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This Week’s Top Stories: CIBC Kills Foreign Income Mortgage Program, and The CMHC Says Toronto and Vancouver Real Estate Is Showing “Excessive Exuberance”

This Week’s Top Stories - CIBC Kills Foreign Income Mortgage Program, and The CMHC Says Toronto and Vancouver Real Estate Is Showing “Excessive Exuberance”

Time for your cheat sheet on this week’s most important real estate stories.

Canadian Real Estate

CIBC Kills Foreign Income Program, Makes Buying Canadian Real Estate Harder

CIBC is discontinuing its Foreign Income Program, a program designed to help those with foreign income obtain an uninsured mortgage. The program is being replaced with new, more strict income verification guidelines. The new guidelines require the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to be notified of foreign assets. It doesn’t sound like a huge deal, but increasingly people have been buying homes in the wealthiest neighbourhoods, and declaring poverty levels of income. Since poverty levels of income can’t typically afford a mansion, it’s assumed many have been using foreign earned income, without notifying Canadian tax authorities.

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Canadian Real Estate Sales See Largest Drop Since 2008, Here’s Why

Canadian real estate sales fell off of a cliff last month. The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) reported 39,609 sales in January, when seasonally adjusted. This represents a decline of of 6,367 sales, about 13.84%, from December. This was the largest decline for national sales numbers since the Great Recession.

CREA’s president blamed it on “uncertainty and confusion” around the new OSFI B-20 Guidelines. We disagree. Bank of Canada statistics show that 12.37% of last year’s mortgages would not have passed the new uninsured stress test. Really, it sounds like that number is perfectly in line with the BoC’s math skills. Not sure what the uncertainty and confusion would be.

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Toronto And Vancouver Real Estate Showing “Excessive Exuberance” Shows CMHC Indicator

A lot of great stuff came from Canada Mortgage And Housing Corporation (CMHC) last week, but the speculator index was the most interesting. Using a system similar to the US Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the indicator maps prices that are moving “too quickly.” Periods of rapid price gains are typically periods of “excessive exuberance.” These periods are usually accompanied by price gains beyond fundamentals, and buyers ignoring any risk potential.

The indicators show Toronto and Vancouver real estate markets are showing “excessive exuberance.” If you’re a regular reader, you probably already knew that. However, it’s nice to know the government’s finest are on the same page.

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Toronto Real Estate

CMHC: More Than Half Of Toronto Real Estate Price Increases Unexplained

Over half of Toronto real estate price gains can’t be explained. From 2010 to 2016, prices increased 40.19% when inflation adjusted. Over 59% of the increases were “unexplained.” This means they are not a result of fundamental demands, and are likely buyers demonstrating over exuberance. Note that these numbers ended in 2016, before Toronto saw prices get really out of control.

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Toronto Detached Real Estate Prices Fall Below Inflation, Inventory Jumps Over 195%

Toronto real estate started last year with a huge bang, and… is definitely not repeating that. The benchmark price for a detached home reached $907,100, a 0.25% increase compared to the year before. While that’s better than negative, it’s not far off. Detached prices are now performing under inflation.

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Vancouver Real Estate

CMHC: A Quarter Of Vancouver Real Estate Price Increases Can’t Be Explained

The CMHC broke down Vancouver real estate prices, to see what factors were behind the huge surge. From 2010 to 2016, prices increased an inflation-adjusted 47.88%. The majority of the prices increase were justified, but 25.19% of that increase was “unexplained.” Unexplained factors are more often known as “demand side” factors, such as overpaying or laying down a premium in a low inventory market.

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  • Investor 10 months ago

    Builders, unscrupulous realtors, delinquent buyers, banks, governments and speculators have all helped build this time bomb, either through their actions or inactions. Now, we’re all going to pay for it if the time bomb detonates.

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