A housing bubble needs two key elements to exist. A delusion of the masses and easy credit.
There was no better sign of delusion than the Toronto Housing Expo in March, which I wrote about earlier. The Expo appears to have been the peak of delusion; since then, the mainstream media has written plenty of negative articles. My favourite article was about Millennials who now want to sell their homes and regret buying. If sentiment wasn't cooling enough, the Ontario government announced multiple measures to cool down housing. Those include foreign buyers tax, rent controls, a possible vacancy tax and the encouragement of more rental supply.
To all those real-estate mogul wannabe's, those negative carrying rental units you own are likely going much lower. First one out wins.
So with the market psychology vastly changing, how is the second element of a bubble - credit - holding up? Since the mortgage changes in the fall, where people with less than 20% down have to qualify at a much higher interest rate, the bigger banks have pulled back in their lending. This coincides with most of the Big 5 Bank CEO's coming out with statements saying "we are in a bubble" (subtext: "it's not going to be our fault when this blows up"). That meant that the only source of credit left holding up this bubble was shadow banking entities (search for mortgage on kijiji and you will know what I mean) and second tier lenders like Home Capital Group (HCG) and Equitable Group (EQB).
Then today happened...
This is the picture of credit evaporating. No longer will people want to buy houses with little to no money down. The people that are dumb enough to want to, at these prices, won't get the loan. This bubble is done!
My last newsletter detailed my reasons for being short HCG and EQB. While the timing of my newsletter was extremely lucky (I have been short both for a couple of years now) this story is far from over. Subscribe here to get my detailed analysis of why I am short these stocks and read about other names that are vulnerable as this bubble continues to burst.
Or you could attend this, I hear its free...