Much of this buying can be attributed to the university and daddy buying a house for son or daughter but
    sustainable buying in the higher prices or new builds come from the Grey Market. Not a true representation, the Ok Valley is littered with stories. One adage that is still very true on how to leave the okanagan with $1MM.....Come with 2MM

    When oil returns to its mean and its today almost at $90. (recall when oil fell back to $10 not that long ago?) Those alberta buyers will again dry up. Another analogy. Nortel never made any true profit but it was different this time, profit did not matter, it was the internet!!n and yet it rose to well over 120$, when reality hit it went much lower, low enough taht many so called savvy? investors bought more thinking it was a bottom. TODAY Many investors still have big zeros where the old nortel symbol sits in the portfolios. I am afraid I have see/felt this picture before, I have been in the markets since i was 18 and bought my first house when i was 20. I have much grey hair now, and i all i can say is this, when it takes almost all of a one couples income just to make the mortgage payment, one has to wonder how long that can be sustained.
    Those who are called naysayers may soon be called smart guys.

  • Frank on 2014-09-26 10:23:55 AM

    The recommendation this person makes is as James indicated, not a very smart one. It could cause chaos. In saying that, I too do not see many investors or just regular people who enjoy their condo creating a mass exit due to one author's opinion.

  • Gloria Lee on 2014-09-26 10:38:43 AM

    Yes, if we keep posting through media that 'the sky is falling', then it will. A large number of condo investors are speculators. They don't have access to concrete data and so media and people like Macbeth writes these silly books do have, small, but have impact on our housing market. Cluster enough small negativity and it becomes a big problem. Anything at this time could be a trigger.

  • Alphonse Negro on 2014-09-28 6:47:07 PM

    What a silly suggestion to sell off ones condo holdings, what about the losses that come in the form of penalties from braking mtgs. How can a portfolio manager be so loose in its suggestion. Realestate investments are long term. Hold onto them. Stats are proofing that 2014 is an other banner year as in certain price ranges everything is selling quickly.

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