Well, well, the big bet against the Canadian housing market, especially in the Greater Toronto Area, has still failed to take hold. Yet this is the primary reason why U.S. hedge funds have reportedly been adding to their short positions on Canadian bank stocks.
Home sales nationwide hit a five-year high in May, with average resale prices up eight per cent, led by Toronto and Vancouver, which have acted as a huge offset to the retreat in Calgary where sales have predictably fallen 30 per cent from comparable 2014 levels.
Despite being seemingly expensive, and propped up to some extent by foreign buying, there is very likely going to be another leg up in the GTA housing market fuelled by Canadian inter-provincial migration inflows.
This might bring what is already a hot market back into a bubble by the time the cycle is over, which is likely still a few years away (the Bank of Canada is hardly likely to be raising rates anytime soon, no matter what the U.S. Federal Reserve does).
I am merely taking a page out of the 1985/86 playbook when oil prices collapsed and sent the Alberta economy into a tailspin that lasted at least a year before an initially tepid recovery.
In 1986, which was the major point of economic stress for Alberta, real GDP contracted 2.3 per cent, a huge negative swing from the eight-per-cent expansion of 1985.