Sunday, April 27, 2008

Is housing influenza infecting Calgary?

No, no and No, as per this Calgary Herald article. Of course, MSM is losing its relevance with every passing day and such senseless rehashing of REIC perspective will only hasten their demise.

“I don't see a lot of price decline on a year-over-year basis in Calgary. I think we're still a pretty healthy economy and still a pretty healthy housing market," says Legge.

By which metric, one has to wonder. Median prices. Down. Average Prices. Down. Median price for condos, down? Pick any metric and it is down YOY.
Can they actually find a property that has increased in value since last summer?
All I see is a glut of inventory and a lot of reductions in prices.

Someone has to tell them that it wasn't the healthy economy that drove prices to stratosphere. It was the worldwide credit bubble abetted by the local tales of 'we are different here' that drove prices this high.

The other perma bulls are still throwing their wild predictions:
“And in the long-term, real estate here looks great, says Campbell, adding year-over-year average house price gains in Calgary should be in the 11 per cent range this year.”

Obviously, in the days of easy credit, liar loans and speculation driven mania all such predictions hold true. But when it costs 2 to 4 times the rent to buy, the average income can’t afford the average house, there’s a gluttony of inventory and houses are still being built like it's 2005 and credit markets are tightening worldwide, it's an act of desperation to make such statements.

Why do all real estate stories have the happy ending of perpetual 5 to 10 per cent annual increases? Are such increases a divine revelation? Why is there such a belief in this? Such patterns have been repeated at numerous other places in a lot of different eras. Especially, when they all believed that their city or locale was different.

On a different note, It’s been quite a while since I wrote the last post. I’ve been busy with numerous usual things, but I’ve been impacted by a few serious illnesses in my close circle of friends and family. That distracted me quite a bit from the real estate stuff and made me prioritize a few things. Yes, real estate is important, money is important, too much debt is bad, 40 year mortgages are bad; but poor health is worse than all these. Warm weather will hopefully come sometime this year, so when it does arrive, do take the time to go out and enjoy some outdoor activities that you like. Quality time with family and good health are two things that should be at the top of our priorities, certainly way higher than blogging, for both bulls and bears.

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