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Canadian Real Estate Is Becoming More Bubbly According To The US Federal Reserve – Better Dwelling

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The world’s largest central bank is seeing the warning signals for Canadian real estate get brighter. US Federal Reserve (US Fed) updated their exuberance indicators for Q2 2020. Their measures for Canada show recent acceleration over the past two quarters. There was a brief period in the data where it appears Canada almost came back to reality. In the first quarter of this year though, buyer’s became more exuberant. 

Exuberance Is Not A Fundamental

First, let’s quickly run through the concept of exuberance. Exuberance is the state of being excited. When used in economics, it means emotion and excitement is the driving mechanism. If a buyer is said to exuberant, they are buying not based on any fundamental reason – but rather their emotional reasoning. In other words, they’re paying more based strictly on the fact they think they should be paying more. Not because any fundamental basis is driving the valuation higher. 

Exuberance doesn’t mean markets can’t or won’t go higher. Markets driven by an emotional state are more vulnerable to correction though. If buyers aren’t using fundamentals, then a sudden change in emotion means they need to discover the actual price floor. That’s sometimes a ways down.  

Canadian Real Estate Becomes More Exuberant

Canada is seeing exuberance accelerate over the past few quarters. The indicator reached 1.89 in Q2 2020, up from 1.56 during the same quarter last year. The market has seen two consecutive quarters of acceleration. 

Canadian Real Estate Buyer Exuberance

An index of exuberance Canadian real estate buyers are demonstrating, in relation to pricing fundamentals.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Better Dwelling.

Canadian real estate has been consistently in this level for years, but not as many as some people want you to think. It first breached the critical threshold in Q1 2015, and hasn’t fallen below that level since. There’s been a few periods where it almost has, which have been followed by policy moves to prop up the market. Technically the market has only been exuberant for half a decade. Although that may feel like forever, it’s not really that long. 

The Federal Reserve warns this indicator doesn’t tell us when we’ll see a correction, just the likelihood of one. After 5 quarters above the critical threshold, the Reserve believes markets will require a correction. The longer this trend persists, the further detached the market is from fundamentals. This means a larger correction will be required, whether in terms of falling prices or inflation that kills the real value. 

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Real Estate Can Be Your Solution in 2021 – Entrepreneur

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November
26, 2020

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their owns.

 

As we enter the homestretch of perhaps the most turbulent year of our lifetimes, it’s hard not to ask the major questions: How did we get here? How can we fix it? And what does the future hold?

In March, virtually the entire US shut down as the world grappled with the Covid-19 pandemic. Companies around the country were forced to close their offices, quickly implementing work-from-home policies for non-essential workers; and many of those policies remain in effect for the foreseeable future, as organizations continue to prioritize their workers’ health and safety. The closing of offices and need for social distancing simultaneously caused a mass exodus from major US cities like , and , with suburban markets experiencing a boom as a result. And systemic — highlighted in recorded acts of police brutality, violence and injustice — spurred widespread, national protests and ignited a sense of responsibility for many Americans.

So what does have to do with this, you might ask?  and Urban Land Institute recently published a new report, “Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2021,” which highlights the ways the pandemic will change how property is bought, sold and used. Perhaps one of the most interesting takeaways from the report is “Housing as a solution — for people, for communities, and for societal repair” — and the way real estate will emerge as one of the coming decade’s forefront business opportunities.

In this article, we examine some the report’s findings, including the opportunities for housing and real estate to emerge as a solution for afflicted individuals, communities and at large.

Related: Here Are Real Estate’s Winners and Losers In the New Normal

Real estate as a solution for individuals

When examining recent trends from an individual perspective — for buyers and sellers of single-family properties — Covid-19 has impacted everything. According to the PwC and Urban Land Institute report, “listings during the first half of 2020 declined,” with many homeowners fearful of inviting contagious disease through their doors during showings and open houses. But the second half of 2020 has seen a boom in both listings and sales, particularly in suburban areas. The report goes on to suggest that the months spent adjusting to social distancing, working from home and sheltering in place, “emerged as one of COVID-19’s wild-card forces, tripping thoughts to motivations, tripping interest to pursuit, and tripping new-home purchases into a higher gear.”

Individuals and families are shifting into planning mode. Looking ahead, they are thinking about their living space in terms of both personal and professional comfort, as well as safety. This shift in focus has undoubtedly impacted the homebuilding and construction sectors, which despite logistical challenges due to the pandemic, experienced booms in the warmer months as families and individuals continued to seek home upgrades ahead of the colder months.

Technologies like Punch List, which enables seamless, contact-free communication, progress tracking, project approval and payment via a mobile app, have made the process easier and safer for both contractors and homeowners. If anything, the pandemic has cemented the importance of “home” for many Americans, as home has become not just where we sleep and eat, but also where we work, where our children learn and where our in-laws and even adult children can stay safe. At Punch List, we’ve witnessed a continued increase in bathroom and kitchen renovation projects, as well as upgrades to indoor/outdoor space, in-law suites and home-offices. Homeowners and contractors are doing what they can to prepare for the uncertainty of this winter with home purchases and upgrades that will help keep everyone safe.

Related: 3 Reasons to Invest in Real Estate Right Now

Real estate as a solution for communities

For larger developments, living communities, and multifamily enterprises, the need for social distancing has caused a massive shift in focus and outlook. Amenities like community pools, fitness centers, theaters, and game rooms were a top selling point for these developments — until recently, when the health and safety of residents became top priority. Then there is the pandemic’s economic effect on vulnerable populations, who can’t afford to contribute a large percentage of their income toward rent.

As the pandemic has decreased the popularity of community living, many developers and investors have temporarily hit pause on large development projects, both in major cities and suburban markets.

But pausing is not the answer. As an industry, real estate needs to better address the needs of working-class families and individuals with secure, affordable communities — focusing less on amenities and more on health and safety.

As the PwC and Urban Land Institute report indicates, “The pandemic’s lens could favorably alter the conversation. For instance, in light of the likely need for a New Deal–style work, training, and economic vitalization megaprogram, might housing — especially multifamily rental communities for working-class families and individuals — qualify as infrastructure?” It’s certainly a solution worth considering.

Related: 3 Factors Driving Real Estate Investment in 2020

Real estate as a solution for society

As I pointed out earlier, 2020 has been trying — both due to the pandemic, and the police brutality and violence that highlighted our society’s ingrained systemic racism. It is our responsibility as a society to do better. According to the 2021 Emerging Trends survey, only 25 percent of respondents agreed with the statement, “I believe that the real estate industry understands how past policies and practices may have contributed to systemic racism.” We need to educate ourselves and take an objective look at how the real estate industry, lenders and the government share responsibility for historic redlining and segregation across the .

Per the report, “Many interviewees suggested that the real estate industry could be more proactive in creating and supporting neighborhoods that are racially and socioeconomically integrated, and reversing the impact of de jure segregation, as well as investing more in areas that have been overlooked and that have suffered from perpetual and deliberate disinvestment. Institutional investors are increasing commitments to ‘impact investing,’ and real estate investments that address racial inequality are a key target.”

Let’s challenge ourselves to be more proactive in addressing the wellbeing of our society — and in promoting racial equality within the real estate industry, starting with housing. We can and should be part of the solution.

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Toronto Real Estate Issue of the Year: 2020 – Toronto Storeys

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In early December, Toronto Storeys will launching our highly anticipated selection for Toronto Real Estate Issue of the Year: 2020.

While it’s not quite ready to be unveiled yet, why not revisit last year’s choice in the meantime: The Rise Of Mississauga written by Christopher Hume.

And don’t forget to keep checking back in to find the 2020 announcement.

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Calgary’s Latest Economic News: Are You Ready to Shake Things Up?

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Calgary's Latest Economic

The drop in global oil demand and subsequent economic shakeout continue to shake up Alberta’s real estate economy. With home prices down, Calgary along with the rest of the province is turning into a renter’s market. Even in the luxury residential market, Calgary home rental rates are 20% below the levels of one year ago. In Calgary where dependence on the oil market is a powerful economic force, this latest downturn has left office spaces and homes vacant, and leasing agents struggling to appeal to tenants. While those at the lowest income levels may still not find affordable housing, the new economic shift has provided an opportunity for those with moderate amounts of money to spend on rent. Landlords have lowered rents and are offering extra incentives to encourage new residents to sign affordable housing leases.

 

In business news, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business indicates that its members’ confidence is at the lowest level since March of 2009, with a Business Barometer index of 52.3. British Columbia small businesses are more optimistic, registering an increase in the index to 62.5. In contrast, Alberta business owners’ confidence is at a low 26.5. The March 2016 report indicates that the biggest challenge facing Alberta businesses is a lack of domestic demand. This comes as little surprise. The Alberta government points out that a drop in oil prices has triggered every downturn in Alberta since 1980.

 

Opportunity is Knocking

 

But all is not doom. The combination of an excess supply of office space and luxury homes in Calgary is an open opportunity for investors and growing businesses alike. With lowered rates and ample space, new businesses should take advantage of this downturn to settle in for the long term. The availability of affordable housing means that growing companies can expect a steady supply of employees to fuel their expansion. The latest economic reports indicate that Canada’s economy has started to rebound with double the expected growth for January. Economists had originally predicted just 0.3% growth after a mere 0.2% showing in December of 2015. Based on the new 0.6% figure, the Bank of Canada is predicting economic growth for the year at 1.4%.

 

As Canada rebounds, Alberta can expect to rebound as well. A shift in businesses and workers to the region will result in the increased consumer demand that businesses need to experience greater levels of optimism soon. Calgary is already buzzing with public and private sector projects. The low Canadian dollar has boosted demand for exports, encouraging Canadian manufacturers to invest in production capacity. In a recent interview, Finance Minister Bill Mourner said that he believes “we’re starting to see the green shoots” from those investments.

 

Timing is everything

 

With its rich resources and strong infrastructure, it is only a matter of when not if, Calgary real estate will recover from this latest economic dip. There can be no doubt that, whether investing in commercial or residential properties, the opportunity to buy low and sell high is here now. During this time of transition, our team has the skills and experience to assist you in finding the best location for your staff or managing your residential assets. With our knowledge and expertise, you will be well-positioned to join Calgary’s coming economic rise.

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