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Canada’s Housing Bubble Could Burst This Year

The robust Canadian housing sector, especially the booming condo markets in Vancouver and Toronto, could be at risk in 2012, say the heads of some of Canada’s biggest banks.

Gordon Nixon, president and CEO at Royal Bank (TSX:RY), told a banking conference Tuesday that the Canadian housing market could be headed for a slowdown, led by Vancouver and Toronto.

“When you look at markets like Vancouver and Toronto there is a level of caution from a risk perspective that is higher today than it would have been a couple of years ago,” he said.

“When you look at the condo side there is probably vulnerability … it is the area which is most vulnerable with respect to Canadian housing.”

Bank of Montreal president CEO Bill Downe agreed there is a risk of a downturn in the housing market, saying the best hope is for a soft landing.

“There is no question that the warning signs around the Canadian housing market have been visible for more than a year,” he said, also mentioning Toronto and Vancouver specifically.

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