As MacLean's Jason Kirby points out, the Bank has taken to YouTube to warn Canadians about the dangers of too much debt and unrealistic house price expectations. He wonders, however, whether anyone will listen as one after another real estate bubble form in Canada, a nation whose household debt ratio has never been higher.
As BMO pointed out, when the latest household debt ratio data was released, the upward trend in household debt goes back for the 26 years for which it has records and is showing no signs of slowing down.
"While it looks as though the Vancouver housing market is cooling after the foreign buyers' tax was implemented, the Toronto market remains very strong, and others are showing signs of improving as well," said BMO senior economist Benjamin Reitzes.
Meanwhile, none other than Canada's central bank has ramped up its warnings about heavily indebted households and the unreasonable expectations driving the housing market, yet all indications are that Canadians have stuffed cotton in their ears.
In Toronto, for instance, house prices are up nearly 15 per cent since the summer when Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz warned that price gains in the city were “difficult to match up with any definition of fundamentals that you could point to.” In the more than 15 years that the Teranet-National Bank House Price Index has tracked property prices in the city, there’s never been a six-month period when prices rose that fast. Meanwhile, the latest figures released by Statistics Canada showed the household debt-to-income ratio broke yet another record in the third quarter.
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