Is Vancouver real estate overvalued? Reports disagree

CMHC Housing Market Assessment

Plus, Alberta oil and gas delegates head to Vancouver and federal tax incentives for food donation


Pop potential
We hate to burst your bubble, Sydney, but Vancouver’s real estate is nearly as overvalued as yours, putting both of us right behind London and Hong Kong in the UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index. The report says that “cities at or near the bubble risk zone face a higher risk of a large price correction. A change in macroeconomic momentum, a shift in investment sentiment or a major supply increase could trigger a decline in house prices.”

But a major supply increase is not in the offing for Vancouver, according to this report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The Housing Market Assessments MA points to strong overall evidence of problematic conditions in Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Regina, but not in Vancouver. And CHMC does not expect “overheating, acceleration in house prices and overbuilding in this market,” especially compared to the condomania in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.

Pipelines for patriots
Calling all Canadians: When a group of Alberta energy delegates meet with B.C. businessmen next week, one item tops the  agenda: “Canadians have to get comfortable with these infrastructure (pipeline) projects, which are good for the entire country,” says Terry O’Flynn, in this post to the Alberta Enterprise Group. The group’s president, Josh Bilyk, says that’s the challenge, but there is opportunity with the province’s “golden child” LNG, and the trip will serve to remind the local business community that resource development–all resource development, from heavy oil to LNG to potash to lumber–is important. The group plans to meet with First Nations leaders, learn how Site C might benefit from Alberta’s project expertise and how Asia’s economy affects us all.

Give it away
Zero waste will be the watchword for successful 21st century businesses, say global experts who met yesterday at a conference hosted by Metro Vancouver. Among the topics: food waste. The cities of North Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond and the Township of Langley are considering a resolution that calls for a federal tax incentive to help prevent food waste. Nearly 40 per cent of the food we produce in Canada is lost to landfills, costing Canada $31 billion in lost revenue, adding organic waste greenhouse gases (now at half that of the oil and gas industry) and preventing edible food from getting to those in need. “This is a timely measure,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “Our proposal would help further address the problem of organic waste, save municipalities money and provide a range of economic, environmental and social benefits.”