Just returned from a fantastic seminar by Cameron Muir, cheif economist for BC real estate association.
In a coles notes version our current housing market resembles the Snakes and Ladders game I played with my son the other day. You get the odd free ride up and then a little further along you slide back down to where you were.
We are tied so closely to the US economy that we cant help but be affected. 48%percent of our exports go there ( thats an improvement from 65% just a few years ago but still..) If you look at the influences that affect the economic output of Canada 40% is the US Economy, 33 percent is the financial markets and 13 percent is the price of oil, actual domestic demand is only 8 %. All of these have been have been volatile of late so no wonder we are all asking ourselves- where is this headed?
Job wise we are only about 3200 jobs from peak employment in BC. Of the job openings in BC 60% are replacement opportunities, only 38% from new growth.So they forcast a labour crunch in 10 yrs as we cant fill the replacement jobs that baby boomers leave. Our population is aging and the baby boomers are checking out. Economists estimate by 2025 more people will die than are born in Canada.Currently BC is a poplution growth leader and the West will continue to drive economic growth. Our current population growth is 71 % International immigration,10% provincial migration, and 19percent is natural increases.
So the bottom line? these are the factors that will be driving our real estate market.Barring some new catastrophy. We have a balanced market leaning slightly to sellers market in North Vancouver and a slight leaning to a buyers merket here in West Vancouver and Vancouver. We are at levels seen just prior to the financial crisis in 2008 so we will probably see a moderate continuation of this market as rates stay low.
In terms of risk in buying or waiting till later. Analysts believe you have a greater risk of losing affordability by upcoming short term rate increases than by waiting. As for the HST impact, that will be the next blog!
The reality is we have just been through the worst recession since the 30's, a total Global recession and a worldwide financial crisis and how did our Real Estate market fare? we fell only 15% from peak to trough, my stocks did far worse. I'm sticking to real estate.