Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm back

A few things from my trip. There are large parts of this Province that are still in a real estate doldrums. They are areas which actually make things, or dig them out of the ground and are feeling the pinch of the economic slump. Places like Campbell River which just lost it's Mill.

Meanwhile in Victoria, everyone seems to be wondering how much further the Provincial Government will have to cut to make up for the drop off in revenue. I suspect soon the Federal Government will also start worrying about the deficit, and put on hold further plans to spend our way to prosperity.

The banks are making good profits, especially The Royal, though they have all increased their future loan loss provisions, which is prudent considering 60% more Canadians have fallen behind on their mortgages compared with a year ago.

These two facts just don't add up. Home prices are up to new highs in many parts of the country, and yet 60% more people have fallen behind on their mortgages.

That's what happens when a financial crisis hits our biggest trading partner, drags our interest rates down while we are still robust and then the crisis seeps across the border later. It means our assets get that final push of adrenaline from the low interest rates, until the reality of the economic slump brings them back down to reality.

BTW- the banks are making money from the yield curve. What could better than paying people almost nothing on their GICs or deposit accounts and lending it out at 4%-8%. Those are near the highest margins in history. I remember when banks would pay 5- 6% on deposits and lend it out to consumers at 8-10%.

They are netting 2-3% more now and can leverage that up.

BTW the TD CEO just sold $24 Million in stock options (13% of his holdings).


  1. I agree....just go to Kelowna and you'll see "For Sale" signs on every block. Checking out the OMREB (okanagan mainline real estate board) website lays it out pretty straight: Most houses for sale are in the $600k-$1million range, the REB even does a nice graph of it. Seems like everyone in Kelowna lives in a million dollar house! (lol) Ho boy...deja vu of California anyone??

  2. Fish, that's a very lucid post. You've summed up the situation nicely.