Canada Real Estate Slump Only Just Beginning, Madani Says

Canada Real Estate Slump Only Just Beginning, Madani Says

Canada’s housing slump has only just begun and it is premature to say the market will have a so-called soft landing, said David Madani, an economist at Toronto-based Capital Economics Ltd.

“We don’t expect prices to rebound this year,” Madani said today at the Bloomberg Economic Summit in Toronto.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has acted four times in the past five years to make mortgage-lending rules more restrictive amid concern that the Vancouver and Toronto markets were overheating. Flaherty has said he welcomes a slowdown of condominium construction in the two cities and has warned consumers, who have a record debt-to-disposable-income ratio of 165 percent, not to become overextended.Madani, a former senior economist at the Bank of Canada, was the only person surveyed by Bloomberg News during the past two years who consistently predicted the central bank wouldn’t raise borrowing costs. Madani previously forecast home prices in the country would fall by 25 percent in the next few years.

Canadian housing starts declined for the first time in three months in April, led by multiple-unit projects, according to Ottawa-based Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corp.

Work began on about 174,900 homes at a seasonally adjusted annual pace in April, down 3.5 percent from March and 31 percent below the year-ago pace.

Canadian home resale prices rose in April at the slowest annual pace since 2009 as Vancouver posted declines, according to the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index. (TNBHICP)

The country’s mortgage changes didn’t have a “dramatic” effect, Phil Soper, chief executive officer of Brookfield Real Estate Services, said at the conference. Residential real estate markets only have 6.5 to 6.8 months of inventory at the current rate of sales, he said.

“All indications are we will have a soft landing” as developers slow development of new projects, Soper said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Katia Dmitrieva in Toronto at edmitrieva1@bloomberg.net; Christopher Donville in Vancouver at cjdonville@bloomberg.net

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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