IBM is thrilled to welcome Barbara Corcoran, from ABC’s hit reality series Shark Tank, as a guest speaker at the IBM SmartCamp Global Finals in New York City, Feb. 7th. An entrepreneur herself with a fascinating rags-to-riches story, her insights and advice will undoubtedly be valuable for the startup finalists and audience alike. To attend the Global Finals and hear her for yourself… More Information
Don’t forget to tune into Episode Fourteen of Season Seven of Dragons’ Den Sunday at 8 PM on CBC Television.
A bright young duo tries to charm with their trinkets; a children’s software schools the Den; and a paper packing company makes the Dragons think outside of the box. Plus an office compost service needs a Dragon investment to grow.
For more information on this week’s pitches visit our pitches page.
By O’Leary Ventures
Is Canada Talking Itself Into a Housing Crisis?
The idiomatic expression ‘talk is cheap’ is commonly used within our English society, but when it comes to the U.S. housing bubble burst and the conversation leading up to it, one must stop and wonder if that expression holds any truth. Are “Canadians talking ourselves into a housing miasma” or is our economy following that of our neighbours to the south?
Discussions continue to focus on the Canadian housing market and the bubble that has begun to surround it. Questions linger in the mind of homeowners as they wonder if this “Canadian housing bubble” is going to follow the same path as previous successors and burst, or if the Canadian housing market, and evidently the economy as a whole, is facing an eminent crash similar to the U.S. According to Globe and Mail reporter Larry MacDonald, Canada’s housing bubble and the economy, are headed for more of what the federal Government is calling a “soft landing”. As written in MacDonalds article, “Is Canada Talking itself into a housing crisis?”, he states that “the fundamentals [implemented by the Federal Government and Bank of Canada] don’t point to one”.
The Bank of Canada has taken steps to ensure that the history of U.S. economics does not repeat itself in America’s northern counterpart. “Professor Robert Shiller told CBC News in September that Canada should be spared because its banks have low subprime exposure. And Gluskin Sheff economist David Rosenberg wrote in a November note ‘that the U.S. plunge five years ago followed years of credit-tightening moves… anyone think that [the Bank of Canada] is going to raise interest rates 450 basis points with inflation barely above 1 per cent?’.” Combine this with the already tightened mortgage rules and one may safely assume that these fundamentals will ultimately be our savior from a critical economic downturn. In addition to the aforementioned statements is the topic of affordability. “The Bank of Canada’s housing affordability index shows that newly built standard houses are as affordable as 10 years ago.”
It has been argued by Mr. Shiller and co-authors, Karl E. Case and Anne Thompson in “What Have They Been Thinking? Home Buyer Behavior in Hot and Cold Markets” that the reputation of the bubble theme within the United States back in 2006 “produced ‘a turning point in public thinking’ that led to prices turning down.” A similar point was made by Mr. Shiller in a 2006 paper, in which he wrote: “there are reasons to suspect that the price changes … are related to public swings in opinions rather than fundamentals.”
MacDonald raises the questions, “could Canada similarly be talking itself into a housing crash (possibly followed by a financial crisis and years of stagnation)? Or will the fundamentals usher in the soft landing that the federal government is trying to achieve through tighter mortgage rules?”, and according to the authors quoted above and the assurance of the Federal Government, the fundamentals will save Canadians and spare us the trauma experienced by the American people.