The Bank of Canada recently released its December "Financial System Review". It highlights some concerns about Canadian household finances and housing prices. However, it mostly down plays the housing concerns in typical central banker speak.
"In Canada, the elevated levels of household debt and housing prices require continued vigilance and close co-operation among Canadian authorities."
"Some measures of housing affordability suggest continued imbalances, owing to the robust performance of this market. In particular, house prices remain very high relative to income (Chart 26). Since the adverse impact of elevated residential property prices on affordability has been largely offset by low interest rates, affordability would be considerably curtailed if interest rates were closer to historical norms (Chart 27).
Certain areas of the national housing market may be more vulnerable to price declines, particularly the multiple-unit segment of the market, which is showing signs of disequilibrium: the supply of completed but unoccupied condominiums is elevated, which suggests a heightened risk of a correction in this market."Gee, where does that 3rd paragraph sound familiar (see around the 1:20 mark in the below video, although the whole thing is classic.). Obviously, in the US, it was more then the condo market and it will be in Canada too. Although, Vancouver will be Canada's version of Miami.
Then of course we have China. What more can be said about China's pending disaster. We had all seen the videos of China ghost cities and malls. Of course the deniers are still in full force claiming that China's centrally planned economic structure has everything under control.......until reality becomes undeniable. The question is not whether it will burst, but how long the Chinese government can prop it up. Some of the ghost cities are already being hit such as China's city of Ordos which is discussed below. More pictures of China's out of control building can be seen here.
And as Reuters recently reported:
"After a housing bubble that doubled values in 35 cities between 2004 and 2009, prices are now falling nationwide. The central bank said on Friday property prices had reached a turning point while banks are worried a price slide of 20 percent could trigger panic selling."
"But prices in Ordos have already fallen below the level that analysts say would cause serious problems if mirrored nationally.
Prices have plummeted 20-30 percent in certain property developments in Beijing and Shanghai.
Nationwide, the decline is so far more modest. Home prices fell slightly in October from September for the first time this year, official data showed, but private surveys indicated prices began falling in September and continued through November.
With local governments often dependent on land sales to fund payments on a staggering 10.7 trillion yuan (1.1 trillion pounds) of debt, Beijing worries that a collapsing property market will trigger a wave of defaults that in turn will hit the banks."
"In Ordos, the government announced a bailout fund of between 7.5 billion and 10 billion yuan to support its beleaguered developers.
Still, that may not be enough. A commercial real estate agent, who only gave his surname Li, said that despite the government actions he was planning to return to his native Guangdong Province after six unsuccessful months in Kangbashi.
"There isn't much commercial real estate here. You need private businesses for that, and here it's all government money."The shock to natural resource demand from a China real estate bust is what will really bring the Australian and Canadian markets back to reality quickly. After all, its CaCA, a big interconnected mess!