In a report released by Scotia Economics on Tuesday, Canada was noted as having the longest sustained property increase in the Western world. With this said there are strong indicators showing that this growth is slowing, which is actually a good thing. The slowing of this growth means that property values will be able to stabilize and current home owners will not see the equity in their home disappear overnight.
If the bubble does burst it should only be a short fall. Leading Canadian economists have stated that the outside risk is a 10% correction over the next 2 years if the worst economic conditions prevail. However, the more realistic scenario is a flat to low single percentage gain. Of the 10 Western countries studied Canada showed a real home price (this takes into account inflation) increase of 4.8% in the last year. In the next year a few factors may dampen this growth such as increased economic instability in Europe and the US and a slowing pace of hiring in the private sector. This might lead some to feel that they should wait before getting into the housing market even though it may not be the best option, read more about this in our blog Buy now or wait for the crash.
To put the bubble bursting in to perspective, Ireland which had to to be bailed out by the International Monetary Fund* has seen a real home price decrease of 14%. This represents the absolute worst case scenario which Canadians really shouldn’t worry about. The are a number of reasons why the Canadian economy is not going to follow in Ireland’s foot steps. The first being the indebtedness of the government, relative to many of our Western counterparts (especially Ireland at its crash) we carry a very light debt load**. Secondly, is our strong natural resource based economy that is coupled with a world class financial industry that is hugely attractive to foreign investment. These along with many other factors will help the Canadian economy and housing values sailing fairly smoothly through these unstable economic times.
By Julian Irwin – Managing Partner Spring Realty
**Canada’s budgetary Deficit stands at 36.2 Billion down from 40.5 billion – http://www.budget.gc.ca/