We’ve long known that Canada, like Sweden and Denmark, is sitting on a giant housing bubble.
Indeed we took a close look at the issue back in March of last year and have revisited in on several occasions since. Put simply, the divergence between crude prices and the country's housing market simply isn't sustainable a you can see from the following chart:
And while the boom is rapidly turning to bust in places like Calgary, things are humming right along in Waterloo, where Napoleon was defeated in 1815. No, wait - wrong Waterloo. This is Waterloo, Ontario, a town of 140,000 that’s being billed as “Canada’s Silicon Valley.”
As Bloomberg reports, “the town revolves around two universities and a burgeoning technology sector that’s attracted companies such as Google Inc. and dozens of startups.” Here's a look inside the Kitchener-Waterloo Google office:
The buzz has created a “land grab” and now, condos are renting for nearly C$2,000 per month while one-bedroom units are selling for more than a quarter of a million dollars.
Vacancy rates are at 13-year lows and Google's country manager for Canada calls the city “lightning in a bottle.”
If that sounds like a bubble to you, you’d be correct but some investors don’t see it that way.
Take Bill Ring for instance, head of operations for a property management company who Bloomberg notes drove two hours to Toronto to attend a rowdy sales pitch for condos in Waterloo put on by a Bay Street trader turned-tech investor, turned-real estate mogul. “Students are coming in and need a place to live, tech companies are opening. It’ll all drive the value up,” he says. "I don’t want to invest in stocks because they’re crazy and real estate is a solid, safe investment."
Yes, Bill wants a "solid, safe investment" that isn't "crazy."
Like Canadian real estate.
Which definitely isn't a bubble.
After all, if the housing market in Canada were overheating, you wouldn't be able to get "bargains" like the listing shown below from Vancouver.
Good luck Bill.