China’s top envoy in British Columbia slammed the Canadian province’s new 15% tax on foreign home buyers, questioning the justification behind the hastily imposed measure. "Why a 15 percent tax? Why now? Why this rate? What’s the purpose? Will it work?" Liu Fei, China’s infuriated consul general in Vancouver.
Following yesterday's 7 standard deviation beat in New Home Sales, Existing Home Sales for July missed expectations by 2 standard deviations dropping 1.64% YoY - the first annual decline since Nov 2015. The blame for this collapse - according to NAR's Larry Yun - is "frustratingly low inventory levels."
Given central banks are all in and have no credible ideas (or credibility period), a NIRP driven speculative new housing bubble (for a population that is barely growing...hello China?) seems most likely. If you haven't already, get busy front running the next moral hazard moonshot and then stay tuned. Because as you read this, central bankers are already devising their next (even more destructive) "plan".
Recently,an economist from DnB (Norway’s largest bank) stated that Norway is not in a housing bubble although conditions resemble one and prices can still fall. The article states that a socialist country with lots of benefits can handle higher debt levels than a capitalist one. It fails to acknowledge the impact of the eroding oil foundation on the long term economy.
Just as the Vancouver housing bubble has burst, the "smart money", which rode the bubble all the way up, has duly noticed, and wants out. Immediately. As Bloomberg reports, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is quietly seeking buyers for a minority stake in its C$4 billion real-estate portfolio in Vancouver, including office towers and shopping malls.
While the French economy is struggling under the weight of both a collapse in tourism as a result of a recent surge in terrorist attacks, and the destructive influence of a socialist government, Nice Matin on Friday reported that the former home of Belgium King Leopold II can be yours (assuming you are a multi-billionare, of course) for "one billion euros."
The City of Vancouver currently has an average home price of $1.1 million, down 20.7% over the last 28 days and down 24.5% over the last three months. The average detached home is $2.6 million, down 7% compared to three months ago. There were only three home sales in West Vancouver between Aug. 1 and 14 this year, compared to 52 during the same period last year. That’s a decrease of 94%.
Over the last 16 years, it has become routine for “experts” and pundits to miss MAJOR issues by ignoring data points that don’t confirm their own views, only to later proclaim, “no one saw this coming” when a crisis erupts.
The person willing to pay top dollar is called the "marginal buyer". Most of us don't really think about him much, but he (or she) is very, very important. Why? Because the marginal buyer not only determines price levels, but also their stability and degree of volatility. The behavior of the marginal buyer, as well as the degree of competition for his/her "top dog" spot, sets the prices of nearly every asset class held by today's investors.