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Is Canada’s Real Estate Market 30% Overvalued? with Peter Norman from Altus Group

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Peter Norman is Chief Economist at Altus Group and General Manager of Altus Group Economic Consulting. He’s been tracking the housing market for nearly 30 years and has been a real estate investor since the 1980s. Peter has consulted with the International Monetary Fund and gives us insight into the question of “Does the IMF really believe that Canadian real estate is 30% over valued??” We also talk about the effect of immigration on the GTA housing market, oil prices and more.

Peter Norman Interview Highlights

3:19 Who is Peter Norman

3:54 How Peter Got Into Economics & Real Estate

7:36 Peter’s First Investment, What He Learned, & What He Would Do Differently

10:53 Is the Market “Overvalued” by 30%?

21:47 How Should Condo Investors Feel About Immigration Moving Forward?

30:00 Low Oil Prices Will Be Here Long Term

32:55 Housing Market Compared to Stock Market

38:40 How to Reach Peter Norman

Peter Norman Interview Transcript

Andrew: Context is everything, so when you see a headline in the media like Canadian real estate overvalued by 30% you don’t have any context behind that statement, why that statement was said, who said that statement, what research they did on that statement, what caveats are attached to that statement or other considerations there are. If you don’t know any of that background that’s very dangerous to go and make decisions based on that headline alone.

Unfortunately, that’s human nature and that’s what we do and that’s how the media has been trained or we’ve trained the media to feed us the news. It’s through more simplistic headlines like that and simplistic articles that don’t go into detail about what’s going on behind the scenes. Again that’s exactly what this podcast is all about is to go behind the scenes to go deeper and to dive into the subject matters that we don’t get a chance to get into and we’re just reading our 400 or 600 word articles in the newspaper online or blogs.

Once again here we are again today. We’re interviewing Peter Norman from Altus Group and we’re going to talk about that question specifically. The IMF was the latest one to say the Canadian real estate is overvalued. I think their number was 30%. Peter Norman actually is an economist with Altus Group and he has actually consulted with the IMF directly, so when the IMF come to town and they’re looking at the local markets they’re going to local experts and economists and so on to find out what’s happening in the market.

Peter Norman is one of the guys that they go to, so he’s a great guy to talk to about this question, is the Canadian real estate market overvalued by 30%? Obviously, you can guess his answer to that question is a resounding no, but you want to hear the interview to find out why that is and what it means and also to learn more about the context behind the IMF statements that they are saying the market is overvalued.

Let’s get to the interview here with Peter Norman, he’s a great guy to talk to and a very fascinating look at the numbers behind the scenes and to what is happening in the market and a very experienced economist. He’s been looking and tracking the real estate market for about 30 years now and he’s been investing himself in the real estate market for almost that long as well. Without further ado let’s get to the interview with Peter Norman from Altus Group and, of course, for all the show notes on this episode you can just go to and you’ll find the notes for this episode as well as all the other episodes of the True Condos podcast, so here it is, my interview with Peter Norman.

Andrew: It’s my pleasure to welcome to the show Peter Norman. Peter is a well known professional land economist and forecaster and as Chief Economist at Altus Group and general manager of Altus Group Economic Consulting. Widely quoted in the Canadian media Mr. Norman is a frequent expert witness on economic matters and consults for private and public sector organizations across Canada providing economic intelligence and strategic advice. Peter, welcome to the show.

Peter: Thank you very much, Andrew. It’s a pleasure to be on this great podcast.

Andrew: Thank you very much for joining us. Peter, why don’t you start by maybe just telling everybody … I read your bio there, but maybe you can just tell us a little bit more about yourself, your background, and how you got started into your career in economics and real estate.

Peter: Sure, I’d love to. It can be a long story I suppose, but it’s been good. I have been a housing market watcher and analyst in one capacity or another now for about 30 years. I bought my first real estate investment in the late 1980s and thinking about learning through the school of hard knocks I realized there are some mistakes in that, but anyway that’s been part of my education as well. I have a couple of degrees in economics. I worked as a bank economist for many years with one of the large banks and as you know the economics departments and banks are always keenly interested in housing and you certainly see some of the economists from banks weighing in on the housing sector even today.

About 16, 17 years ago I joined a company called Clayton Research, which was headed by Frank Clayton who’s a longstanding leader in the housing analysis, housing economics world in Canada and has been for about half a decade now. Working with Frank was tremendously beneficial in terms of understanding the underlying issues and markets and how to analyze them. I became a partner in Clayton Research and then about eight years ago we as a firm sold ourselves or merged into what’s known as Altus Group. Altus Group is a large, multidisciplinary firm in real estate and property and construction, et cetera, sector, so we have land appraisers and tax consultants and so on and so forth.

My responsibility within the company as the chief economist is to run the economic consulting team which is more or less the former Clayton Research. We devote most of our efforts to continuing to service clients through economic studies again around property and development and real estate and urban growth issues and so on and so forth. We advise a lot of property investors, we advise a lot of builders, we advise municipalities and so on and so forth. We also direct the economic scenario and all of the economic work internally in the firm, so a big part of our firm does, for instance, evaluation of property appraisal for a factory or an office tower or whatever else.
That work is always based on our economic scenario as well, so we touch in one way or another with our work. The team that I direct, we touch billions of billions of dollars worth of property across the country and are involved in it and we’re constantly watching the market for why it’s doing what it’s doing right now and where it’s going. I suspect that’s part of what we’re going to be talking about today.

Andrew: Exactly, yeah, but before we do that I’d love to go back and to something you said, your first real estate investment in the late 1980s. I’m always curious to hear, especially somebody like yourself who’s been in the game for a long time. What was that first property and can you tell us about it. Where was it, what was it and how did it work and how did it turn out for you?

Peter: I was in university at the time studying economics and thought that I knew a lot about this stuff. I think I probably did okay knowing about this stuff. I bought a five-plex and like a lot of university students I suppose tried to do something with their parents and some without. I bought a five-plex knowing that I would be both living and then be a rental investor I suppose for the other units and so on and so forth.
I think that in the end that investment was okay and I held it for many years, but it was in a smaller market. It was in a smaller Ontario market, it wasn’t in the GTA. As you know those property prices fell a lot between the late 1980s and about the mid-1990s. Then in this particular smaller market they really took a long, long time for them to even break even, so I’m not in that investment at the moment, but I’ve had other investments since then and have been actually a … I’ve had tenants, I personally had tenants over that entire time in one property or another, so we had a variety of different sorts of investments.

Andrew: What’s the number one thing you learned from that first investment?

Peter: There’s a lot of nuts and bolts, of course, that every investor does when they first get into it. It’s just about the nature of what you need to do to buy and what you need to do to manage and what you need to do to look for tenants and so on and so forth. There’s a lot of that nuts and bolts. Also, I think big lessons out of it came from the idea about interest rate risk obviously. It was a time of high interest rates and that was an issue in the investment and also in terms of overall market growth and depth in terms of the way that that will impact potential capital appreciation over time.

Andrew: Touching on the idea of smaller market versus a larger market. You went to university in Trent, in Peterborough, was it in Peterborough?

Peter: That was in Peterborough, yeah.
Andrew: Okay, would you do anything differently? If you had a time machine go back would you still buy that property or would you …

Peter: I probably would, yes.

Andrew: Yeah.

Peter: It’s a bit of a negative thing. There’s a school of hard knocks in a sense that you don’t like to see … No investor likes to see capital value go down even if it recovers ultimately. As you well know that cash flow is important, is important or more important in terms of any investment and I don’t characterize this one as being poor in that regard.

Andrew: That’s great. It’s always great to hear personal experiences especially that first one. I find the first one is often the one where you learn … Not everybody learns the hard lessons on the first one and then it’s a lot smoother after that, but let’s jump into the market itself, a lot of hot button topics that you’ve written about and talk about frequently. We’ll start with the classic, the market is overvalued by … You pick a number, but the number right now that people seem to be focused on is something like 30%. Is the market in Canada or in the GTA overvalued by 30%?

Peter: It’s not, but I have difficulty with the way that this issue has been framed and not just by the media. We often complain about the way the media treat issues and that’s a tired shoe to be wearing, how the headlines often don’t match the analysis and this and that and the other thing. It’s not just the media, but it’s also by the analysts and even by the regulators. The overvaluation issue right now is primarily being put forward by risk evaluators amongst regulators.

For example, the Bank of Canada assesses housing balances in their financial system review and that’s one of the recent pronouncements on the degree to which housing markets may be overvalued has come from that research. The International Monetary Fund which, of course, assesses a very similar thing, financial stability type issues country by country. It also has weighed in recently on Canada and actually they were here as they do for these measures and I consulted with … They came and we met together.

Andrew: That’s very interesting.

Peter: I am aware of their [inaudible 00:12:59] and how they go through on those assessments, but what I want to say on that valuation thing is that the word is wrong. First of all, the word is wrong and I think that is what freaks out us, you and I. That’s what freaks out potential investors when they hear the word. That’s what freaks out the media or maybe it excites the media. It gives them something to write a riling headline about. The word is wrong because I think that you or I or the average investor out there when they hear the word overvaluation you immediately think the last transaction that took place was a bad one or recent transactions were bad. That I just bought a property from you for $700,000, but it’s really only worth $550,000. I overpaid you for that property, it’s overvalued.

That’s the commonsense term of overvaluation, but that’s not what is happening in the market right now, but importantly that’s not what the Bank of Canada is saying and that’s now what the IMF are saying. What both of those groups are involved in doing or employed in doing is assessing what’s called market vulnerabilities, so they want to look at aspects of the housing market and how vulnerable those aspects of the housing market are to what are called shocks, unexpected events that could occur. If those unexpected events occur what would be the magnitude of the effect. Not on the market itself, but on the financial system of Canada, so what’s the risk to which …

Let’s say, for example, a major unexpected recession happens and the unexpected part is very important. We’re not talking about the normal recessions that come and go and maybe we’re in one now because of oil, maybe not or so on and so forth, a major, major unexpected event happened that threw the world economy into a recession and Canada into a major recession again. What would that do to the property market and then what would that do, for instance, to the financial security of the country?

That’s what they’re looking at, it’s vulnerabilities and the bank recognizes that those vulnerabilities, a major unexpected economic shock or a major increase in interest rates are very, very, very rare and also the odds of them are very, very low. If they do happen what they’re saying is housing values could go down by 20 to 30% and that that would have some implication on other things. What we miss from the analysis when it gets reported is the probability aspect of it. That the idea that it’s a very, very rare case that we would actually see values changing, but what they’re concerned about is that if they do change by that magnitude it could have other implications.

I like to characterize it a little bit like parenting because I’m a parent, so I can relate to a lot of things in this context. We as a parent will tell children, we like to give them autonomy and get out and … We say when you get to the main street or when you get to the road you look both ways and then you cross, right. I don’t expect when I send my kid out to go to the park down the street that he’s going to get run over by a car. I don’t expect that and I wouldn’t want that and it would be catastrophic to me if he did, but I still let him go out. I still think everything is normal, but I say by the way, just look for cars. I’m not expecting him to get hit
by a car, but that’s pretty good advice to give to somebody.

The bank is saying to us right now housing values have gone up, okay, so be it. People had to borrow a little bit more in order to support that, but it’s okay, that borrowing is still supported by very low debt service ratio, so everything is cool in terms of the debt side. If people have that much debt and something catastrophic happens there’s going to be a slightly elevated risk to the system, that’s what they’re saying.

Andrew: Very interesting. That’s some great nuggets of background information like you said. I’m very curious, take us inside maybe. Do you have any anecdotes of when these IMF guys come to town and you’re meeting with them. We see them, people in the industry like myself and investors, we see them almost like the boogymen that come in and say ooh, your markets are overvalued, ooh, you guys are bad, ooh, stay away from Canada or something like that. We picture them as these big, bad organizations from Europe or somewhere and coming in to tell us what we’re doing wrong, but what’s your experience in dealing with them directly and consulting with them? What’s their agenda, why do they put out these reports, or why do we get these headlines from them saying things are overvalued by 30%? Are they as scary as they seem to be?

Peter: Those are a few different questions bundled into one, but I can try my best on that. First off, the why are they doing it. It’s very similar to what I just said about the Bank of Canada. The IMF is concerned about the same thing as the Bank of Canada is. It’s just that their mandate, of course, is to assess all countries or all sorts of countries across the world, so they’re doing a little bit more relative comparisons because they have to assess the financial stability in Canada for various reasons because it has an implication on their business. They’re also assessing European countries, the U.S., South America, et cetera. They’re all over the world looking at different countries.

Canada is one of the things they look at, but it’s for the same reason that the bank is. It’s the same reason I just explained. Whether they’re looking at Canada or whether they’re looking at Bangladesh their primary concern is what is the financial stability in those countries, what’s the likelihood that the currency is going to go into a currency crisis, what’s the likelihood that the banks might run into capitalization problems and so on and so forth. I think that’s a very legitimate exercise. Most of us in Canada would feel that we are not at risk of a currency crisis, we are not at risk of the banks becoming undercapitalized or anything else on that list. We sit back and say I don’t see why they’re looking at us, we’re so great and we are, don’t get me wrong.

Andrew: Yes, yes.

Peter: the legitimacy of their exercise to look at everybody both
good and bad. Now when they look at Canada and they say everything is going along hunky-dory, but look at the potential effect that this debt balance might have in the case of a catastrophic problem and that is what they’re saying. That’s a legitimate exercise as well. I think that if we were … If you or I were making major foreign investments in other countries, I think that we would want a neutral umbrella agency like that generating some research that gives us a good view at a 30,000 foot level of the relative merits of Spain versus Morocco or whatever, right. We would want something like that and I think that’s what they’re providing.

As far as the process goes it also isn’t a bad process. They send a team of researchers here about once a year to do this evaluation. They set up interviews with varieties of stakeholders. Some of them are in government, they’re here hosted by the federal government. That’s their channel, that’s their conduit. They speak to builders, they speak to associations, they speak to analysts, private sector analysts like myself. They certainly speak to some of the bank economists and others. They ask a series of questions and it’s a fact finding mission, so I think that that process is probably about as legitimate as it gets.

I will go back I suppose to round out the barrage of questions on the IMF. I’ll just go back to say that if you read those reports very carefully they’re pretty well reasoned, but again they get misinterpreted. The headlines that get pulled out are inappropriate. I’ll just go back to the one major problem that I have is that the word overvaluation is the wrong word for what they’re doing, for the Bank of Canada is doing and for what the issue is.

Andrew: Right, right, that’s great. Let’s shift gears back into the market itself. We constantly keep going back to immigration as being a driving factor in the real estate market and the GTA and just going back to the fact that so many … Approximately 100,000 people are coming into the GTA every year and we need a certain number of homes, just new homes built every year to house everyone that’s coming in. Can you talk to us about immigration, what we can expect moving forward? How long can we continue to rely on this as real estate investors moving forward? Is this something that’s never going to go away or how should we look at immigration and should we feel good about it or how should we feel moving forward?

Peter: Yeah, so in a local market, even for a large local market like Toronto, immigration and let’s just say in a slightly more broader sense migration can be … It can have a lot of pros and cons, right. It’s probably our least stable factor, right, because natural population growth we understand a lot about that … around those demographics. We can project forward. If somebody is 20 years old today we can pretty much know what age they’re going to be in five years time for example. It’s very stable, it’s very easy to look at, but migration is always our most variable factor, right. If it’s good it’s great because it’s created [inaudible 00:23:32] a lot of demand, but also migration and immigration patterns can change over time.

As far as … Immigration is a national issue. It gets set by federal policy and federal policy has been ratcheting that up for about the last 20 years. We see the number of immigrants coming into Canada, settling into Canada, growing by about 20,000 persons per year. About every five years it jumps up about 20,000 persons per year, so right now we’re at about 265,000 immigrants per year. Just recently the federal government has announced another jump basically, so it could be something in the range of about 275,000 to 280,000 in the next five years per year.

As we’ve seen this ratcheting up, of course, that has had a pretty important implication on real estate right the way across the country. Increased immigrants mean increased pace of household growth and, of course, increased pace of household growth means more demand for housing whether that be ownership or rental. That’s been important for the GTA because the GTA, it’s not attracting as many … sorry, as big a share of overall immigration as it did in the early 2000s. That share has eroded somewhat as economic growth in western Canada has created more opportunities for immigrants, but it’s still an absolutely large number because the federal number is growing. Our share is falling a little bit, but the number has stayed pretty constant at somewhere between 80,000 and 100,000.

Andrew: Right, now our …

Peter: That’s been good for the GTA.

Andrew: Right, now our share is falling. Is that mostly due to the result of the boom in Alberta and the oil boom? Now that the oil prices have fallen will it shift back to the GTA? Can we expect a bump in the next 24 months migration in the GTA and that you weren’t expecting, maybe say six months ago you weren’t thinking about that.

Peter: No, I think that’s a good point and I think that’s a very likely outcome that we’re going to see in the next … Not just in the next six months, but really driving the environment for the next five years or so in the GTA. Again I mentioned earlier on that there’s immigrants and there’s also internal migrants and both of these things have somewhat similar effects from both economic growth and other factors. We’ve seen more immigrants, the immigration share go up over the last 10 or 12 years in western Canada because of the oil boom. Also, in addition to that, we’ve seen a lot of Ontarians, many from Toronto, moving out to Alberta and Saskatchewan in particular as part of that boom as well over the last 10 years.

The net effect of that has been a slightly slower population growth here, slightly stronger out there, but I think as your question indicates if we have a slowdown in the economy and Alberta because of the lower price of oil and Saskatchewan to a lesser extent then there’s going to be less of a draw for labor. Whether those be internal migrants moving out there from Ontario and to a lesser extent from Atlantic Canada or whether it’s where immigrants plan to settle, less of a draw into those markets as those economies cool and more into the traditional markets for immigration, but also the source markets for that internal migration which would be Ontario primarily.

I guess, to give you a little bit of scoping on that internal stuff. I’m talking about people who were born and raised in Canada, but decide to leave Toronto and go to Alberta, for example, for a job is that in the 10 years of the oil boom, from about 2004 up to 2014, during that period of time we saw net flows of persons from Ontario alone, just from Ontario into Alberta of about 10,000 per year. Some people are moving from Alberta to here, but the net number going out to Alberta was at 10,000 every year. Most of which, of course, are coming from the GTA because that’s a big chunk of Ontario.

In the 10 years before that you might argue was a more normal time with balanced economies between the two regions.
It was 2000, so there was a change of about 8,000 persons being drawn out there. That’s 4,000 houses per year, right, so that makes a big difference. Now the question is will that revert right back to 2000 right now? Is that what’s happening now that those markets have cooled and I would say probably it is actually, probably we’re going to see a pretty … The demographic numbers, of course, take a while to catch up with us. They’re lagging indicators in terms of the way that they’re reported to us, so we don’t know exactly what’s happening right now.

When we do learn about the first half of 2015, for example, maybe once you learn about 2015 as a whole, I think that we’ll see that migration is that the Ontario population growth, primarily because of the migration effect and also about the landings of immigrants will probably rise by about 10 to 15, maybe 20,000 persons faster than what we were expecting before. If a lot of those people are in the GTA that’s a big boost to potential household growth and that’s it.

I’ll just say one more thing and not to go on too long is that I don’t feel that that is solely a 2015 picture, a little boom in 2015 and then everybody’s going to go back to the oil sector. I think that we’re in a longer protracted period where there’s going to be less investment in oil and gas for longer periods, say five years or so. I think we’re going to see this being a much stronger growth period relatively speaking for Ontario than we’ve seen since the very early 2000s.

Andrew: Okay, am I reading correctly in saying you believe that low oil prices then will be
here for the longer term? Is it not just a blip?

Peter: Yes. Yeah, I would say that that’s pretty … Sorry, certain is the wrong word for forecasts, forecasting is never certain. There’s a lot of consensus around middling oil prices let’s just say, not $40, not $50, but something in the $60 to $70 range, but certainly not in the $100 to $100 plus range and that’s really the consensus. Most analysts are in that band and I don’t disagree with that and I think that that if you look at oil futures, et cetera, I think that’s a band that people are looking at again over the next five years certainly, but oil cycles if you look transitionally are about 10 year cycles or commodity cycles I should say, which oil is in.

I would plan on that being a pretty fundamental shift back to central Canada in terms of that relative economic growth that’s coming from that effect. It’s worth saying that slightly lower oil prices, of course, have a variety effect. It will slow down the pace of capital investment in the oil sector in Alberta certainly and it’s worth saying that production in Alberta has not slowed down, right. They’re still producing as much oil, there’s just not as much capital investment right now, so it will slow that down. The lower prices as well will put a lot of extra money into the pockets of consumers and Ontario is full of consumers, right, so we have a pretty big built in stimulus to the economy in the GTA and in Ontario with lower oil prices.

It’s going to come through not just at the pumps which is the obvious thing, but it’s coming through … It’s already showing up in terms of prices for food, it’s showing up in terms of prices for certain building materials and stuff, so it’s going to assist in terms of housing affordability as that works through the system and everything else. This analysis is compounded a little bit by the lower dollar which, of course, is having some inflationary effects on certain commodities, but on net the lower oil prices is deflationary for most consumer prices and that’s good. That means that a consumer who’s saving whatever it is, $2,000 or $3,000 a year in terms of the flow through the oil prices is either spending that which is good for the economy or saving it which also is good not just … Your savings are not necessarily good for the short-term economy, but I think intuitively you think of those as being better for the longer term economy, right.

Andrew: Absolutely, yeah. Peter, this has been great. We’ve touched on a lot of different subject areas and you get interviewed by the media and guys like me quite a bit. Is there any question that I haven’t answered that you have never been asked about the market or about the economy or about yourself that you wish that somebody would ask you and what would that question be?

Peter: That’s an interesting question, that’s a good question actually. I’ll say one thing that I think this is food for thought and I know I have to express this in the form of a question, right, it’s just like jeopardy. I’ll say something that’s food for thought for you and your listeners. We’re investors in real estate, a lot of your listeners are investors in real estate.

Andrew: Absolutely.

Peter: Obviously, we understand it as an asset class. Sorry, our understanding … We understand it, we see it as an asset class, we understand that it is an asset class. It has performance metrics and this and that and we’re expecting it to produce returns and that’s all good, but I think there’s a perception. I get this in the questions I get asked among BNN a lot, by the BNN interviewers and the way they ask questions, the way the media asks questions, the way lots of people ask questions. It’s like they see housing investment, the housing sector, the housing market as being just another form of the stock market, it’s just like equities.

Andrew: Right.

Peter: Are we expecting a crash to happen, are we expecting a … We use the word soft landing for housing all the time which has virtually no meaning, it has almost no meaning and soft landing in the stock market has some meanings, right. It means prices … Sorry, asset growth levels and the stock market index, for example, levels often … perhaps falls, but not too far, right. There’s some metrics around that. It has almost no meaning in housing and people confuse indicators out of housing in all sorts of different ways in terms of the way that it impacts cycles because, for instance, in Calgary right now …

Of course, we’ve had the number of resales fall off, so we’ve got slightly lower resales happening and it’s a market that’s obviously in transition, we just spoke about that earlier. Is that a market crash? We don’t see prices changing, so anyway there’s a lot of differences in the way the housing asset works for most Canadians. Remember, for most Canadians their principal residence is their biggest investment and it’s one that they’re not going to liquidate very quickly if things go poorly. It’s one that probably gets a lot of thought put into it when they both make the investment and when they think about disinvesting.

If there’s a question that doesn’t get asked it’s really how do you characterize the housing market, the housing investment market relative to any other investment market, how is it different? I would say that the answer to that is it’s fundamentally different. You’re talking about something which is both a consumption good for most families because you’ve got to live somewhere obviously. It has something which is a major part of people’s financial plan in most cases. Seventy percent of Canadians are homeowners and just about all of them consider their house to be their major financial investment, right.

Andrew: Right.

Peter: Also, their major asset that they will be passing onto the children and so on and so forth at some point.

Andrew: Their retirement plan, yeah.

Peter: Their retirement plan, et cetera, and that’s very much different than just their mutual fund, which obviously has retirement plan elements to it. It has whatever, but they’ll dump it in a second if an analyst comes on BNN and says so and so’s growth fund has had itself and a lot of people will dump it or whatever, but people will not make rash decisions around their housing and that’s why we tend not to get sharp changes in the cycle. That’s also why it’s exceedingly, exceedingly rare for housing prices in Canada to ever go down in nominal terms, where you actually start seeing them go down 10 or 15% or whatever or even more. That’s why. It’s very, very rare. You can have all sorts of down cycles in terms of activity levels where housing sales or housing [inaudible 00:37:42] or whatever go down.

Andrew: Yeah.

Peter: To actually see market wide housing prices go down it’s exceedingly rare. I can think of two or three examples out of the last 40 or 50 housing cycles. If you think housing cycles being a localized one like Toronto cycles, Calgary, et cetera. If you think all of it in the postwar period, you can think of Calgary in the early ‘80s, you can think of Toronto in the early ‘90s. You can think about minor adjustments with the Asian crisis in Vancouver in the late 1990s, but can you think of very many others? No.
Andrew: Right. Wow, that’s great.

Peter: That’s why. The stock market is very well-defined by their price cycles, but housing does not have the same characteristics.

Andrew: Right, so great advice. We need to start treating the housing market differently because it is different. Peter, if people want to get a hold of you or learn more about Altus Group, what’s the best way for them to do that?

Peter: I guess, a good start is always the Altus Group website which is

Andrew: Okay.

Peter: Again my role is in the economic consulting group, so you can migrate either way through the website in order to get there and to learn a little bit more about our work and what we do in particular. You can keep in touch with us on Twitter which is Altus_Group@Altus_Group which you can often find that out on Twitter. In terms of the tweets that go out it’s obviously, it’s highlighting all sorts of aspects of the work that we do. Often when I’m speaking or if an engagement is coming up, et cetera, there will be notices coming out from that vehicle as well and I also encourage people to get a hold of me by email or whatever else which is accessible through the website.

Andrew: Okay, great. We’ll be sure to include links to all those sites that you just mentioned on the show notes for this episode. Peter, once again I want to thank you for your time, thank you for being on the show today. Hopefully, we can have you again on the show in the future.

Peter: Thanks very much, Andrew. It’s been a pleasure.

Andrew: Great, bye for now.

Peter: Bye-bye.

Andrew: Okay, there you have it. That was my interview with Peter Norman. I hope you found that interview useful and interesting and once again for all the show notes on this episode and all of the episodes from the True Condos podcast. Just head on over to and you’ll find everything there. Thanks again for listening. If you’d like to leave a review for the show it’d be greatly appreciated. You can do so on iTunes. You can also hit me up on Twitter, Facebook, email. Send me a text, let me know what you think about the show or if you have any questions about the condo market or condo investing in Toronto by all means reach out to me anytime. Thanks very much and have a great week.

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