It was a blockbuster year for the Vancouver housing market. Annual sales finished the year at just over 44,000, an all time record high. The previous high of 42,000 was set in 2015 during the last housing boom that was sparked by an inflow of offshore cash. This time around, the story is much different. Offshore investment is a fraction of what it used to be, instead it has been sparked by rolling lockdowns, and helicopter money. People are wanting more space, and bigger houses. These purchases have been financed through ultra low mortgage rates, enabled through fiscal and monetary policy. Canada is running wartime fiscal and monetary policy. There are no guns this time, but there is a virus, and so there is seemingly no limit on how much money we should throw at this. We just found out the federal government is forecasting a budget deficit of $144B this year. For context, in 2009, following the financial crisis, the deficit that year was less than $35B. Obviously the excesses are showing up in asset prices.
Steve is a regular speaker at industry events, hosts an online video series ‘The Saretsky Show’, and authors the popular “Saretsky Report” which is read by over 7000 subscribers.
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