There’s a good chance Vancouver’s hot housing market has hit its peak, following a similar pattern to that of crashes in oil, gold prices and the dot-com bubble, according to LePoidevin Group’s senior vice-president and portfolio manager.
David LePoidevin told BNN that Vancouver’s runaway housing prices echo the last, big “bubbly” moves seen before other price crashes.
“The last move in any market that gets bubbly is the biggest,” he said. “Look at oil going to $147 in the last few years before it crashed … at the Nasdaq, where yours truly started selling short tech shares in January 2000 when the Nasdaq was at 4,000. By April it was at 5,000 – it had gained 25 per cent in four months.”
When prices level off, that’s when danger really begins to set in for investors, LePoidevin said.
He warns that one of the main drivers of Vancouver’s run-up in housing prices – foreign capital flows – could be slowing, as China looks to ramp up efforts to halt capital outflows and Ottawa makes its own assessments.
Last month, Finance Minister Bill Morneau launched a working group of officials from the governments of Canada, Ontario, B.C., Toronto and Vancouver to examine what’s driving the country’s hottest real estate markets and recommend policy changes.
“We’re starting to see something you haven’t seen in a long time when you’re driving around Vancouver: ‘For Sale’ signs,” LePoidevin said. “The market was once so hot, the sold sign would go up before the ‘For Sale’ sign.”
LePoidevin adds that there just may not be more room for home ownership to grow among Canadians.
“Let’s remember that home ownership in Canada is at a record high – and it’s north of 70 per cent,” LePoidevin said.
“You can only get so many people into the housing market. We’re already at record highs of home ownership. I don’t know how many more people can own a house or a condo.”