Blogs & Comment

When will housing Armageddon arrive?

Bleating of housing's perma-bears could lead to self-fulfilling prophecy.

Canadian house prices were up on a month-to-month basis in April (0.8%) and March (0.5%), according to the Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index released today (May 30). On a 12-month basis, the composite index was 5.9% higher in April.

For years we’ve listened to housing perma-bears Garth Turner and Ben Rabidoux warn of a collapse in housing prices. But those stubborn price indexes just aren’t co-operating. When is Armageddon ever going to descend?

Actually, I do have a fear of Armageddon. Namely based on the risk that the thicket of gloomy blog posts/tweets eventually whip up homeowner anxieties enough to precipitate waves of selling in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Moreover, the risk of such an outcome could be climbing with the mainstream media picking up on the theme (in a rather uncritical way considering the subtleties of economic cycles and statistics missed by the perma-bears—as noted in my previous post, “House prices: 9 reasons not to panic“).

As a homeowner, I admit not only to a vested interest, but also to wishing the perma-bears would just go back, frankly, to their lairs for a really long nap. Their proclamations substantially risk devaluating a major asset of mine. Furthermore, if Canadian housing were to crash similar to what occurred in the U.S., there will be a rather traumatic impact on the Canadian economy and all our living standards.