October 4, 2017

The Red-Hot Market Has Become More Rational

A report from Better Dwelling in Canada. “Toronto real estate is about to be hit with a flood of supply, while prices are in a precarious situation. A metric s**t ton of condos will be up for sale over the next two months. Almost 17,000 condo pre-construction units will go on sale according to condos.ca. The press release said they have ‘never seen this many projects launching in such a short span of time.’ They believe the number of units about to hit the market is because the ‘condo market is killing it.’”

“Left your Realtor to english dictionary at home? That means developers are scrambling to realize gains on high property values. When they all scramble at the same time, you should start wondering what’s the rush? This many developers competing against each other is… strange. Unless they all decided land is reaching peak values for the near term.”

From News and Views from Norway. “New figures released by Norway’s national real estate brokers’ association on Wednesday show prices declining and even diving in some areas. Average prices in Oslo, for example, fell for the fifth month in a row and are now 8.4 percent lower than in April. ‘We have to go back to the finance crisis (in 2008-2009) to find such a major decline in price growth over a 12-month period, and it’s especially strong in Oslo,’ Christian Dreyer, chief executive of the brokers’ association Eiendom Norge, said at a presentation.”

“It all suggests that the boom is over, the red-hot real estate market has cooled off and become more rational. Uncertainty, meanwhile, is higher than it’s been for a long time. Dreyer noted that population growth has declined in Norway following the downturn in the oil industry that once attracted lots of job seekers from abroad. ‘There’s a lot of uncertainty tied to whether the downward trend in population growth that we’ve seen so far in 2017 will continue,’ he said.”

From Mansion Global on the UK. “For those in the market for a large or high-end rental in prime central London, there are more than a few options, according to a report from Rokstone, a London-based real estate agency. One of the reasons there are so many larger and luxury properties on the rental market now is because owners have not been able to sell, according to Rokstone. Owners of flats renting for more than £10,000 per week (US$13,300) are choosing to rent them out rather than let the apartment stay empty.”

“‘Currently around six out of 10 inquiries I am getting from my property developer clients is asking us to provide them with bespoke lettings services for luxury property they are holding on their balance sheets,’ said Becky Fatemi, managing director of Rokstone.”

From Morocco World News. “Vacant housing units in Morocco numbered over 1 million in 2014, said the High Commission for Planning (HCP). A recent report by the HCP drew attention in particular to the ‘great disparity’ in vacant housing between urban and rural areas.Cities are the site of 90.7 percent of vacant housing in the country, compared to only 9.3 percent in the countryside.”

“The rate of vacant housing reached 24.1 percent in Casablanca-Settat region, 15.9 percent in the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region,followed by 12.7 percent in Rabat-Salé-Kénitra, 12 percent in Fez-Meknes, 9.8 percent in Marrakesh-Safi, 8 percent in Souss-Massa, and 7.5 percent in the Oriental region.”

From Egypt Independent. “Census official data revealed that the total number of vacant housing units in Egypt is 12.8 million units, 4.6 million of which are fully constructed, 4.3 million units need to be finished, and 2.8 million units are closed due to the existence of another dwelling for the family. The governorate of Matruh had the highest percentage of vacant apartments with 46.9 percent out of the total Matruh housing units, followed by the Red Sea with 39.3 percent, and South Sinai with 34.1 percent. Cairo governorate had 22.7 percent of its 4.7 million units vacant, and Port Said had 10.4 percent of its housing units vacant.”

From Fairfax Media in New Zealand. “People holding back from listing their properties may be protecting New Zealand from a significant fall in house prices, QV says. Spokesman David Nagel said a drop in value growth had spread from the main centres to almost all urban areas. QV senior consultant James Steele said sales volumes were at very low levels because it was hard for purchasers to get finance. ‘Prices for new dwellings in large subdivisions have eased back, especially where speculation was a large part of the market, and builders have also noted a slowdown of work in these areas.’”

The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia. “Sydneysiders will feel an uncharacteristically cool spring chill from Monday’s news that house prices have begun their descent in September - an outcome that, while widely anticipated, has been a long time coming. The single biggest factor in Sydney’s housing value fall relative to other capital cities appears to be the volume of new stock coming into the market - an increase of 15 per cent over the same period last year.”

“It looks like Sydney sellers have finally called the top of the market and are rushing to get stock onto the market. Additionally Sydney has traditionally had a larger portion of investors in its market - the segment regulators are trying to rein in because they are seen as primarily responsible for pushing values into the stratosphere.”

From Bloomberg on Australia. “The global crown for the longest stretch of uninterrupted economic growth is within sight for Australia. But it’s limping to the line as policy paralysis weighs on the nation’s prospects. The reliance on rapid immigration is straining infrastructure, while mining profits fuel riches for stakeholders but do little for the vast majority of Australians living in major cities. Meantime, wages are barely growing, households carry some of the world’s heaviest debt loads, and productivity gains from the economic reforms of the 1980s and early 1990s have petered out.”

“And home ownership among young Australians is the lowest on record as successive governments have failed to tackle generous tax breaks that have helped turn housing into a speculative financial asset. ‘The inter-generational shift in wealth in Australia is really penalizing the young,’ said Patricia Apps, professor of public economics at the University of Sydney. ‘Providing tax breaks for housing investors and then arguing that the property bubble it generates represents increased wealth makes no sense at all.’”