September 6, 2019

Courtesy BCREA



Canadian employment increased in August by 81,100 jobs. An increase in the participation rate kept the unemployment rate unchanged at 5.7%. Leading the increase in August was part-time employment (57,200) and almost entirely in the private sector on the service side. Regionally, the largest gains in employment were reported in Ontario (57,800) and Quebec (19,700). 

In contrast, employment in BC fell by 8,300 jobs in August. This marks the third consecutive monthly decline. The August decline was driven by part-time employment, raising the provincial unemployment rate by 0.6 percentage points to 5%. Compared to one year ago, employment in BC is up 3% (73,800 jobs).   

For more information, please contact:  
 
Brendon Ogmundson
Deputy Chief Economist
604.742.2796
bogmundson@bcrea.bc.ca 
Kellie Fong
Economist
778.357.0831
kfong@bcrea.bc.ca 
   
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Vancouver, BC - September 5, 2019. 

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2019 Third Quarter Housing Forecast Update today.

Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province are forecast to decline 5 per cent to about 75,000 units this year, after recording 78,505 residential sales in 2018. MLS® residential sales are forecast to increase 11 per cent to 82,700 units in 2020, just below the 10-year average for MLS® residential sales of 85,800 units.

"BC markets are showing signs of recovery after nearly a year and a half of policy-induced declines," said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA Deputy Chief Economist. "We expect that recovery to continue into next year, with home sales normalizing around long-term averages."

A recovery in home sales has slowed the accumulation of resale inventory, with active listings still well short of the previous peak in 2012. That leaves market conditions at the provincial level essentially balanced with little upward pressure on prices. We anticipate that the MLS® average price will decline 2.4 per cent in 2019 before rising modestly by 3 per cent to $718,000 in 2020.

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September 4, 2019
Metro Vancouver housing market sees summer uptick in sales

Home buyer activity increased to more typical levels in Metro Vancouver throughout the summer months.


The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,231 in August 2019, a 15.7 per cent increase from the 1,929 sales recorded in August 2018, and a 12.7 per cent decrease from the 2,557 homes sold in July 2019.


Last month’s sales were 9.2 per cent below the 10-year August sales average.


“Home sales returned to more historically normal levels in July and August compared to what we saw in the first six months of the year,” said REBGV President Ashley Smith. 


There were 3,747 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in August 2019. This represents a 3.5 per cent decrease compared to the 3,881 homes listed in August 2018 and an 18.8 per cent decrease compared to July 2019 when 4,613 homes were listed.


The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 13,396, a 13.3 per cent increase compared to August 2018 (11,824) and a 5.9 per cent decrease compared to July 2019 (14,240).


For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for August 2019 is 16.7 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 12 per cent for detached homes, 18.4 per cent for townhomes, and 21.2 per cent for apartments.


Generally, analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.


“With more demand from home buyers, the supply of homes listed for sale isn’t accumulating like earlier in the year. These changes are creating more balanced market conditions,” Smith said.


The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $993,300. This represents an 8.3 per cent decrease over August 2018 and a 0.2 per cent decrease compared to July 2019.


Sales of detached homes in August 2019 reached 706, a 24.5 per cent increase from the 567 detached sales recorded in August 2018. The benchmark price for detached homes is $1,406,700. This represents a 9.8 per cent decrease from August 2018 and a 0.7 per cent decrease compared to July 2019.


Sales of apartment homes reached 1,116 in August 2019, an 8.9 per cent increase compared to the 1,025 sales in August 2018. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $771,000. This represents a 7.4 per cent decrease from August 2018 and a 0.1 per cent increase compared to July 2019.


Attached home sales in August 2019 totalled 409, a 21.4 per cent increase compared to the 337 sales in August 2018. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $654,000. This represents a 7.8 per cent decrease from August 2018, a 0.2 per cent increase compared to July 2019.


Download the August 2019 stats package. 


Home buyer activity increased to more typical levels in Metro Vancouver throughout the summer months.


The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,231 in August 2019, a 15.7 per cent increase from the 1,929 sales recorded in August 2018, and a 12.7 per cent decrease from the 2,557 homes sold in July 2019.


Last month’s sales were 9.2 per cent below the 10-year August sales average.


“Home sales returned to more historically normal levels in July and August compared to what we saw in the first six months of the year,” said REBGV President Ashley Smith. 


There were 3,747 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in August 2019. This represents a 3.5 per cent decrease compared to the 3,881 homes listed in August 2018 and an 18.8 per cent decrease compared to July 2019 when 4,613 homes were listed.


The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 13,396, a 13.3 per cent increase compared to August 2018 (11,824) and a 5.9 per cent decrease compared to July 2019 (14,240).


For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for August 2019 is 16.7 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 12 per cent for detached homes, 18.4 per cent for townhomes, and 21.2 per cent for apartments.


Generally, analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.


“With more demand from home buyers, the supply of homes listed for sale isn’t accumulating like earlier in the year. These changes are creating more balanced market conditions,” Smith said.


The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $993,300. This represents an 8.3 per cent decrease over August 2018 and a 0.2 per cent decrease compared to July 2019.


Sales of detached homes in August 2019 reached 706, a 24.5 per cent increase from the 567 detached sales recorded in August 2018. The benchmark price for detached homes is $1,406,700. This represents a 9.8 per cent decrease from August 2018 and a 0.7 per cent decrease compared to July 2019.


Sales of apartment homes reached 1,116 in August 2019, an 8.9 per cent increase compared to the 1,025 sales in August 2018. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $771,000. This represents a 7.4 per cent decrease from August 2018 and a 0.1 per cent increase compared to July 2019.


Attached home sales in August 2019 totalled 409, a 21.4 per cent increase compared to the 337 sales in August 2018. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $654,000. This represents a 7.8 per cent decrease from August 2018, a 0.2 per cent increase compared to July 2019.


Download the August 2019 stats package. 


REBGV

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September 4, 2019- courtesy of BCREA


The Bank of Canada left its target for the overnight rate unchanged at 1.75 per cent this morning. In the statement accompanying the decision the Bank noted escalated trade tensions between the US and China has resulted in weakened  business investment, lower commodity prices and heightened global risk.  While the Canadian economy posted strong growth in the second quarter of this year, the Bank attributes that growth to temporary factors unlikely to be repeated in the back half of the year. Overall, the Bank judges that the economy is operating close to its potential and inflation is in line with its target.  However, rising uncertainty in the global economy is impacting economic growth and further escalation may require additional monetary stimulus.

While the Bank of Canada, as expected, opted to not follow other central banks in lowering its policy rate, it has left the door open to lowering rates should developments in the global economy warrant doing so. Currently, economic conditions in Canada do not require further stimulus, and policymakers remain weary of re-igniting a build-up in household debt particularly after imposing policies designed to bring those debt burdens down.  We expect the  Bank will therefore remain on hold as long as current economic risk does not reach a tipping point, such as an impending recession in the United States.  As the uncertain global outlook keeps bond yields down, Canadian mortgage rates should stay near their current sub-3 per cent level for some time.

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August 30, 2019 - BCREA


The Canadian economy rebounded in the second quarter, surging at an annual rate of 3.7 per cent. That follows two quarters of lackluster sub-1 per cent real GDP growth.  Growth was primarily led by a recovery in export volumes which masked underlying weakness in domestic demand, which actually declined as household spending slowed and business investment declined.

Despite a solid second quarter growth, we are forecasting that the Canadian economy will expand by only 1.5 per cent this year, a slight deceleration from 1.8 per cent growth in 2018.  Moreover, inflation remains closely tied to its 2 per cent target, and unemployment remains very low, which should translate to a sidelined Bank of Canada.


That said, risks to the economy are very clearly tilted to the downside. The US continues to flirt with potentially disastrous trade wars and global financial markets are anticipating a US recession in the next twelve months.  Should those fears be realized, the next move by the Bank will certainly be to lower its overnight rate.
  

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Vancouver, BC – July 15, 2019.


The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 6,960 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in June, a decline of 11.8 per cent from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $687,584, a decline of 4 per cent from June 2018. Total sales dollar volume was $4.8 billion, a 15.3 per cent decline from the same month last year.


“BC home sales moderated lower in June after a stronger showing in May,” said BCREA Deputy Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “While mortgage rates offered by lenders have moved below 3 per cent, a static qualifying rate has limited the impact of the lower cost of borrowing.”


Total MLS® residential active listings were up 18.6 per cent to 42,625 units compared to the same month last year and were essentially flat on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to May.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 23.4 per cent to $24.5 billion, compared with the same period in 2018. Residential unit sales decreased 18.7 per cent to 35,679 units, while the average MLS® residential price was down 5.8 per cent to $688,080..

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BC Home Sales to Rise in 2020
BCREA 2019 Second Quarter Housing Forecast


Vancouver, BC – June 18, 2019. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2019 Second Quarter Housing Forecast today.

Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province are forecast to decline 9 per cent to 71,400 units this year, after recording 78,346 residential sales in 2018. MLS® residential sales are forecast to increase 14 per cent to 81,700 units in 2020. The 10-year average for MLS® residential sales in the province is 84,300 units.


“The shock to affordability from restrictive mortgage policies, especially the B20 stress test, will continue to limit housing demand in the province this year,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “However, a relatively strong economy and favourable demographics are likely creating pent-up demand in the housing market,”


The inventory of homes for sale has climbed out of a cyclical low, leading to balanced market conditions in many areas and buyer’s market conditions in some communities and across some products types. Current market conditions are expected to provide little upward pressure on home prices this year, with the average annual residential price forecast to remain essentially unchanged, albeit down 2 per cent to $697,000. Modest improvement in consumer demand is expected to unfold though 2020, pushing the average residential price up 4 per cent to $726,000.

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Vancouver, BC – June 14, 2019. 


The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 8,221 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May, a decline of 7 per cent from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $707,829, a decline of 4.3 per cent from May 2018. Total sales dollar volume was $5.8 billion, an 11 per cent decline from the same month last year.


“BC home sales increased 9 per cent in May compared to April, on a seasonally adjusted basis,” said BCREA Chief Economist Cameron Muir. “However, consumers continue to struggle with the negative shock to affordability that stringent mortgage lending policies have created.”


Total MLS® residential active listings were up 23.2 per cent to 41,519 units compared to the same month last year. However, total active listings were down 2 per cent from April, on a seasonally adjusted basis, the first monthly decline since the B20 Stress test was introduced in January 2018.


Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 25.1 per cent to $19.8 billion, compared with the same period in 2018. Residential unit sales decreased 20.2 per cent to 28,711 units, while the average MLS® residential price was down 6.2 per cent to $688,339.

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H-Info-April-2019

Reduced demand and increased supply remain the trend across Metro Vancouver’s housing market

Decreased demand continues to allow the supply of homes for sale to accumulate across the Metro Vancouver housing market.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 1,829 in April 2019, a 29.1 per cent decrease from the 2,579 sales recorded in April 2018, and a 5.9 per cent increase from the 1,727 homes sold in March 2019.


Last month’s sales were 43.1 per cent below the 10-year April sales average.

“Government policy continues to hinder home sale activity. The federal government’s mortgage stress test has reduced buyers’ purchasing power by about 20 per cent, which is causing people at the entry-level side of the market to struggle to secure financing,” Ashley Smith, REBGV president said. “Suppressing housing activity through government policy not only reduces home sales, it harms the job market, economic growth and creates pent-up demand.”


There were 5,742 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in April 2019. This represents a 1.3 per cent decrease compared to the 5,820 homes listed in April 2018 and a 16 per cent increase compared to March 2019 when 4,949 homes were listed.

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® in Metro Vancouver is 14,357, a 46.2 per cent increase compared to April 2018 (9,822) and a 12.4 per cent increase compared to March 2019 (12,774).

“There are more homes for sale in our market today than we’ve seen since October 2014. This trend is more about reduced demand than increased supply,” Smith said. “The number of new listings coming on the market each month are consistent with our long-term averages. It’s the reduced sales activity that’s allowing listings to accumulate.”


The overall sales-to-active listings ratio for April 2019 is 12.7 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 9.4 per cent for detached homes, 15.4 per cent for townhomes, and 15.3 per cent for apartments.


Generally, analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,008,400. This represents an 8.5 per cent decrease over April 2018, and a 0.3 per cent decrease compared to March 2019.


Detached home sales totalled 586 in April 2019, a 27.4 per cent decrease from the 807 detached sales in April 2018. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,425,200. This represents an 11.1 per cent decrease from April 2018, a 0.8 per cent decrease compared to March 2019.


Apartment home sales totalled 885 in April 2019, a 32.3 per cent decrease compared to the 1,308 sales in April 2018. The benchmark price of an apartment is $656,900 in the region. This represents a 6.9 per cent decrease from April 2018 and is unchanged from March 2019.


Attached home sales totalled 358 in April 2019, a 22.8 per cent decrease compared to the 464 sales in April 2018. The benchmark price of an attached home is $783,300. This represents a 7.5 per cent decrease from April 2018 and is unchanged from March 2019.

Editor’s Note

Areas covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, South Delta, Squamish, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver, West Vancouver, and Whistler.


The real estate industry is a key economic driver in British Columbia. In 2018, 24,619 homes changed ownership in the Board’s area, generating $1.7 billion in economic spin-off activity and an estimated 11,720 jobs. The total dollar value of residential sales transacted through the MLS® system in Greater Vancouver totalled $26 billion in 2018.

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Vancouver, BC – March 20, 2019.


The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) is pleased with the measures announced in Budget 2019 that will help address housing affordability in British Columbia. REALTORS® in BC recognize that home ownership is a difficult goal to achieve for many British Columbians, and the policies announced in this budget provide meaningful assistance with this complex challenge.
 
BCREA supports the newly announced First-Time Home Buyer Incentive program, which introduces shared equity mortgages that will help to directly foster affordability. The budget also proposes increasing the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) withdrawal limit from $25,000 to $35,000, further supporting first-time buyers.

“British Columbians who aspire to home ownership need to be able to achieve this goal to assure a sustainable future for our province,” says Darlene Hyde, BCREA CEO. “REALTORS® have advocated for modernization of the HBP for a long time and we’re pleased to see it addressed in Budget 2019.”

The BC real estate sector makes important direct contributions to economic growth in the province, ultimately accounting for close to ten per cent of real GDP in the province through new home construction and residential and commercial real estate transactions. Home sales also generate significant spin-off expenditures. According to a 2017 study from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), each home sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in BC between 2014 and 2016 generated $67,800 in related expenditures, such as moving costs, renovations and legal fees following the sale. Each transaction also generated an average of $7,000 in Property Transfer Tax.

BCREA also welcomes the following measures announced in Budget 2019:

  • making the National Housing Strategy a permanent program,
  • the announcement of an additional $10 billion and an extension of the Rental Construction Financing Initiative until 2027-28—a strong policy direction that will assist with assuring market sustainability,
  • increased sharing of financial data among federal and provincial governments and their agencies as part of anti-money laundering/anti-terrorist financing efforts; this issue can be best addressed with close collaboration among the federal and provincial governments, along with industry,    
  • the announcement of an Expert Panel on Housing Supply and Affordability. These are significant issues in British Columbia, and a well-chosen panel can bring collective expertise and forward-thinking strategy to the issue. In the near future, BCREA will provide the federal and provincial governments with recommendations for strong potential appointees. 

While we welcome the incentives for first-time home buyers, the announced measures fail to address the damage done by the mortgage stress test. BCREA is particularly encouraged that the federal government is carefully monitoring the effects of the B-20 mortgage regulations, as we recently voiced concern regarding the overreaching impact this policy is having in the Lower Mainland. We assert the federal government needs to review the policy against interest rate changes since its introduction and re-institute 30-year mortgages to further help Canadians achieve their goals of homeownership. 

Click here for the PDF.
 

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Vancouver, BC – March 13, 2019.


The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 4,533 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in February, a decline of 27 per cent from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $678,625, a decline of 9.3 per cent from February 2018. Total sales dollar volume was $3.08 billion, a 33.8 per cent decline from the same month last year.


“Prospective homebuyers continue to be sidelined by the mortgage stress test,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA Deputy Chief Economist. “As a consequence, and despite a strong BC labour market, sales remained slow in February.”


Total MLS® residential active listings increased 36.5 per cent to 30,891 units compared to the same month last year. The ratio of sales to active residential listings declined from 27.4 per cent to 14.7 per cent over the same period.


“Falling mortgage rates should provide some relief for homebuyers, providing a small boost to affordability heading into the spring,” added Ogmundson.

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March 4, 2019 - Courtesy of REBGV


The Metro Vancouver housing market saw increased supply from home sellers and below average demand from home buyers in February.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 1,484 in February 2019, a 32.8 per cent decrease from the 2,207 sales recorded in February 2018, and a 34.5 per cent increase from the 1,103 homes sold in January 2019.


Last month’s sales were 42.5 per cent below the 10-year February sales average.

“For much of the past four years, we’ve been in a sellers’ market. Conditions have shifted over the last 12 months to favour buyers, particularly in the detached home market,” Phil Moore, REBGV president said. “This means that home buyers face less competition today, have more selection to choose from and more time to make their decisions.”


There were 3,892 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in February 2019. This represents a 7.8 per cent decrease compared to the 4,223 homes listed in February 2018 and a 19.7 per cent decrease compared to the 4,848 homes listed in January 2019.


The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 11,590, a 48.2 per cent increase compared to February 2018 (7,822) and a 7.2 per cent increase compared to January 2019 (10,808).

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for February 2019 is 12.8 per cent.


Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

“Homes priced well for today’s market are attracting interest, however, buyers are choosing to take a wait-and-see approach for the time being,” Moore said. “REALTORS® continue to experience more traffic at open houses. We’ll see if this trend leads to increased sales activity during the spring market.”


The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,016,600. This represents a 6.1 per cent decrease over February 2018, a 6.2 per cent decrease over the past six months, and a 0.3 per cent decrease compared to January 2019.

Sales of detached homes in February 2019 reached 448, a 27.9 per decrease cent from the 621 detached sales recorded in February 2018. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,443,100. This represents a 9.7 per cent decrease from February 2018, a 7.6 per cent decrease over the past six months, and a 0.7 per cent decrease compared to January 2019.

Sales of apartment homes reached 759 in February 2019, a 35.9 per cent decrease compared to the 1,185 sales in February 2018. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $660,300. This represents a four per cent decrease from February 2018, a 5.1 per cent decrease over the past six months, and a 0.3 per cent increase compared to January 2019.

Attached home sales in February 2019 totalled 277, a 30.9 per cent decrease compared to the 401 sales in February 2018. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $789,300. This represents a 3.3 per cent decrease from February 2018, a 6.7 per cent decrease over the past six months, and a 1.4 per cent decrease compared to January 2019.


Download the February 2019 stats package
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Vancouver, BC – February 25, 2019. 

Courtesy of BCREA


The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2019 First Quarter Housing Forecast Update today.

Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province are forecast to increase 2 per cent to 80,000 units this year, after recording 78,345 residential sales in 2018.


MLS® residential sales are forecast to increase a further 6.9 per cent to 85,500 units in 2020.


The 10-year average for MLS® residential sales in the province is 85,800 units.


“The negative shock to affordability and purchasing power created by the B20 stress test on mortgage borrowers is expected to continue constraining housing demand in the province this year,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Favourable demographics along with continuing strong performance of the BC economy is expected to underpin housing demand over the next two years.”


The policy-induced demand shock has contributed to an increase of the inventory of homes for sale in most regions of the province. As a result, market conditions are expected to provide little upward pressure on home prices this year, with the average annual residential price forecast to remain essentially unchanged, albeit up 0.5 per cent to $716,100.


Modest improvement in consumer demand is expected to unfold over the next two years as households further adjust to the mortgage stress test.


Have a real estate question? Contact Maggie 604-328-0077

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Vancouver, BC – February 15, 2019. 

BCREA


The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 3,546 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January, a decline of 33.2 per cent from the same month last year.


The average MLS® residential price in the province was $665,590, a decline of 7.7 per cent from January 2018. Total sales dollar volume was $2.36 billion, a 38.4 per cent decline from the same month last year.


“BC households continue to grapple with the policyinduced affordability shock created last year by the federal government,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “The resulting pullback in consumer demand is largely responsible for January’s lacklustre performance.”


Total MLS® residential active listings increased 41.2 per cent to 29,522 units compared to the same month last year.


The ratio of sales to active residential listings declined from 25.4 per cent to 12 per cent over the same period.


“Many BC regions are now exhibiting buyer’s market conditions,” added Muir. “However, BC Northern, the Kootenay, Okanagan Mainline and the Vancouver Island markets continue to reflect balance between supply and demand.”

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Vancouver, BC – January 15, 2019.


TThe British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 78,345 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in 2018, a decline of 24.5 per cent from the 103,758 units sold in 2017.


The annual average MLS® residential price in BC was $712,508, an increase of 0.4 per cent from $709,601 recorded the previous year. Total sales dollar volume was $55.8 billion, a 24.2 per cent decline from 2017.


“BC home sales fell below the 10-year average of 84,800 units in 2018,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “The sharp decline in affordability caused by the B20 mortgage stress test is largely to blame for decline in consumer demand last year.”


A total of 3,497 MLS® residential unit sales were recorded across the province in December, down 39.1 per cent from December 2017. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $695,647, a decline of 5.2 per cent from December 2017.


Total sales dollar volume was $2.4 billion, a 42.3 per cent decline during the same period.


Total active residential listings were up 33.3 per cent to 27,615 units in December, the highest December inventory since 2014 when 33,995 active residential listings were recorded.

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BCREA ECONOMICS NOW


Bank of Canada Interest Rate Announcement - January 9, 2018


The Bank of Canada left its target for the overnight rate unchanged at 1.75 per cent this morning. In the statement accompanying the decision, the Bank noted that the outlook for the Canadian economy is moderating due to  falling oil prices and mandatory production cuts in Alberta and a slowdown in global demand due to US-China trade tensions. As a result, the Bank has trimmed its forecast for Canadian economic growth in 2019 from 2.1 per cent to 1.7 per cent. 


Total inflation is being dragged lower by falling gasoline prices, though core inflation remains near the Bank's 2 per cent target.

While the direction of future monetary policy remains tilted toward higher interest rates, our baseline forecast is for a single rate hike as the most likely outcome for 2019.


With a housing market battered by the stress test and signs of slowing growth elsewhere in the economy, it will be difficult for the Bank to accelerate monetary tightening beyond a gradual pace. 


A less hawkish Bank of Canada, along with a steep fall in Canadian bond yields, should translate to mortgage rates flattening out or even moving slightly lower in 2019.

 

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Courtesy BCREA - Jan 4, 2019


Canadian employment was up slightly in December, rising by 9,300 jobs. The national unemployment held steady at 5.6 per cent, the lowest it has been since 1976. Total employment for all of 2018 increased by 163,000 jobs, a 0.9 per cent rise over 2017.
 
In BC, employment grew by 4,400 jobs in December as full-time work jumped by almost 23,000 jobs but was offset by a drop in part-time employment.  On a year-over-year basis, employment was up 1.8 per cent and the provincial unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.4 per cent, the lowest rate among all provinces. 

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December 20, 21-018 - Courtesy REBGV


The federal government legalized non-medical cannabis on October 17, 2018 though Bill C-54, the Cannabis Act.  

This created a corresponding need for the BC government to establish cannabis-related laws and regulations through the newly passed Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (CCLA) which governs the possession, use, and cultivation of recreational cannabis.   

The CCLA has implications for REALTORS® and their clients because it provides guidance for landlords and strata councils on their rights and obligations. Here are five facts you and your clients should know.

1.  The CCLA authorizes adults (age 19 and older) to grow up to four cannabis plants per household for personal use as long as the plants aren’t visible from public spaces off the property. 


2.  The CCLA, for landlords, prohibits cannabis smoking under existing leases that prohibit smoking tobacco by amending the BC Residential Tenancy Act. If a residential tenancy agreement entered into before October 17, 2018 prohibits or limits smoking tobacco and doesn’t expressly permit smoking cannabis, then the agreement is deemed to include a term that prohibits or limits smoking cannabis in the same way smoking tobacco is prohibited or limited. 


3.  The CCLA prohibits personal cultivation of cannabis under existing leases, except for federally authorized medical cannabis.


4.  The CCLA establishes for new leases entered into after October 17, 2018, the lease must expressly state whether growing or smoking cannabis is prohibited or limited. If a lease doesn’t state this, landlords and tenants may negotiate terms regarding growing and smoking of cannabis.


5.  For strata councils, the CCLA doesn’t make amendments to the Strata Property ActThe provincial government also hasn’t imposed cannabis restrictions on strata councils, which can enact bylaws and rules restricting smoking or growing cannabis.


6.  Growing a limited amount of cannabis for health reasons is legal under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes regulations(which accompany Bill C-45) and isn’t contrary to tenancy agreements or strata bylaws. Anyone growing federally authorized medical cannabis should follow federal guidelines. Landlords or strata councils which try to restrict use of medical cannabis may be violating the BC Human Rights Code and Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. At the same time, there may be existing obligations to other tenants, including provisions for the quiet use and enjoyment of property.


7.  The CCLA permits municipal councils to set their own restrictions. Currently:

8.  Insurers of residential properties may have clauses in policies specifying they won’t insure homes used for cannabis production. There have been causes where landlords didn’t permit cannabis growing and didn’t know a tenant was growing cannabis, but were denied an insurance claim


9.  All cannabis retail stores require a provincial licence to operate. This is regulated and enforced by the BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch under the CCLA.

We'll keep you informed as municipalities create bylaws concerning cannabis production and retail.

The federal government legalized non-medical cannabis on October 17, 2018 though Bill C-54, the Cannabis Act.  

This created a corresponding need for the BC government to establish cannabis-related laws and regulations through the newly passed Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (CCLA) which governs the possession, use, and cultivation of recreational cannabis.   

The CCLA has implications for REALTORS® and their clients because it provides guidance for landlords and strata councils on their rights and obligations.


Here are five facts Realtors and their clients should know.


1.  The CCLA authorizes adults (age 19 and older) to grow up to four cannabis plants per household for personal use as long as the plants aren’t visible from public spaces off the property. 

2.  The CCLA, for landlords, prohibits cannabis smoking under existing leases that prohibit smoking tobacco by amending the BC Residential Tenancy Act. If a residential tenancy agreement entered into before October 17, 2018 prohibits or limits smoking tobacco and doesn’t expressly permit smoking cannabis, then the agreement is deemed to include a term that prohibits or limits smoking cannabis in the same way smoking tobacco is prohibited or limited. 

3.  The CCLA prohibits personal cultivation of cannabis under existing leases, except for federally authorized medical cannabis.

4.  The CCLA establishes for new leases entered into after October 17, 2018, the lease must expressly state whether growing or smoking cannabis is prohibited or limited. If a lease doesn’t state this, landlords and tenants may negotiate terms regarding growing and smoking of cannabis.

5.  For strata councils, the CCLA doesn’t make amendments to the Strata Property ActThe provincial government also hasn’t imposed cannabis restrictions on strata councils, which can enact bylaws and rules restricting smoking or growing cannabis.

6.  Growing a limited amount of cannabis for health reasons is legal under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes regulations(which accompany Bill C-45) and isn’t contrary to tenancy agreements or strata bylaws. Anyone growing federally authorized medical cannabis should follow federal guidelines. Landlords or strata councils which try to restrict use of medical cannabis may be violating the BC Human Rights Code and Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. At the same time, there may be existing obligations to other tenants, including provisions for the quiet use and enjoyment of property.

7.  The CCLA permits municipal councils to set their own restrictions. Currently:

8.  Insurers of residential properties may have clauses in policies specifying they won’t insure homes used for cannabis production. There have been causes where landlords didn’t permit cannabis growing and didn’t know a tenant was growing cannabis, but were denied an insurance claim

9.  All cannabis retail stores require a provincial licence to operate. This is regulated and enforced by the BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch under the CCLA.




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The British Columbia government has introduced legislation to tackle speculation in B.C.'s housing market and help turn empty properties into homes for people.

“We believe the people who live and work in B.C. should be able to afford a place to call home.


Right now, British Columbians are faced with some of the highest housing prices in the world and there is widespread support for government’s plan to moderate the housing market,” Carole James, Minister of Finance, said. “We’re tackling this housing crisis head-on and the speculation and vacancy tax is an essential piece in our plan.”


The speculation and vacancy tax is the first legislation of its kind to be introduced in the country. This groundbreaking legislation means that British Columbia will have the strongest protections in Canada against people looking to use the housing market as a resting place for both foreign capital and other speculative investments. It will also ensure satellite families and people who use local services without paying B.C. income taxes contribute their fair share.


The speculation and vacancy tax is already moderating the housing market by curbing foreign investment and discouraging the incentive to hold homes as vacant investment properties in B.C.’s major urban markets. According to experts including RBC, the Canadian Real Estate Association and Sotheby's, the speculation and vacancy tax and other measures introduced by the Province are responsible for helping cool the B.C. market.


October 2018 


All revenue raised from the speculation and vacancy tax will be used to fund affordable housing for people who live in B.C. Further, the tax will help boost the province’s rental supply by introducing incentives to make vacant homes available for rent.

The majority of revenue raised by the tax will come from non-residents of British Columbia, including foreign owners and satellite families. Over 99% of all British Columbians will be exempt from the tax.


The tax includes exemptions for British Columbians’ principal residences, rented properties, and special circumstances including major home renovations and difficult life events such as divorce. The legislation also has exemptions in place to broadly protect the development of land to support the province’s growing housing supply.

The speculation and vacancy tax is a part of the B.C. government’s 30-Point Plan for Housing Affordability to address the housing crisis and help make life more affordable for people.


Learn More:

For more information on the speculation and vacancy tax: gov.bc.ca/spectaxinfo


30-Point Plan for Housing Affordability: http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2018/homesbc/2018_Homes_For_BC.pdf


To ask questions about how the speculation and vacancy tax applies to you, call 1 833 554-2323 (toll-free in Canada and the U.S.) or 604 660-2421 (international).

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Bank of Canada Interest Rate Announcement - October 24, 2018

Courtesy BCREA


The Bank of Canada raised its target for the overnight rate by 25 basis points to 1.75 per cent this morning. In the statement accompanying the decision, the Bank noted that the Canadian economy is expected to average growth of 2 per cent over the second half of 2018 before slowing to 1.9 per cent next year. 


The renegotiation of NAFTA is expected to lower uncertainty and boost business investment and exports while households spending and the housing market are stabilizing after the implementation of the B20 mortgage stress test. Inflation is expected to remain close to 2 per cent over the Bank's two year projection horizon.
   
The resolution of NAFTA negotiations earlier in the fall paved the way for the Bank of Canada to resume its rate tightening this morning.  While inflation data came in slightly soft in September, the Canadian economy is still operating above its long-run trend which should keep inflation near the Bank's 2 per cent target.


The Bank will meet one final time in 2018 at its December meeting, at which we expect policymakers will maintain the target rate at is current level before raising the target rate to 2 per cent in January 2019.  As the target rate continues on its path higher, Canadian mortgage rates will continue to rise, ultimately resulting in a 6 per cent qualifying rate by the end of 2019.

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