"History, real solemn history, I cannot be interested in.... I read it a little as a duty; but it tells me nothing that does not either vex or weary me. The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars and pestilences in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all - it is very tiresome." Jane Austen spoken by Catherine Morland in 'Northanger Abbey'
"A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny." Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Here we are again at month's end waiting for Canadian real estate data from May to come out.
The chart above shows Canada's current account (the sum of the net balance of trade - exports less imports - and the net income from abroad and net current transfers) from 1946 through 2015. A global commodity inflation erupted after the dot.com turn of the millennium crash which fed financial assets and real estate as well. The crash of 2008 put Canada's current account back into deep red where it still languishes unmoved by ZIRP, NIRP and Rate Normalization chatter.
I wonder if we should invest in socially sustainable production rather than use up our credit on consumption. Just sayin'...
The stimulus for this post was the Globe & Mail May 27th online report that "Ottawa aims to keep lid on details of Saudi arms deal"
I began to inquire into Canada's military industrial complex in 2013 to look for some correlation to the speculative craze that Canadians have relentlessly pursued in real estate. Vice also poked the arms trade story in 2014 "Canada Is Ramping Up its Arms Exporting Trade"
The only correlation I can offer is the insanity of our broken system that refuses to criticize religious beliefs held without evidence of their veracity (both theirs and ours) and the invented primacy of private property rights that allow transnational corporations the legitimacy to wage war via government proxy.
In my March 2013 "Guns or Butter" post, I included charts of then current PMI and GDP along with various quotes from newswires like the Huffington Post that underscored the obvious "...the production and trade of military goods is powerfully influenced by governments".
The point is, a modern Political class is deeply wedded to corporate mercantilism and opportunism and since no one wants the political chore of discussing the question of who benefits from murdering foreigners in their own land, the protocol from the top down, becomes silence (keep a lid on it) or worse moral confusion (it's ok to supply arms to a country that "has a persistent record of serious violation of the human rights of their citizens" even though it also violates Canada's export regulations).
Let voters instead churn about in the blogosphere over the "foreign invasion" into Canadian real estate as diversion to the horror of war with the side benefit of maintaining the fear of the other.
1984 - The Purpose of War
Addendum - June 2, 2015
We're doing beyond well
said CEO of Vornado Realty Trust.
How to catch a whale; put a unicorn in front of them. Global money has not yet exhausted itself on trophy properties. The bets on asset price appreciation keep rolling in. Here are some snippets from the WSJ May 12, 2015
- 220 Central Park South secured $1.1 billion in sales ... in just six weeks on the market.
- At One57... sales have picked up substantially ... hope to sell out the tower by the end of the year.
- The well of buyers is deep ... at least for the best towers.
- Investors look for higher returns than they can get from bonds.
- Many apartments go unoccupied, used only as investments.
- Details on buyers are scant, since wealthy purchasers typically shield their names.
- Real-estate markets that lack transparency are prone to overbuilding.
- Very little information is actually getting into the market ... everyone’s just copying each other.
One57 sells for $100,000,000
and... how to adorn a Unicorn
But as the Georgia Straight pointed out on May 6, 2015 on the subject of the most expensive housing in Canada:
- Only 16 percent of the 53,710 Vancouver homes sold in 2014 were priced over $1 million.
- The average sale price of all residential properties in 2014 for the bottom 80 percent of the Lower Mainland Vancouver market of 42,968 units, was $462,792.
- The average sale price of the bottom 80 percent of just the condo market was $327,486.
History, Charts & Curated Readings
"Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement; and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana Vol. I, Reason in Common Sense
Balance Of Trade
Rent Or Buy