"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'
This suggests that indeed more starts could be consumed especially in this low interest rate environment.
Unfortunately the market place is skewed not to what is needed, eg: affordable family units close to appropriate services, but to what attracts non resident owners, flippers and FOMO driven investors who keep throwing greater amounts of leveraged capital at negative yielding and depreciating piles of steel, concrete and wood while governments at every level stand by in fear that they might lose this historic bonanza of property tax and transfer revenue.
My too-far-left radical idea of ending private fee simple land ownership is never going to happen in my lifetime as written. It is my expression of the frustration one feels at the polarity of choice:
Most people are at best only aware of two choices, two patterns, for land ownership – private ownership (which we associate with the industrial West) and state ownership (as in the Communist East).
But as Gilman points out in his piece, there are other examples of strategies between the two poles, ie: Landtrusts not only for conservation but for community purposes as well. Unfortunately:
"We don't have a national housing policy in this country and we should," "We're probably one of the few OECD [Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development] countries that don't have one."
But now we have some Federal money being directed at that lack of policy:
Budget 2017 includes new national housing strategy. Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau handed down a budget Wednesday, March 22 that includes a new $11.2 billion national housing strategy
Meanwhile the market grinds on. I suggest that individuals should consider investment in themselves rather than negative yielding real estate because there is no guarantee that the debt positions currently being created will be transformed into equity. What is more enduring is the ability to leverage one's skill set into cash flow as the OECD studies show:
The evidence on how well countries are prepared for the digital economy is rather disturbing. The OECD’s Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) suggests that more than 50% of the adult population on average in 28 OECD countries can only carry out the simplest set of computer tasks, such as writing an email and browsing the web, or have no ICT (Information and communication technologies) skills at all. Only around a third of workers have more advanced cognitive skills that enable them to evaluate problems and find solutions (OECD, 2013). As a result, many workers use ICTs regularly without adequate ICT skills: on average, over 40% of those using software at work every day do not have the skills required to use digital technologies effectively (OECD, 2016a). Skills for a Digital World OECD December 2016
Stealth Money ?
Vancouver BC continues to rank as the least affordable city out of the 35 largest Canadian cities with a multiple of 10.6 times median household income required to buy a median priced house.
Compared to Vancouver, Toronto's big housing un-affordability spike looks rational if one considers population size (2.5x), and volume of residential sales and absorption rate (both over 2x) and Federal Government funding transfers that are 3.3x more to Ontario than to BC.
The dynamics of size and government compacts with the voter have helped to accelerate, Toronto's housing un-affordability over the last 4 years while Vancouver's un-affordability appears to have triggered a limit to negative cash flow prostration.
MORE DEMOGRAPHIA CHARTS & DATA
Doctor Who "Gridlock" Scene 6
Left, Right or Down
The national wire service press subscribers refer to the Broadbent Institute's September 2014 study "Inequality and the Fading of Redistributive Politics" Edited by Keith Banting and John Myles (see the quoted paragraphs and link to the source material below) as being "left leaning" I am willing to bet that the bottom quintiles of earners are more concerned with the direction of "down".
Deep and Persistent Wealth Inequality in Canada
Bill Maher - Wealth Inequality in America
Canadians who import a lot of their news from U.S. wires and depend a lot on trade with the U.S. have a similar negative view about their children's future; nearly two thirds of respondents in a 2012 Pew Research poll in both countries believe the next generation will be financially worse off than themselves. Germans believe the same.
Three quarters of the British and Japanese and 90% of French respondents are bearish. On the flip side the bulls live in China, Brazil and Russia.
Hat Tip to Barry Ritholtz
"We're in California, isn't there a better way of doing that?" Elon Musk
The bottom 50% of most national populations is participating in less than 10% of its wealth, and the top 10% of populations is wheeling and dealing with over 50% of its national wealth. If you are in the bottom 50%, you are working at the wrong trade if your desire is to enjoy just some of the benefits of those above you; for instance more free time.
It's doubtful that in this period of history there is any point in waiting or voting for your governors to move you up the ladder because the 10% make up the rules of the game. The only remedy I can see is to retrain so that you have a skill that the top 10% needs and that the bottom 50% doesn't have.
Here are some high quality and free educational providers, Khan Academy and EdX to get you started and an interview with Elon Musk "A lot of education is vaudevillian" from April 17, 2013 at the Khan Academy office in Mountain View (48min).
The Rich Get Richer
When it comes to flipping houses in the U.S. it is the very wealthy who excel at the gross margin.
Total flipping activity (bought and sold in 6 months) is down by about 13% Y/Y but in the 2 to 5 million dollar price range, the flip count is up 350% Y/Y.
The mid and low end price flippers are being forced into holding, folding or chasing prices down the slope.
What's that old saying... "The rich get richer and the poor get children"? Well fortunately the poor are getting smarter and the birth rate is falling due to "demographic transition" according to Warren Sanderson, a professor of economics at Stony Brook University.
"Don't talk so much, old sport... Play!" The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
Asset Bubbles Correct
We have lot's of "Eiffel Tower" price patterns to refer to that have a fully formed right side to the tower; Japan is a classic with a multiple decade reversion.
I have lined up the peaks of the Japanese, U.S. and Canadian stock markets with housing index overlays.
The Canadian pair looks to be at a crossroad and according to a Statistics Canada medium growth projection, net immigration along with net birth-death may also have a right side reversion.
CLICK CHART TO ENLARGE
Part Time-Full Time, Male and Female Employment in Canada
STATS CAN Employment Data: In Canada, more women than men work at part time jobs (+/- twice as many) and both older men and women (45 years and older) are more employed part time than younger men and women (age 25-44).
In the category of full time employment, there appears to be a declining number of younger men (since about 1990) employed relative to full time older men who appear to have made and kept the biggest percentage gains in job acquisition.
With full time employed women the story is similar except that BOTH younger and older women have made large percentage gains in getting employment and for 20 years during the period between 1983-2003, younger women were getting more jobs than older men.
If the trend continues of greater productivity through technological advance and the wage disparity between men and women is not erased, we could see more full time jobs auctioned off to women who live longer than men.
The chart above (updated annually) is also located on the Earnings Page.
Sell Your Florida Real Estate BEFORE 100,002,013 AD
You are in a flood plane. Toronto, Detroit and Chicago, you should think about buying property further west and Vancouverites you might want to buy a few more boats. Note to people of Manhattan, the global financial centers are going to move from their present locations. Timing is everything.
"Earth 100 Million Years From Now" Youtube by SpaceRip
ADDENDUM July 15, 2013
Miami is on its way to becoming an American Atlantis.
The following snippets are taken from the July 4th, 2013 issue of Rolling Stone article by Jeff Goodell
The Perfect Tide: Sea Level
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