Canadian Real Estate Peaks With China

Real estate prices soared in Shenzhen in June. The market in Richmond, BC was strong too.

Record-setting June for Richmond real estate
June was a hot one, both in terms of temperatures and the pace of real estate transactions.

According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, last month was the hottest selling June on record, and it was the second-highest month overall.

"Demand in our detached home market continues to drive activity across Metro Vancouver," said board president Darcy McLeod. "There were more detached home sales in the region last month than we've seen during the month of June in more than 10 years."

Richmond's real estate market was sizzling too.

238 detached homes exchanged hands at a median price of $1.229 million, a rise of more than 43 per cent compared to the number of homes sold in the same month in 2014, with the median price up nearly 20 per cent in that same span.

Townhouse sales were up only marginally, rising 3.5 per cent, with the median selling price jumping 5.7 per cent to $568,500.

Condo sales rose sharply, up 34.8 per cent, though the median selling price dropped 8.7 per cent to $339,900.
Chinese stock market winnings. July may be cooler.

Ghost houses are not rare in western Canada:
Vancouver looks to gather data on vacant homes
Vancouver plans to create a database of empty houses and condos to determine how much vacant properties contribute to the city’s affordability crisis.

Two of the major questions the city hopes to answer with this research are how much of an influence investors are having and whether housing is being treated as a commodity instead of as a place to live.
Richmond considering creation of database logging empty homes
A Richmond councillor wants her city to look to Vancouver for help on making homes more affordable.

Carol Day explains Richmond is considering creating it’s own database on empty homes.

She says she doesn’t want to see any more of what she refers to as ghost houses, that being empty homes and apartments, because she believes they’re damaging to neighbourhoods.

“If you’re living in an area where you’ve got three or four or five houses that are sitting empty, it’s very unnerving it’s almost like being in an Alfred Hitchcock movie, it feels uncomfortable.”
Usually the social trends signal a top in the market. Now that Vancouver residents are organized and within striking distance of achieving political gains, the housing market is ready to turn.
What Vancouverites Don't Know Is Hurting Our Housing Hopes
Absent factual information, the subject is open to uninformed speculation -- much of it turning bitter as pundits accuse each other of racism, xenophobia, class resentment, and being in developers' pockets.

Xia has a point: it's hard to figure out what could be done about Vancouver's dark money problem when its sources, size and activities are all unknowns. It's also an old trope in society that the fear of such unknown threats often leads to unjustified scapegoating -- typically of people perceived as outsiders.

While some call Xia's Twitter-based movement naive or misguided in its aims, and others question whether home owning should even be a realistic expectation for her generation, the fact that her rallies have drawn hundreds indicates growing public impatience with the lack of apparent response to an issue that is intensely personal for many.
Here's a great headline: Canada’s housing market 20% overvalued and set for soft landing, Fitch says

Reality: housing is way overvalued and you cannot ignore currency effects. A 10% to 20% drop in the Canadian dollar would double the losses for foreign investors in the smooth landing scenario.

Bottom line:
No peak yet in Canadian home prices, but a China-related top may be coming by autumn.

Added: How Canada’s economy went from boom to recession so fast
Now, the debate is how long and deep Canada’s downturn could be. And yet, with an election on the horizon, Ottawa seems in denial. Earlier this month, federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver told reporters the economy “was not in a recession,” while Prime Minister Stephen Harper later blamed any slowdown on overseas events beyond Canada’s control, declining to elaborate on just how Canada allowed itself to become so exposed in the first place. The hope continues to be, as it has since commodity prices began to tumble, that the U.S. economy will fuel our rebound—except that, so far, that’s not happened either. For deep structural reasons, Canadian manufacturing has been slow to recover, despite a weakening loonie making our exports, at least in theory, more attractive. To top it all off, last week the International Monetary Fund cut America’s growth forecast for 2015, while also slashing its outlook for Canada.

In just a few short years, Canada went from being one of the developed world’s most resilient economies to among the most vulnerable. And, unfortunately for heavily indebted Canadians, there are plenty of storms gathering in faraway places that threaten to push us under.

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