I referred in December to the “year coasting to a quiet close” and boy was it quiet! This month’s Update (the first edition of 2013) addresses a comparison of the calendar year results for 2012 vs. 2011, always a fun one to pull together as it takes the actual stats of two full years and, in a way, puts the old year to bed.
I’ll get to these momentarily; firstly a comment on my headline and its possible “dark side”. As a subscriber to MacLean’s magazine I get an advance copy thereof (digital download). Behold the first issue of 2013 (this is the Jan 14th edition, loaded into my iPad on Jan 4th). I guess ‘publication date’ is a flexible concept 😉 ! I urge all “balance minded” folk to read it and make their own judgement accordingly. Here we go – the front page article (accompanying a picture representing an alternative concept of ‘prices going through the roof’) sports the headline “Inside the Great Real Estate Crash of 2013”. The article on page 44 shows a lurid photograph of flames surrounding a high-rise building and in block capitals the legend CRASH AND BURN. In an arena where opinion is fairly evenly spread between the “we’re doomed” believers and the “logically it is a correction” brigade, the only ‘economists’ quoted are those who would likely appreciate Mr. Sorensen’s rhetoric and the graphics used. Yes, I do understand the journalistically provocative style adopted by this publication (commencing about 4/5 years ago) and I’m cognizant of the concept of the “debate” which needs to open with a “speaking for the motion” piece.
Not wanting to question every comment raised, I will address one statement made. It refers to the three months of ‘falling housing starts’ as a bad thing and an indicator of impending Real Estate Armageddon (my hyperbole – I apologize) . Why could that not be seen as a likely indication that builders and developers are making an intelligent business decision? A logical response to the signs in the market. I do believe that this journalistic piece will be seen as a ‘poke’ to make the Canadian homeowner and those currently renting question all the pros and cons of being in or being out.