Canada house prices up 19% over last year, according to some estimates….Canada’s top bankers trying to trying to cool the market…

On the night hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky lit the cauldron to open the Winter Games, something was conspicuously absent in the host city: winter. With rain and temperatures near 50F, Vancouver was the focus of a weather-obsessed nation.

Right now, Canada’s business community is fretting about a different sort of climate event. The country’s housing market is so hot, and has become so untethered from its foreclosure-ridden U.S. counterpart, that alarms are beginning to sound about a Canadian real estate bubble. In Toronto, the average home in January sold for about $392,000 (U.S.), a 19% jump from a year earlier. In prime areas of Vancouver, you can find Lilliputian one-bedroom condos listed for $575,000 or more. Price increases are forecast for every province.

Read the full article, “What U.S. Banks can Learn from Canada” at Business Week / Bloomberg (Feb 18, 2010).

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