While there may be great disagreement over whether a crash is coming, most people can agree that
1) this past decade has seen an incredible increase in real estate prices
2) that this rate of growth cannot continue forever
The issue is that the ultimate barrier and outcome is not so clear. Some think prices could continue at high-single-digits growth until Toronto is approximately as expensive as London or Tokyo (or Vancouver!). Others (such as myself) don’t think Toronto incomes can support that level — indeed, there is a question as to whether the current level can be sustained.
The Toronto market has started to segment in the past few years: condo price appreciation has moderated, while detached houses have gone on a tear (especially those under the new $1M CMHC cap). In the last post I was trying to figure out whether there were enough rich people to support the current prices — if we had already crossed the point where a soft landing is impossible. If price increases do abate, but the levels stay this high relative to incomes and rents (a soft landing), then houses will continue to turn over year after year like this — are there enough households rich enough to keep buying for decades to come in a soft landing? I have my doubts, and tried to put some math to it.
I think it’s getting close to the breaking point if it’s not already past it. Note that there is nothing stopping the market from running well past the point of sustainability — just that once it does a soft landing is nigh impossible to pull off.