Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Are people becoming more cautious?

At least slightly, as per this news item.
May be the genuine home buyers are becoming more cautious because they really want a home. To live in. To raise a family.
The speculators on the other hand don't really care for fundamentals. It's pretty much a momentum play for them. If they buy a 30 year old townhouse after fierce bidding for $300 k, it doesn't really matter. All they want to do is flip it for $350 k or $400k in a few months. And they don't care much for the risk because they teamed up with a few other fellow flippers to mitigate their risk.
I've heard several stories where enterprising 'landlords' (some of who were not even born in 1980) team up with people of similar profile and start bidding wars.
The prices we currently have in Edmonton and Calgary are almost becoming highest in Canada. But on what basis? Especially in Edmonton.
What does this city really have? A few years ago when it was termed as 'Deadmonton' by a British reporter, a lot of denizens became angry. But they just couldn't really offer anything other than 'big sized trucks' and 'world's largest mall' in terms of refuting the 'Deadmonton' claim.
Edmonton is a good city to raise family. But it has very few job opportunities that can support the current housing prices. How many people can really afford a starter $400k home here? It doesn't even have the head office/corporate jobs that Calgary has. There are thousands of low end McJobs, but with those jobs you can barely afford to pay the rent.
The absurdity has to give in. When will it happen is the gazillion dollar question.
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