Why is real estate being devalued?
The real estate market is not doing well, according to the chief economist at Bank of Montreal.
The report on Friday said the global real estate sector is in a “transition” that is likely to be more painful than that seen in recent years, when it was growing rapidly and was a safe haven for investors.
“The slowdown in the global economy, the decline in the value of currencies, the ongoing slowdown in global trade and the slowdown in domestic demand have all contributed to a slowdown in international real estate investment,” wrote John Yarbrough, president and CEO of the Bank of Canada.
“However, the pace of change is likely more pronounced than at any time in recent history.”
Yarbough’s report is the first official assessment of the sector since the global economic crisis and the subsequent economic downturn.
It found that real estate is at risk of becoming a “perpetual” asset, as investors keep buying it despite a lack of demand.
In the past, many buyers in the world’s second-largest economy have been lured by the promise of higher prices and better jobs, but the global recession has hurt demand for these types of assets.
The economy has contracted by more than 10 per cent since the end of March, while the average price of a single-family house in Canada has declined by more that 30 per cent.
The slowdown in growth in China, Europe and the United States has also put pressure on global realtors.
The bank said the decline is “largely driven by the weak economic recovery and the weakness in housing supply” in those countries.
“Global demand is strong,” Yarboug said.
“It is a combination of high commodity prices and strong demand in other countries that is helping to sustain demand.”
Canada is currently the biggest buyer of real estate in the OECD, but prices have been falling for years.
The Canadian Real Estate Association said it expects the sector to decline by around 40 per cent this year.
Yarbugh noted that the Canadian real estate industry has also suffered from “frequent and severe” price declines, and the trend is likely in the pipeline.
The realtor industry has seen an “unprecedented” slowdown in recent months.
Yarrgheur, who also oversees Canada’s real estate agency, told reporters that while the overall market is performing well, there are some areas where it is not performing as well as it could.
“There is a lot of uncertainty in the market,” he said.
The Bank of Japan’s Yarbaugh said the economy has “substantial room” for further improvement, but he expects it to take some time for those changes to translate into significant economic growth.
He said the slowdown will have a “negative impact” on the real estate recovery in Canada.
The central bank has been urging its central bankers to cut interest rates, and Yarbaug has also called for a review of the country’s real-estate investment policies.
The Reserve Bank of Australia, which manages the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy, has been holding its policy rate at 0.5 per cent for the past four years.
However, it is expected to cut rates again in the second half of this year, which could mean a lower rate cut in 2019, when the global economies are expected to grow by about 6 per cent, which is the same pace of growth that Canada is seeing.
Yarbough’s assessment comes just days after the government unveiled the national economic growth outlook.
The plan, released Thursday, forecasts an economic expansion of 2.4 per cent next year, up from the 1.8 per cent expected last year.
The government also says that in 2018, the number of jobs will be the largest since 1997, and that the economy will grow by 2.2 per cent in 2019.
Canada’s economy will continue to grow, but at a slower pace, according the report.