Forecasts ’09 – Part 3 – CHMC

The CMHC pumped out their latest forecast this past week. Cutting through the b.s. and bravado, here’s the pertinent Edmonton prognostications, tabular form for your viewing pleasure.

        2008        2009    Projected     2010       Actual     Forecast    +/- %     Forecast------------------------------------------------------Price     $332,852    $315,000    -5.4%    $325,000------------------------------------------------------Sales       17,369      16,000    -7.9%      17,000------------------------------------------------------Vacancy       2.4%        3.5%    +0.9%------------------------------------------------------Avg Rent    $1,034      $1,070    +3.5%------------------------------------------------------

A little rosy in my not so humble opinion, as prices already are in that $315,000 territory, and February doesn’t appear to be shaping up to be delivering any increases. The numbers are conceivable I suppose, though I’d be completely stunned to see rents go up, especially when they’re even acknowledging the increased vacancy rate. We’ve already been seeing 10-20% cuts as well as ‘free months’ and other promotions from the big players in the rental game.

The Edmonton Journal pumped this so-called recovery, front page of the Friday ‘Business’ section no less. Though I suppose one shouldn’t be surprised considering the Homes and New Condos sections posing as legitimate, when they’re really just de-facto paid advertisements. Seems all to many of these so called experts are merely those with a vested interest in selling real estate. Sadly we’ve seen this increasingly across all fronts and media though, legitimate journalism has increasingly taken a back seat to the advertisers

Anyway, for some context here is a look at CMHC’s forecast issued this time last year, against how it actually played out.

        2007        2008        2008       Actual     Forecast     Actual   Difference------------------------------------------------------Price     $338,636    $355,000    $332,582    -6.7%------------------------------------------------------Sales       20,427      19,250      17,369   -10.8%------------------------------------------------------Vacancy       1.5%        2.0%        2.4%    -0.4%------------------------------------------------------Avg Rent      $958      $1,050      $1,034    -1.4%------------------------------------------------------

They did pretty well on the rental front, but were off in a big way on the resale market. Seems they’re suffering from the same fallacy as most others in the sector and believing that the run up was the result of an efficient market and not just a bubble caused by easy credit and over-consumption.

I guess we’ll find out in the next 24 months.

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