Courtesy RECBC - January 17, 2-18

The Bank of Canada opted to raise the target for its overnight interest rate this morning 25 basis points  to 1.25 per cent.  In the statement accompanying the decision, the Bank cited recent strong economic data and rising inflation as motivations for the rate increase.

The Bank expects growth in the Canadian economy to slow to 2.2 per cent in 2018 and 1.6 per cent in 2019 with consumption and new home construction contributing less to growth than in years past.  With the economy returning to full-capacity, inflation is forecast to remain at 2 per cent over the medium term. 

The Bank also flagged risk to its outlook from ongoing NAFTA negotiations and noted it would remain cautious in considering future interest rate adjustments.

With the Canadian unemployment rate hitting a 40-year low and inflation ticking higher in recent months, the Canadian economy would seem to be operating at full capacity.

That argues for a more hawkish approach to monetary policy in order to bring interest rates closer to what the Bank estimates would be neutral for the economy, that is, a level in which the economy is neither running too hot nor too cold.  While today's rate increase was widely anticipated, it did come earlier in the year than previously expected and likely signals further rate increases to come in 2018. 

Canadian mortgage rates have already moved higher in anticipation of Bank of Canada tightening, which means a much tighter borrowing environment in 2018, particularly given newly implemented mortgage qualifying rules for low-ratio buyers. 

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Vancouver, BC – January 12, 2017.

Courtesy of BCREA

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 103,763 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) across the province in 2017, a decline of 7.5 per cent from a record 112,211 unit sales in 2016.

The average MLS® residential price in BC was $709,579 in 2017, up 2.7 per cent from the previous year. Total sales dollar volume was $73.63 billion, down 5.1 per cent from 2016.

“Robust housing demand in 2017 was underpinned by a strong economy, employment growth and rising wages," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "Above trend migration, both international and interprovincial, also bolstered housing demand, while broader demographic fundamentals added fuel to condominium sales in urban centres and to all home types in retirement-oriented communities."

The BC housing market ended the year with a strong December. Home sales increased 4 per cent from November, on a seasonally adjusted basis. However, the year-end results were likely pushed higher by some homebuyers advancing their purchases to avoid tougher mortgage qualification rules in the new year.

In December, a total of 5,738 residential unit sales were recorded by the MLS® across the province, an increase of 21.5 per cent from the same period last year. Total sales dollar volume was $4.2 billion, up 36.3 per cent from December 2016. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $734,108, up 12.1 per cent from the same month last year.

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The total value of permits issued in BC declined for a second consecutive month, falling 13.8 per cent on a monthly basis and 5 per cent year-over-year to $1.18 billion.  Residential permits fell almost 18 per cent on a monthly basis and were 22 per cent lower than this time last year. Non-residential permits declined about 6 per cent on a monthly basis but were 62 per cent higher year-over-year.

Construction intentions in November were higher in only one of BC's four census metropolitan areas (CMA):

  • Permits in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA  fell 16.6  per cent on a monthly basis to just over $30 million. Year-over-year, permit values were more than double the value of July 2016.
  • In the Victoria CMA, total construction intentions totaled just under $50 million, a 74 per cent decline from October and 18 per cent decline in permit values from one year ago.
  • In the Kelowna CMA, permits were 21.5 per cent higher a monthly basis and 24 per cent higher compared to November 2016 at $76.4 million.
  • The Vancouver CMA recorded permit activity valued at $708.3 million, a decline of 8.6 per cent on a monthly basis and an 18 per cent decrease year-over-year. The value of multi-family residential permits fell 29.5 per cent while single-detached permit values were essentially unchanged.
For more info please contact BCREA
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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.