I dug up this old post from the VHB archives from last January.
VHB Post from Saturday, January 14, 2006
The suggestions that the current situation is just a temporary slowdown could very well turn out to be correct. The market certainly did experience only a temporary slowdown in 2004, for example, before resuming high growth. Also, many of the typical indicators of a slowing market (skyrocketing inventory, for example) are just not happening right now. Maybe growth will soon take off again. However, before we take too much reassurance from the experts, let us take a look at the past. I have selected a series of quotes from our 'blasts from the past' series. As you read each quote, it is striking to see how easily it would fit right into a newspaper article in January 2006.It's not easy to predict the future.
The point of this post is not to make fun of some predictions that turned out to be wrong. Instead, I simply want to emphasize that we should not turn our brains off simply because some person quoted in the media reassures us that everything is A-OK.Here are 10 quotations. After each in italics you'll find the source, timing, and a link for the quote. Enjoy:
1. "Price stability, rather than decline, would be expected for most of the housing stock . . . since underlying home ownership demand remains strong due to continued high immigration." (Frank Clayton, January 18th 1981 in the Sun. link The market crashed by about 50% over the following year. )
2. Renaud said he thinks that the trend to prices for houses has been broken by a temporary lull and that by [next year] or so prices will be equal to or greater than peak prices. (Claude Renaud, VP of Mortgage Insurance Canada on April 14, 1982. link The market took 26 quarters (over 6 years) to regain its peak in real terms.)
3. "To those who are waiting for Vancouver house prices to collapse, I can only advise them not to hold their breath . . . Unless there is a major recession or significant depopulation, house prices are unlikely to drop significantly." (Jerry Jackman, VP Royal Lepage, November 18, 1988 in the Vancouver Sun. link In 1989, prices started to drop - with an eventual 30% or so drop. Real prices did not attain these heights again for 58 quarters, or around 15 years.)
4. "We are definitely in a transition market in areas such as the West Side, Vancouver East, and Burnaby . . . it is too early to tell if the market will stall." (Jerry Jackman, April 20th 1989 in the Province. link Prices did not recover in real terms until 15 years later.)
5. "It is unlikely that prices will decline significantly." (JJ again, July 18th 1989 in the Sun. link)
6. "The whole world wants Vancouver because everybody is moving here now and everything points up, up, up." (Realtor David Goodman, December, 1989 in the Sun. link The market did not reach these heights again for 15 years.)
7. " . . .no one is panicking over the west side housing market and he insists that it has simply 'normalized'." (Jerry Jackman, January 27th 1990 quoted in the Sun. link West-side prices fell by 40% in the next 2 years.)
8. "I can't see prices reversing themselves there [in the west side] because it is still a very desirable place to live." (Same as above.)
9. "The market is entering a more 'normal' phase." (REBGV president Brian Calder, Feb 2, 1990 in the Sun. link If normal means that it takes 15 years to recover, then 'normal' it was.)
10. "A BC Central Credit Union newsletter released Tuesday said BC's housing market is currently experiencing a contractionary phase but the worst of that phase should be over by late summer or early fall." (BC Credit Union economist Richard Allen quoted in the Sun, July 5th 1995. link The decline in the late 90s was slow, but it took 28 quarters to bottom out and 33 quarters to recover to the previous peak. Some 'phase', eh?)
posted by Van Housing Blogger at 9:55 PM