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Bank of Canada Interest Rate Announcement – January 17, 2018

Vancouver Real Estate Interest Rates

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.

Source – BCREA

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BCREA – Economics – Canadian Building Permits

Building Permits Vancouver Real Estate

 

The total value of Canadian building permits fell close to 8 per cent on a monthly basis in November, the first decrease in three months. The decline in construction intentions was broad based, with all categories of buildings except residential single detached posting lower permit values.

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.

From the BCREA.

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BC Economics – Canadian Housing Starts – January 8, 2018

Vancouver Housing Starts - Real Estate

BCREA ECONOMICS NOW

Canadian housing starts closed out the year falling 14 per cent on monthly basis to 216,980 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts remained elevated at 226,777units SAAR. For all of 2017, total new home construction in Canada was up 6.2 per cent.

BC saw total housing starts rise 11 per cent to almost 50,000 units SAAR in December on a monthly basis. Total starts in BC were up 26 per cent year-over-year. Single detached starts were down 2 per cent on a monthly basis but increased 21 per cent compared to December 2016 while multiple starts were up 15 per cent month-over-month and were 28 per cent higher year-over-year. For all of 2017, new home construction in BC was up 4 per cent.

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC:

Total starts in the Vancouver CMA were driven higher by apartment condominium starts in Vancouver, Richmond and Coquitlam. Multiple starts across the CMA rose 11 per cent year-over-year in December, offsetting a 4 per cent decline in single detached starts. Overall, Vancouver CMA starts finished 2017 down 6 per cent.

In the Victoria CMA, the year closed with historically high housing starts, reaching the highest level of new home construction since 1976. Multiple unit starts jumped 70 per cent in December on a year-over-year basis, driven by elevated rental market construction. For all of 2017, Victoria new home construction increased 32 per cent.

New home construction in the Kelowna CMA were up 18 per cent from November but down 17 per cent year-over-year. For all of 2017, multiple unit starts drove a surge in new home construction, rising 88 per cent over 2016 leading to a 63 per cent overall increase in housing starts.
Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA tumbled 72 per cent on a monthly basis in December following a spike in multiple unit starts the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, new home construction was down 41 per cent. For all of 2017, new home construction in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA was up 51 per cent.

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December 2017 & Year End Summary – Statistics

Vancouver Real Estate Summary 2017

Steady sales and diminished listings characterize 2017 for the Metro Vancouver housing market

After reaching record levels in 2015 and 2016, Metro Vancouver home sales returned to more historically normal levels in 2017. Home listings, on the other hand, came in several thousand units below typical activity.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that sales of detached, attached and apartment properties reached 35,993 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in 2017, a 9.9 per cent decrease from the 39,943 sales recorded in 2016, and a 15 per cent decrease over the 42,326 residential sales in 2015.

Last year’s sales total was, however, 9.7 per cent above the 10-year sales average.

“It was a steady year for home sales across the region, led by condominium and townhome activity, and a quieter year for home listings,” Jill Oudil, REBGV president said. “Metro Vancouver home sales were the third highest we’ve seen in the past ten years while the home listings total was the second lowest on record for the same period.”

Home listings in Metro Vancouver reached 54,655 in 2017. This is a 5.1 per cent decrease compared to the 57,596 homes listed in 2016 and a 4.5 per cent decrease compared to the 57,249 homes listed in 2015.

Last year’s listings total was 4.4 per cent below the 10-year listings average.

“Market activity differed considerably this year based on property type,” Oudil said. “Competition was intense in the condominium and townhome markets, with multiple offer situations becoming commonplace. The detached home market operated in a more balanced state, giving home buyers more selection to choose from and more time to make decisions.”

The MLS® HPI composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver ends the year at $1,050,300. This is up 15.9 per cent compared to December 2016.

The benchmark price of condominiums increased 25.9 per cent in the region last year. Townhomes increased 18.5 per cent and detached homes increased 7.9 per cent.

“Strong economic growth, low interest rates, declining unemployment, increasing wages and a growing population all helped boost home buyer demand in our region last year,” Oudil said.

December summary

Sales of detached, attached, and apartment properties totalled 2,016 in the region in December 2017, a 17.6 per cent increase from the 1,714 sales recorded in December 2016 and a 27.9 per cent decrease compared to November 2017 when 2,795 homes sold.

Last month’s sales were 7.5 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.

“As we move into 2018, REALTORS® are working with their clients to help them understand how changing interest rates and the federal government’s new mortgage qualifications could affect their purchasing power,” Oudil said. “Only time will tell what impact these rules will have on the market.

“Home buyers today should get pre-approved before making an offer to ensure that your home buying goals align with your financial situation,” Oudil said.

There were 1,891 residential homes newly listed for sale in December 2017. This represents a 44.1 per cent increase compared to the 1,312 homes listed in December 2016 and a 54 per cent decrease compared to November 2017 when 4,109 properties were listed.

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® in Metro Vancouver is 6,958, a 9.7 per cent increase compared to December 2016 (6,345) and a 20.5 per cent decrease compared to November 2017 (8,747).

The sales-to-active listings ratio for December 2017 is 29 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 14.4 per cent for detached homes, 38.8 per cent for townhomes, and 59.6 per cent for condominiums.

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.

Sales of detached properties in December 2017 reached 617, a 14 per cent increase from the 541 detached sales recorded in December 2016. The benchmark price for a detached home in the region is $1,605,800. This represents a 7.9 per cent increase compared to December 2016.

Sales of apartment homes reached 1,028 in December 2017, a 12.3 per cent increase compared to the 915 sales in December 2016.The benchmark price of an apartment in the region is $655,400. This represents a 25.9 per cent increase compared to December 2016.

Attached (or townhome) property sales in December 2017 totalled 371, a 43.8 per cent increase compared to the 258 sales in December 2016. The benchmark price of an attached home in the region is $803,700. This represents an 18.5 per cent increase compared to December 2016.

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Housing, immigration focus of latest census release

Canada Passport Immigration

Housing and immigration are the focus of the latest Statistics Canada Census 2016 data release.

Here are the highlights.

Housing

In Metro Vancouver, fewer residents are buying homes and when they do, they’re less likely to buy single-family homes.

Home ownership in the region declined by 1.4 per cent from 2006 to 2016, while the percentage of those owning detached homes declined by 6.1 per cent.

Metro Vancouver home ownership rate
Date Number of owner
households
Number of renter
households
Percentage of
owner households
Percentage of
renter households
2016 612,005 348,700 63.7 36.3
2006 531,720 285,045 65.1 34.9

Source: Census 2006Census 2016

Metro Vancouver
Date Number of
detached
dwellings
Number of
other
dwellings
Percentage of
detached
Percentage of
all other
dwellings
2016 282,355 678,535 29.4 70.6
2006 290,117 527,113 35.5 64.5

Source: Census 2006Census 2016

There are 1,027,613 private dwellings in Metro Vancouver, and of these, 960,894 (93.5%) are occupied, and 293,765 (31%) are condominiums.

Region-wide, 60.3 per cent of owner households have a mortgage and 25.4 per cent of owner households spend more than 30 per cent of their income on shelter costs.

When it comes to renters, 43.5 per cent spend more than 30 per cent of their income on shelter costs.

The average monthly shelter cost for owner and rental households is $1,622.

Immigration

Metro Vancouver welcomed 142,530 immigrants from January 11, 2011 (the last short-form census) to May 10, 2016.

The predominant country of origin was China (25%) followed by India (15%), the Philippines (14.2%), Iran (5.8%), South Korea (4.7%) and the United States (2.8%).

Of the region’s total population of 2,463,431, 13 per cent or 323,120 residents aren’t Canadian citizens.

Burnaby

Burnaby welcomed 16,065 immigrants from January 11, 2011 to May 10, 2016.

Of these, 5,170 (32%) came from China, 1,960 (12.2%) came from the Philippines, 1,065 (6.8%) came from India, and 1,045 (6.5%) came from South Korea.

Burnaby’s population of 232,755 includes 189,775 citizens and 40,305 (17%) non-citizens.

Coquitlam

Coquitlam welcomed 9,530 immigrants from January 11, 2011 to May 10, 2016.

New residents from China totalled 2,370 (25%), followed by 1,605 from Iran (17%), and 1,495 from South Korea (16%).

Coquitlam’s population of 139,284 includes 118,870 Canadian citizens and 19,225 (14%) non-citizens.

Maple Ridge

Maple Ridge welcomed 1,520 immigrants from January 11, 2011 to May 10, 2016.

The predominant country of origin was the Philippines with 340 immigrants (22%), followed by China with 165 (11%), the United Kingdom with 160 (10.5%), and India with 135 (8%).

Maple Ridge’s population of 82,252 includes 76,965 citizens and 4,010 (4%) non-citizens.

North Vancouver

North Vancouver welcomed 3,745 immigrants from January 11, 2011 to May 10, 2016.

The predominant country of origin was Iran with 1,165 newcomers (31%), followed by the Philippines with 765 (14%) and the United Kingdom with 205 (5%).

North Vancouver’s population of 52,898 includes 45,315 citizens and 6,875 (13%) non-citizens.

Richmond

Richmond welcomed 15,245 immigrants from January 11, 2011 to May 10, 2016.

The predominant country of origin was China with 8,940 newcomers (58%), followed by the Philippines with 2,135 (14%), and India with 565 (3%).

Richmond’s population includes 162,455 citizens and 34,210 (17.2%) non-citizens. Of these, 107,080 self-identify as ethnic Chinese (54.0%). In 2006, 78,790 (45.2%) residents self-identified as ethnic Chinese.

Courtesy Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver: Source

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Commercial Real Estate – Q3 2017

Commercial-Real-Estate-Stats-Q3-2017-1170x0-c-center

Sales down, values up in Lower Mainland commercial real estate

Commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland have edged down from last year’s record highs while dollar values continued to rise in the third quarter (Q3) of 2017.

There were 652 commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland in Q3 2017, an 8.8 per cent decrease from the record 715 sales in Q3 2016, according to data from Commercial Edge, a commercial real estate system operated by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

The 652 sales in Q3 2017 are 10.7 per cent above the five-year Q3 sales average for the region (589).

The total dollar value of commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland reached $3.270 billion in Q3 2017, a 16.1 per cent increase from $2.815 billion in Q3 2016.

“While there have been fewer commercial sales this year compared to 2016, activity remains in line with the long-term average for the region,” Jill Oudil, REBGV president said. “On the pricing side, dollar values for commercial properties have climbed about 16 per cent in the last year. This growth can be attributed, in part, to the extended economic growth we’ve been experiencing across a variety of sectors in our province.”

Q3 2017 activity by category

Land: There were 278 commercial land sales in Q3 2017, which is a 4.5 per cent decrease from the 291 land sales in Q3 2016. The dollar value of land sales was $2.100 billion in Q3 2017, a 35.3 per cent increase from $1.552 billion in Q3 2016.

Office and Retail: There were 225 office and retail sales in the Lower Mainland in Q3 2017, which is up 0.9 per cent from the 223 sales in Q3 2016. The dollar value of office and retail sales was $578 million in Q3 2017, a 6.1 per cent increase from $545 million in Q3 2016.

Industrial: There were 128 industrial land sales in the Lower Mainland in Q3 2017, which is down 21 per cent over the 162 sales in Q3 2016. The dollar value of industrial sales was $400 million in Q3 2017, a 15 per cent increase from $348 million in Q3 2016.

Multi-Family: There were 21 multi-family land sales in the Lower Mainland in Q3 2017, which is down 46.2 per cent from 39 sales in Q3 2016. The dollar value of multi-family sales was $192 million in Q3 2017, a 48.1 per cent decrease from $371 million in Q3 2016.

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BCREA Real Estate Stats – November 2017

Vancouver-2017-Real-Estate-Statistics-1170x0-c-center

Strong Economy Supporting Elevated Housing Demand

Vancouver, BC – December 12, 2017The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 7,731 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in November, an increase of 20.4 per cent from the same period last year. Total sales dollar volume was $5.59 billion, up 39.1 per cent from November 2016. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $723,112, up 15.5 per cent from November 2016.

“November was the third consecutive month that BC home sales were above 9,000 units, on a seasonally adjusted basis,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Elevated consumer demand is being supported by strong employment growth, rising wages and favourable demographics.”

BC employment increased 3.8 per cent over the last 12 months, totaling over 90,000 jobs. Over the same period, average hourly wages in the province climbed 5.7 per cent to $26.82. Against this backdrop, a large cohort of millennials is entering their household-forming life stage. In addition, some buyers are likely completing purchases now in advance of tighter conventional mortgage qualifications, scheduled for the new year.

Year to date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 6.8 per cent to $69.4 billion, when compared with the same period in 2016. Residential unit sales declined 8.8 per cent to 98,024 units, while the average MLS® residential price increased 2.2 per cent to $708,150.

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Bank of Canada – Interest Rate Announcement December 2017

Bank of Canada Interest Rates

Bank of Canada Interest Rate Announcement – December 6, 2017

The Bank of Canada maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent this morning. In the statement accompanying the decision, the Bank noted that the Canadian economy is evolving as expected, with growth slowing in the second half of the year.   On inflation, the Bank expects the continued absorption of economic slack to push core inflation higher in subsequent months.  Importantly, the Bank concluded its statement by noting that rate increases will be required over time, though it will proceed with caution as it assesses the economy’s sensitivity to higher rates.

Although the Bank of Canada has a bias toward raising rates over the next 12 months, it is currently sidelined by low inflation as well as concerns over how higher interest rates will interact with elevated household debt levels.  We anticipate the Bank will remain on hold in early 2018 as it assesses the impact of the forthcoming mortgage stress test, but will look to raise rates one or two times in the second half of next year.

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Vancouver Real Estate Statistics – November 2017

Vancouver Stats - Real Estate - November 2017

Metro Vancouver continues to experience above-average demand and below-average supply

Metro Vancouver* saw modest home listing changes and steady demand in November.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,795 in November 2017, a 26.2 per cent increase from the 2,214 sales recorded in November 2016, and a 7.5 per cent decrease compared to October 2017 when 3,022 homes sold.

Last month’s sales were 17 per cent above the 10-year November sales average.

“We’re seeing steady demand in today’s market. Home buyer activity is operating above our long-term averages, particularly in our townhome and condominium markets,” Jill Oudil, REBGV president said.

There were 4,109 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in November 2017. This represents a 30.6 per cent increase compared to the 3,147 homes listed in November 2016 and a 9.5 per cent decrease compared to October 2017 when 4,539 homes were listed.

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 8,747, a 4.3 per cent increase compared to November 2016 (8,385) and a 4.3 per cent decrease compared to October 2017 (9,137).

“While we’re seeing more listings enter the market today than we saw at this time last year, we have a long way to go before our home listing inventory rises back to more historically typical levels,” Oudil said.

The sales-to-active listings ratio for November 2017 is 32 per cent, which is up three per cent since September 2017. By property type, the ratio is 15.9 per cent for detached homes (up one per cent since September 2017), 36.4 per cent for townhomes (down six per cent since September 2017), and 67.8 per cent for condominiums (up seven per cent since September 2017).

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.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,046,900. This represents a 14 per cent increase over November 2016 and a 0.4 per cent increase compared to October 2017.

Sales of detached properties in November 2017 reached 841, a 31.8 per cent increase from the 638 detached sales recorded in November 2016. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,608,000. This represents a 6.1 per cent increase from November 2016 and a 0.1 per cent decrease compared to October 2017.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,508 in November 2017, a 25.7 per cent increase compared to the 1,200 sales in November 2016. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $648,200. This represents a 23.9 per cent increase from November 2016 and a one per cent increase compared to October 2017.

Attached property sales in November 2017 totalled 446, an 18.6 per cent increase compared to the 376 sales in November 2016. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $805,200. This represents a 17.9 per cent increase from November 2016 and a 0.3 per cent increase compared to October 2017.

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October 2017 Vancouver Real Estate Statistics

October Real Estate Statistics

October sales exceed historical average

Metro Vancouver home sales exceeded typical historical levels in October with the majority concentrated in the townhouse and apartment markets.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in the region totalled 3,022 in October 2017, a 35.3 per cent increase from the 2,233 sales recorded in October 2016, and an increase of 7.1 per cent compared to September 2017 when 2,821 homes sold.

Last month’s sales were 15 per cent above the 10-year October sales average.

“Conditions continue to vary significantly based on property type. The detached home market is well supplied with homes for sale, which is relieving pressure on prices,” Jill Oudil, REBGV president said. “It remains a much different story in the townhouse and apartment markets. Buyers of these properties continue to have limited supply to choose from and are seeing upward pressure on prices.”

There were 4,539 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in October 2017. This represents a 14 per cent increase compared to the 3,981 homes listed in October 2016 and a 15.6 per cent decrease compared to September 2017 when 5,375 homes were listed.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 9,137, a 0.1 per cent decrease compared to October 2016 (9,143) and a 3.5 per cent decrease compared to September 2017 (9,466).

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for October 2017 is 33.1 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 16.8 per cent for detached homes, 44.8 per cent for townhomes, and 66 per cent for condominiums.

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.

“The growth in our provincial economy and job market is contributing to today’s demand,” Oudil said. “The federal government’s announcement of plans to tighten mortgage requirements for the seventh time in the last eight years also helped spur activity in the short term. Many buyers are trying to enter the market before the changes are in place.”

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,042,300. This represents a 12.4 per cent increase over October 2016 and a 0.5 per cent increase compared to September 2017.

Sales of detached properties in October 2017 reached 940, a 44.2 per cent increase from the 652 detached sales recorded in October 2016 and a 34.6 per cent decrease from the 1,437 sales in October 2015. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,609,600. This represents a four per cent increase from October 2016 and a 0.5 per cent decrease compared to September 2017.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,532 in October 2017, a 30.1 per cent increase compared to the 1,178 sales in October 2016 and a 0.7 per cent decrease from the 1,543 sales in October 2015. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $642,000. This represents a 22.7 per cent increase from October 2016 and a one per cent increase compared to September 2017.

Attached property sales in October 2017 totalled 550, a 36.5 per cent increase compared to the 403 sales in October 2016 and a 17.4 per cent decrease from the 666 sales in October 2015. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $802,400. This represents a 17.7 per cent increase from October 2016 and a two per cent increase compared to September 2017.