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Blog by Micah Verceles

Rendering of The New Tallest Office Tower in Vancouver

September 30th, 2018
A 530-ft-tall office tower in downtown Vancouver has been dubbed ‘The Stack’ given its unique form of a twisting, stacked box design.

Oxford Properties announced today that its office tower at 1133 Melville Street is proceeding, with anchor tenants Erns & Young (E&Y) taking up 60,000-sq-ft, law firm Blakes taking up 80,000-sq-ft, and law firm DLA Piper taking up 67,000-sq-ft within the top ...

Bridging the Gap Between MICs and Brokers

September 29th, 2018
They’ve been around since the early 70s, but for many—the public and brokers alike—Mortgage Investment Corporations remain relatively unknown.

But work is underway to change that.

There’s no denying Mortgage Investment Corporations, or MICs, have come a long way since their inception by the federal government in 1973 through the Residential Mortgage Financing Act.

And thanks to new governme ...

B.C. government cuts automatic 2% increase in annual rent allowance for 2019

September 28th, 2018
The B.C. government is capping rent increases in the province at the rate of inflation, a move that will drastically cut the maximum annual rent hikes that had been allowed under the old formula.

The province dropped the automatic two per cent increase in annual rental costs for renters around the province, starting next year.

The increase will now be limited to the annual rate of inflation ...

Luxury-home sales are booming in Toronto, tumbling in Vancouver

September 27th, 2018


Canada’s luxury-home market has a split personality: East versus West.

Sales for $1 million or more in the Toronto region bounced back after a slowdown earlier this year, climbing 19 per cent in July and August from the same period in 2017, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada said Wednesday. The increase was even greater -- 34 per cent -- for a subset of transactions priced above $4 milli ...

Number of mortgages fell 3.4% in second quarter as stress test rules keep young buyers out

September 25th, 2018
With high prices, rising rates and new mortgage rules, millennials are taking 18% fewer mortgages

The number of new mortgages taken up in Canada in the second quarter of the year fell by 3.4 per cent compared to a year earlier, according to credit agency TransUnion, and younger borrowers seemed particularly discouraged from entering the housing market..

There was a decrease of 18 per cent i ...

Livestream: B.C. rental housing task force to announce recommendations

September 24th, 2018

Members of B.C.'s rental housing task force are set to announce recommendations aimed at helping tenants. 

Task force chair Spencer Chandra Herbert, NDP MLA for Vancouver-West End, along with Saanich North Green MLA Adam Olsen and Ronna-Rae Leonard, NDP MLA for Courtenay-Comox, have scheduled a press conference in downtown Vancouver at 9:30 a.m. PT.

CBC will stream the event live HERE

The t ...

Vancouver councillors move ahead with policy for duplexes on detached home lots

September 20th, 2018
Vancouver councillors have ended two days of public hearings by voting to allow duplexes in most city neighbourhoods currently restricted to single-family homes.

Mayor Gregor Robertson says the decision is another step toward adding homes in the city for the so-called "missing middle," which includes young families pushed out of Vancouver by soaring property prices.

A news release from the ...

Rising Interest Rates a Headwind for Canada’s Housing Market

September 19th, 2018
Rising interest rates and tighter mortgage lending rules may dampen the Canadian housing market in the coming months by reducing affordability for prospective buyers.

That’s the latest outlook from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), which revised its fall housing forecast, saying now that sales will drop 9.8% and prices will soften 2.8% to $494,900.

“The new stress-test on mortgag ...

Government Intends to Empower FICOM as a Crown Corporation

September 18th, 2018
Over the last six months, CMBA-BC has been in discussions with the BC Government concerning FICOM's transition to a Crown Agency and incorporating the Mortgage Broker registration program into the FICOM structure.

CMBA-BC's concerns over this transition are contained in our June 2018 letter to the Ministry of Finance.

As a result of today's announcement, we do not expect to see major change ...

Consumer Report Finds Homeownership is the Affordable Alternative as Rent Costs Continue to Soar

September 17th, 2018
Mortgage Professionals Canada is today releasing their comparative report, Owning versus Renting a Home in Canada. In the report, Will Dunning, Mortgage Professionals Canada's Chief Economist, compares the expected costs of housing of Canadians who will chose to rent versus those who chose to own. In the 266 scenarios examined in the report, taken from a broad cross section of regions throu ...

Homeownership Rates Dropping in Most Major Canadian Cities

September 14th, 2018
Home prices aren’t the only aspect of the housing market waning these days.

For the first time in over 45 years homeownership rates are also on the decline in Canada.

The share of homeowners is dropping in 11 of 13 provinces and in 88 of the country’s largest 100 cities, according to an analysis conducted by Point2 Homes based on 2016 Statistics Canada data.

The national homeownership rate ...

Cooling of Canada’s real-estate market expected to continue: poll

September 13th, 2018
Canada’s real estate market is expected to slow further, with rising interest rates and more stringent mortgage rules set to cool home sales and price rises, a Reuters poll of property market analysts showed on Monday.

Among once-hot markets, the outlook for Toronto home prices improved somewhat from the previous poll in June, while the prospects for Vancouver, which has some of the most ex ...

Q3 2018 Bank Earnings

September 12th, 2018
The dust has settled following the latest round of big bank earnings, which unveiled another solid quarter and record earnings.

The new B-20 regulations and higher interest rates so far appear to be having little effect on mortgage growth, with RBC reporting that customers are “self-adjusting” to the new landscape.

One big gift delivered to the banks courtesy of the B-20 guidelines is turni ...

Decreasing certainty for an increase in rates

September 11th, 2018
Market watchers have now fixed their gaze on October 24th as the most likely date for the next rate move by the Bank of Canada. As of the setting last week, that saw no change, the betting was about 75% in favour of a hike in October, but that certainty seems to be slipping.

The latest employment numbers from Statistics Canada will likely have the Bank carefully considering any move toward ...

Residential Market Commentary – The key reason for the decline of new mortgage loans

September 5th, 2018
A new report from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation confirms what we have all suspected: there were fewer mortgages taken out in 2017 compared to 2016. The key reason for the decline suggests 2018 will see more of the same.

Using data from credit monitoring agency Equifax, CMHC reports just shy of 960,000 new mortgage loans in 2017, down 6.5% from 2016.

Of the five categories of borro ...

Market Memo: Affordability challenges for the young and the old

September 5th, 2018
Even with stabilizing home prices, rising interest rates are causing an on-going erosion of housing affordability in Canada.

Affordability is a well-established problem for young, millennial, first-time buyers. As markets have over heated and home prices have soared they have struggled to put together ever increasing down payments while meeting ever tougher borrowing requirements. It is als ...

Bank of Canada holds rates steady as it eyes NAFTA fallout

September 5th, 2018
The Bank of Canada is taking a breather from its efforts to push up interest rates as it watches the fallout from the country’s trade showdown with the U.S.

The central bank opted to leave its key rate at 1.5 per cent Wednesday in spite of unexpectedly good economic conditions this summer.

“The bank is . . . monitoring closely the course of NAFTA negotiations and other trade policy developm ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - August 2018 Stats

September 5th, 2018
Home buyer demand stays below historical averages in August

The Metro Vancouver* housing market continues to experience reduced demand across all housing types.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 1,929 in August 2018, a 36.6 per cent decrease from the 3,043 sales recorded in August 2017, and a 6.8 per cent decline co ...