Canada, New Zealand tops list of countries most vulnerable to housing bubble
A sold sign is shown in front of west-end Toronto homes Sunday, April 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Housing prices in Canada are not sustainable, and rising much faster relative to how much people are earning or paying for rent, according to research from Bloomberg Economics released earlier this month.
The results puts Canada, alongside New Zealand, at the top of the list of countries most at risk of a housing bubble, according to the study.
Canada was also the only country to rank near the top in all four bubble indicator categories: House price-rent ratio, house price-income ratio, real house prices, and credit to households as a percentage of the GDP.
Visual Capitalist, which put the data into graphic form, said the fallout from a bubble can “throw a region’s entire economy into disarray.”
Canada ranked third, behind Portugal and Ireland, for housing prices that outpaced inflation, and fifth, in terms of household debt levels compared to the country’s economic output.
Federal and provincial governments have already implemented a number of measures in recent years to help cool some of Canada’s hottest markets, including a stress test and a foreign buyer’s tax.
But renting, for example, remains difficult for minimum-wage workers in Canada, according to a separate study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative. That study said soaring rent is making 97 per cent of Canadian neighbourhoods unaffordable for workers earning a full-time minimum wage.
Meanwhile, markets like Toronto saw home sales and prices picking up again this month.
Bloomberg economist Niraj Shah cautioned that efforts to avoid a global economic downturn through looser monetary policy could “sow the seeds of the next (housing) crisis.”
With files from BNNBloomberg