As the final weekend of summer approaches, there are indications of stark differences in opinions shaping forecasts for the months ahead. This is true in U.S. politics, where both Democrats and Republicans are ramping up their campaigns in a very tight race toward the homestretch of November’s presidential election. It’s also true in terms of divergent views about the housing markets on either side of the border. Or how about the partisan views on who will or won’t be in contention for the Super Bowl many Sundays from now – or, Grey Cup – if you’re Canadian, eh? Do we agree the World Series and Yankees are quite predictable? Will the NHL owners and players reach agreement before the September 15th ‘deadline’ or not? It’s reassuring to know that at least we can all agree on anticipating buoyant lumber markets into fall… or not?
Here real estate has inflated, not deflated. Since wages and salaries have flatlined, debt’s exploded. We save less, while Americans are saving the most in a decade. We’ve leveraged. They’ve deleveraged. We’re far more vulnerable to rising rates, have less disposable income and think we’re immune. But the average family in Vancouver, Calgary or Toronto cannot afford the average home, without spending between 52% and 92% of gross income. Anywhere in the States, that would bring belly laughs.
– Garth Turner, 8-30-12