Housing is undoubtedly still in demand and interest rates are at historical lows, but there is no agreement that there is a bubble in the market. Canada was spared massive exposure to subprime mortgages, and the American experience is helping inform bank prudence north of the border. Meanwhile, Canadians are largely succeeding at keeping up with standard mortgages, despite the economic downturn; their capacity to meet future obligations will only increase once the downturn ends.It is certainly true that free-money fueled housing bubbles don't create problems for banks until they pop. But what may be less true is the contention that this one won't pop.
Moreover, Canada's regulatory regime is already doing well at keeping Canadians solvent and in their homes. Unlike in the United States, homeowners do not get tax deductions on their mortgage interest payments. The era of the no-money-down mortgage has faded in Canada.
And BTW, why should banks be prudent when they unload the sucker mortgages on the taxpayer through CMHC?
It is stunning that so many people are blind to what is going on--when we have right in front of us in the US a giant example of what happens when you give free money to people to spend on houses. Hint--it doesn't end well.