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5,400 sq.ft Reverse Roof House in Billimora by Amit Shastri Architects

June 18th, 2019
PROJECT FACT FILE:
Name: Reverse Roof House
Location: Billimora, Gujarat
Plot Area: 5,400 sq.ft
Built-up Area: 5,500 sq.ft
Start Year: June, 2015
Completion Year: 2018
Cost Range: INR 2,500 - 3,000 per sq.ft

ARCHITECT DETAILS: F
irm Name: Amit Shastri Architects
Based In: Mumbai Principal: Architect Amit Shastri
URL: http://amitshastriarchitects.com/

Photo Credits: Photographix | Sebastian + I ...

Residential Market Commentary - A tale of two job reports

June 17th, 2019
The latest job numbers out of Canada and the U.S. have fired up speculation about what is going to happen with interest rates.

The employment stats for May appear to be telling the story of two economies heading in different directions. Canada’s numbers came in well above expectations last month with nearly 28,000 new, full time positions created. (Part time numbers did not change.) That foll ...

Canada’s mortgage stress tests are broken: economist

June 13th, 2019
The stress tests most mortgage applicants in Canada face are defective — but rather than scrapping them, policymakers should make changes.

That’s the overall message economist Will Dunning is sending to Ottawa by way of a new report written for lending-industry group Mortgage Professionals Canada.

“[N]o serious person or organization is suggesting that the stress tests be abandoned. They are ...

'Pretty cheap money': Canadian mortgage rates falling to their lowest level in 2 years

June 12th, 2019
House prices may be as high as ever in many parts of the country, but Canadian homebuyers are being offered some of the lowest mortgage rates seen in years as lenders battle to drum up new business.

Rates on a standard five-year fixed-rate mortgage have fallen to their lowest level in two years, according to rate comparison website, Ratehub.ca.

Borrowers just about everywhere across the count ...

Debt blamed in credit crisis could help Canada with housing risk

June 11th, 2019
The type of securities blamed for triggering a credit crisis in the U.S. a decade ago could now be part of the solution in Canada, where a cooling housing market is a key risk to its US$1.7 trillion economy.

The Bank of Canada is discussing ways to encourage a more robust market for residential mortgage-backed securities with potential investors. Only about $1.5 billion of Canadian uninsured ...

Residential Market Commentary - Standing pat, but still optimistic

June 5th, 2019
The Bank of Canada remains optimistic, but understated, about the Canadian economy.

As expected the central bank remained on the sidelines for its last interest rate setting, holding at 1.75%. It cites an increase in global trade risks as the overriding factor in that decision.

The Bank is encouraged by the end of the Canada – U.S. tariff battle over steel and aluminum, along with the increas ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - May 2019 Stats

June 4th, 2019
May sees modest increase in home sales while housing supply reaches five-year high

Monthly *Metro Vancouver1 home sales eclipsed 2,000 for the first time this year in May, although home buyer demand remains below historical averages.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,638 in May 2019, a 6.9 per cent decrease from th ...

Metro Vancouver at 'epicentre' of further downside in BC housing prices: report

June 3rd, 2019
For the third consecutive year, annual resale transactions in BC real estate will continue to decline, resulting in the fewest home sales since 2013, according to a new report released today.

The latest Central 1 economic forecast said that any hopes for a better year for BC’s housing market were “dashed early as the culmination of federal and provincial policies continued to weigh heavily” o ...

Bank of Canada Maintains Overnight Rate

May 29th, 2019
In a terse statement, the Bank of Canada maintained its benchmark overnight rate for the fifth consecutive meeting and stated that economy was performing in line with the projections in the Bank's April Monetary Policy Report (MPR). Following a slowdown in economic activity late last year and in the first quarter of this year, the Bank's press release said that evidence was mounting that econ ...

IMF urges Canada not to change policy despite calls to ease mortgage stress test

May 23rd, 2019
The IMF says it would be 'ill-advised' to stimulate activity in the housing sector

Canada should hold off on changes to make homebuying more affordable but should speed up efforts to reduce trade barriers within its borders, advises the International Monetary Fund.

The organization calls for policies that focus on ensuring a sound financial system, enhanced co-operation between federal and ...

$89B in home equity lost across Metro Vancouver over past year, report claims

May 22nd, 2019
Report blames stress test, taxes aimed at stabilizing market — but households won't necessarily feel pinch yet.

Properties across Metro Vancouver lost $89.2 billion in homeowner equity over the past year, according to a report released on Tuesday.

The report was prepared by analyzing publicly available housing data, and was released by Step Up Now, a volunteer group that lobbies against taxat ...

My Lane Home | North Vancouver's First Modular Coach House

May 21st, 2019
Functional Design, Precision Building, and Affordability are the foundations of the My Lane Home team. Donna and Paul Binotto had a vision of creating an organization dedicated to innovative solutions to the ongoing lower mainland housing issues, focussing on the multi-use of space through functional design and on innovative, reliable and sustainable construction practices. Specifically, lane ...

Residential Market Commentary - Dirty money in the real estate market

May 16th, 2019
Some startling numbers released last week show how deeply Vancouver real estate is influenced by money laundering.

A report prepared for the British Columbia government says about $7.4 billion was laundered through the province in 2018. More than two-thirds of that money, about $5 billion, was used to buy real estate.

It is estimated that money laundering activity raised the benchmark price o ...

'Done with asking nicely': B.C. announces public inquiry into money laundering

May 15th, 2019
British Columbia will hold a public inquiry into money laundering, sparked by a set of explosive reports showing widescale laundering in the province's real estate, gambling and luxury car sectors.

B.C. Premier John Horgan announced the decision, flanked by Attorney General David Eby and Finance Minister Carole James after a cabinet meeting Wednesday morning.

"It became abundantly clear to us ...

Where are Canadian interest rates heading in 2019? It depends on who you ask

May 14th, 2019
If you’d asked a big bank economist last year where interest rates were headed in 2019, they’d probably have said they were going up.

They had good reason to believe it. The Bank of Canada had hiked its policy rate, which influences mortgage rates, five times since summer 2017, including three times in 2018. The central bank also said this past October that “the policy rate will need to rise. ...

Residential Market Commentary - The Fed holds firm

May 9th, 2019
Market watchers have received one of the strongest signals yet that interest rates are not going anywhere, anytime soon.

The U.S. Federal Reserve has held the line on its trend-setting policy rate, maintaining it in the range of 2.25% to 2.50%. The central bank also made it clear (or, at least, as clear as central banks ever do) that it will not be moving rates given the current state of the ...

Don’t kill the mortgage stress test — modify it: CIBC’s Benjamin Tal

May 7th, 2019
Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist of CIBC, speaks with the Financial Post’s Larysa Harapyn about interest rates, Canadians’ insolvency rates and the B-20 mortgage stress test, introduced in January 2018 to cool the housing market.



Residential Market Commentary - Bank of Canada pulls up a seat on the sidelines

May 3rd, 2019
As expected the Bank of Canada has, once again, moved to the sidelines when it comes to interest rate policy. This time, though, the bankers appear to have unfolded their lawn chairs, taken a seat and put their feet up; settling-in for an extended period of inactivity.

The central bank’s benchmark policy rate was left unchanged at 1.75% during last week’s setting. More significantly, the Bank ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - April 2019 Stats

May 2nd, 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 ...

Self-employed increasingly turning to private lenders for mortgages

April 30th, 2019
The self-employed are among the growing number of Canadians turning to private lenders in order to obtain a mortgage.

While many prospective homeowners are driven to alternate lenders because of government-mandated stress tests and poor credit scores, the self-employed often have additional burdens to overcome in proving their income.

According to the Bank of Canada, private lenders have doub ...

Toronto, Vancouver Condos Now Only For Top Earners: Report

April 29th, 2019
MONTREAL — If you need any further proof that big-city housing prices are out of control and a whole generation of Canadians risks being shut out of home ownership, look no further than a new report from real estate site Zoocasa.

Using data from Statistics Canada and the Canadian Real Estate Association, Zoocasa calculated that you would need to be in the top 10 per cent of Toronto's earners ...

Residential Market Commentary - New realities have home buyers adjusting

April 26th, 2019
Canadian home buyers continue to accept and adjust to the new realities of the market, but that doesn’t mean they are happy about it.

A home ownership survey conducted earlier this year suggests nearly 40% of homeowners see themselves as being (or having been) “house poor”. That means they are spending more than 30% of their total income on housing; mortgage, taxes, utilities and maintenance. ...

Apartment Therapy + The New Homesmiths | We Live in a Shipping Container

April 25th, 2019
Seven gray metal rectangles create a stacked array of straight lines on a quiet street in New Orleans. These shipping containers once traveled along the Mississippi River. Now stationary, they make up the extraordinary home of Kicker Kalozdi, founder of premium bag company DamnDog, and his wife Anne Kalozdi, who is a biomedical engineer. They designed and built this house made out of shipping ...

Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1 ¾ per cent

April 24th, 2019
The Bank of Canada today maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1 ¾ per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 2 per cent and the deposit rate is 1 ½ per cent.

Global economic growth has slowed by more than the Bank forecast in its January Monetary Policy Report (MPR). Ongoing uncertainty related to trade conflicts has undermined business sentiment and activity, contributing to a syn ...

Why house prices are unlikely to rise any time soon

April 19th, 2019
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a townhouse development in Maple Ridge, B.C., in March. (Darryl Dyck/CP)

Two years ago, the Canadian housing market experienced one of its hottest springs ever, with prices in cities like Toronto and Vancouver rising at an alarming rate. But since then, real estate has lost its sizzle, thanks to the implementation of foreign buyer taxes, higher interest rates ...

Mortgage Stress Test: The Operation Was a Success, But...

April 17th, 2019
CIBC's Deputy Chief Economist Benjamin Tal released a report on the effects of the B-20 rules.

You usually need to be in a recession to see household credit rising this slowly. And most of that slowing is happening in the mortgage space--not exactly surprising, given the ongoing adjustment in the housing market. The market is still in price-searching mode, and the adjustment is not over yet--e ...

Why 3D Printing Is The Future Of Housing

April 16th, 2019
Technology has drastically changed our lives over the years. Books, movies, and music have become digitalized. Cars are becoming computerized. Smartphones we carry in our pocket are more powerful than supercomputers from the mid 90’s. However, there’s one major aspect that has largely remained the same. And that is housing.

But that will all change with the advent of 3D printing, which will a ...

Patience, perspective key to surviving real estate slump

April 15th, 2019
From left, Kirk LaPointe, editor-in-chief at Business in Vancouver; Cynthia Jagger, principal at Goodman; Scott Brown, president and CEO of Fifth Avenue Real Estate Marketing; Carla Guerrera, founder and CEO of Purpose Driven Development, Planning & Strategy; James Lang, associate vice-president of Colliers International. Photo Dominic Schaefer



Since August, residential real estate sales in ...

Residential Market Commentary - Bond yield inversion: the case for calm

April 11th, 2019
Anyone who has been watching knows that bond yields are falling and taking fixed rate mortgages with them. The recent economic slowdown in both Canada and the U.S. has pushed down yields on five year government bonds on both sides of the border. Those yields are used as the basis for setting interest rates on fixed mortgages.

An economic indicator known as the yield curve is has been getting ...

NYC Apartment Tour | Penthouse 57 A - Madison Square Park Tower

April 9th, 2019
NYC Apartment Tour: $16 MILLION LUXURY APARTMENT! An exclusive luxury apartment tour at one of New York City’s most luxurious million dollar listing penthouse apartments: Madison Square Park Tower!

Spanning the entire 57th floor, this 4,655 square foot, four-bedroom, four and one half bath residence unquestionably features the most stunning 360-degree views in Manhattan. Designed for the most ...

Canadian incomes aren’t growing fast enough, and that’s a problem for Canada’s housing market

April 8th, 2019
Household income growth is grinding to a halt in Canada, and that’s bad news for future economic growth as a whole and the housing market in particular, suggests a recent report from Desjardins Economics.

Desjardins Deputy Chief Economist Mathieu D’Anjou notes in the economic study that while disposable household income shot up 3.4 percent in 2017, at last year’s close, growth had only inched ...

Falling home prices not only in Vancouver, but also in markets around world

April 4th, 2019
Prices for prime properties in distant cities increasingly move together in the same direction because they're all impacted by similar international trends in wealth creation and mobility.

A five-bedroom home with panoramic ocean views on Mathers Avenue in West Vancouver was just listed for sale at $3.8 million, which is 21-per-cent below its assessed value.

It was listed at the end of 2018 f ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - March 2019 Stats

April 2nd, 2019
Prospective home buyers remain on the sidelines in March

Metro Vancouver* home sales dipped to the lowest levels seen in March in more than three decades.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 1,727 in March 2019, a 31.4 per cent decrease from the 2,517 sales recorded in March 2018, and a 16.4 per cent increase from the ...

This chart shows how far BC’s housing market has fallen since tougher mortgage rules were introduced

April 2nd, 2019
To demonstrate how BC home sales activity has dropped off in the 14 months after policymakers changed the qualification process for uninsured mortgages, a provincial real estate association has drawn a line in the sand — or rather, a chart.

With the release of the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA)’s February home sales statistics earlier this month, the industry association inc ...

Residential Market Commentary - Budget Help for House Hunters

April 1st, 2019
The new federal budget certainly got the attention of house hunters, realtors and mortgage professionals. Unfortunately the announcement turned into a cliff-hanger and we will have to wait for the next episode to find out what is really going to be delivered.

The budget contains two key components aimed at addressing affordability concerns and making it easier for first-time buyers to get a h ...

Q1 2019 Bank Earnings

March 28th, 2019
The dust has settled after the latest round of Big 6 bank earnings, which indicated a sluggish start to the year on the mortgage front.

Residential mortgage growth was subdued in the quarter, hit by a housing slowdown in the country’s largest markets, Toronto and Vancouver, but exacerbated due to higher activity a year ago as homebuyers rushed to purchase ahead of the B-20 Guidelines.

We also ...

Canada's Inverted Curve Steepens as Real Yield Turns Negative

March 26th, 2019
Canada has joined the U.S. in the inverted yield curve club, signaling a growing risk of recession that may keep Stephen Poloz on hold for his final 14 months as head of Canada’s central bank.

The yield on Canada’s 10-year bond dipped to 1.57 percent Monday, or 10 basis points lower than the rate on the three-month Treasury bill, compared with a gap of 6 basis points Friday. That inversion ha ...

Non-residents own 4.9% of Metro Vancouver homes, much higher in new condos: CMHC

March 25th, 2019
Relatively small percentage of homes are jointly owned by a mix of resident and non-resident owners, according to federal housing agency

While there is a common perception that overseas buyers have snapped up much of Metro Vancouver real estate, the number of homes owned purely by non-residents across the region is 4.9 per cent, according to a study of Statistics Canada data by Canada Mortg ...

Bank of Canada to hold interest rates through 2020: TD Securities

March 20th, 2019
The Bank of Canada will likely hold off raising interest rates through all of 2020, and could even cut rates later this year, according to TD Securities’ senior rates strategist for Canada.

“Near-term risks skew decisively towards easing. If the [Bank of Canada] moves in 2019, it is more likely to be a cut,” Andrew Kelvin wrote said in a note to clients Thursday.

Last week, the TD Bank strate ...

2019 Federal Budget - Housing Market Overview

March 19th, 2019
The announcement of a new CMHC First-Time Home Buyers Incentive Plan represents a shared equity mortgage program that would give eligible first-time homebuyers the ability to lower their borrowing costs by sharing the cost of buying a home with CMHC.

The incentive would provide funding (equity sharing) of up to five percent of the purchase price of an existing home, or 10 percent of a newly c ...

Residential Market Commentary - Defying economic expectations

March 15th, 2019
The Canadian economy continues to confound the experts and is keeping the Bank of Canada on its toes.

The February job numbers are just the latest economic indicator to defy expectations. Statistics Canada reports the labour market generated nearly 56,000 new jobs last month, all of them full-time. That is well above expert forecasts for flat job growth following an extraordinary report in Ja ...

A first-time homebuyer’s guide to avoiding the house poor trap

March 14th, 2019
Life likes to deal us surprises from time to time — a job loss, a chronic illness, an unfortunate fender bender. As a homeowner, any one of these sudden changes can throw you off your game, financially speaking, but if you’re house poor, even a minor expense change can have catastrophic consequences.

House poorness occurs when a large portion of your income goes towards your housing expenses ...

ICON + New Story | The Vulcan I - 3D Printed Home

March 12th, 2019
In 2017, ICON co-founders Jason Ballard, Evan Loomis, and Alex Le Roux met Brett Hagler, co-founder of the non-profit New Story, and realized that they had a united mission: To employ 3D printing and new building technologies to transform the construction industry and provide affordable, durable, and sustainable homes to those in need.

ICON is a construction technologies company dedicated to ...

Metro Vancouver homebuyers hold the power in current market

March 11th, 2019
The latest report by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said while more homes were listed for sale, there was below-average demand.

Homebuyers appear to be the ones with power in the current market.

February saw more supply from homesellers and below-average demand from homebuyers, meaning buyers are likely taking their time and considering their options.

Residential sales last month ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - February 2019 Stats

March 7th, 2019
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 ...

Bank of Canada Reduces Prospects of a Rate Hike

March 6th, 2019
In a very dovish statement, the Bank of Canada acknowledged this morning that the slowdown in the Canadian economy has been deeper and more broadly based than it had expected earlier this year. The Bank had forecast weak exports and investment in the energy sector and a decline in consumer spending in the oil-producing provinces in the January Monetary Policy Report. However, as indicated by ...

Residential Market Commentary - The next move: no move for BoC

March 4th, 2019
The next rate setting by the Bank of Canada will be on March 6th and market watchers are not expecting any change.

Governor Stephen Poloz set a fairly dovish tone in his recent speech to the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. Poloz called the bank’s current rate of 1.75%, stimulative because it is still below the rate of inflation, which is running at about 2.0%. And Poloz said the ...

ORI Living | The Transforming Furniture for Small Spaces

February 27th, 2019
Robotics-engineer-turned-entrepreneur Hasier Larrea wants to give furniture superpowers. In response to rising rents and populations in global cities, he has created a tool to make small spaces work harder with robotics. 

As head of Architectural Robotics research at the MIT Media Lab, Larrea spent 4 years developing strategies for “living large in a small space”: his team created an “army of ...

First-of-its-kind registry in B.C. targets under-the-radar condo flippers

February 26th, 2019
The British Columbia government says it has launched Canada’s first registry aimed at cracking down on pre-sale property flipping and tax evasion in B.C.’s real estate market.

The Ministry of Finance says the Condo and Strata Assignment Integrity Register will improve fairness and transparency in property transactions.

Condo developers will be required to securely gather and report the identi ...

Is the Housing Correction Almost Over?

February 25th, 2019
A number of news items in recent weeks have focused on the state of Canada’s housing market, with some hinting the worst of the correction may be behind us, and others suggesting more weakness to come.

For example, CMHC says overvaluation risks are subsiding in some of the country’s hottest markets, while the B.C. government is predicting that the end of its housing correction is in sight.

On ...

A first-time homebuyer’s guide to building a healthy credit history for homeownership

February 22nd, 2019
Spotty credit card payments might not seem like a big deal when you’re first starting out, but that banking boomerang will hit you hard when it comes back around during that first home purchase.

If you have an icky credit history, or outstanding consumer debt, you’re not alone. For every dollar of disposable income, Canadians owe roughly $1.78 to creditors, according to a recent Angus Reid su ...

Canadian real estate market outlook 2019: Stable but struggling

February 21st, 2019
The Canadian housing market had a challenging year in 2018 as it struggled to regain its footing after the bubble-like conditions of 2017. It was a year characterized by decelerating sales and pricing. And it looks like 2019 may bring more of the same.

After what appeared to be a stabilizing period over the summer of 2018, national home sales have been falling since September. Actual activity ...

Residential Market Commentary - The slide continues

February 20th, 2019
We are now through the second January under the tougher, federal B-20 mortgage qualification rules and the housing market continues to cool.

The latest figures posted by the Canadian Real Estate Association show sales dipped 4.0% compared to a year ago, although sales climbed 3.6% month-over-month compared to December.

The national average price for a home dropped 5.5% compared to January 201 ...

Ask the Expert: What Happens to My Deposit if I Cannot Close My Purchase?

February 19th, 2019
Q: What happens to my deposit if I cannot close my purchase?


A: Whenever a buyer makes an offer for the purchase of real estate the contract provides for a deposit. The deposit is normally around 5 per cent of the purchase price and in most instances is payable within a day or two of removal of any subjects. The standard subjects are subject to financing and inspection. Where the property is ...

Canada home prices fall for fourth straight month according to Teranet Price Index

February 15th, 2019
OTTAWA - Canadian home prices fell in January for the fourth consecutive month led by weakness in major Western Canadian cities, data showed on Wednesday.

The Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, which measures changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed prices fell 0.1 percent last month from December 2018.

Prices fell in four of the 11 markets surveyed, with citi ...

The VIPP Shelter | Tiny Prefab as precise industrial-era appliance

February 13th, 2019

The Danish company VIPP (famous for its iconic 1939 wastebasket, now in the MOMA) has created a prefab tiny home designed down to the last detail (flashlight included). Their 592-square-foot “plug and play getaway” wasn’t designed to blend into nature, but to float above it; fifty thousand pounds of glass and steel serve as a frame for the surrounding landscape.

VIPP designer Morten Bo Jen ...

Home ownership elusive for young Canadians who fear going broke

February 12th, 2019
Thirty-two-year-old Daniel Himmel is happy with his current living situation despite not having what many young Canadians dream of achieving: Home ownership.

The Toronto-based artificial intelligence software manager has been renting most of his adult life, and while owning a home might be a goal for him someday, he says it’s not a priority – or financially viable – at this point in time.

" ...

From Warehouse to Their House, in Bucktown

February 7th, 2019


A former Chicago warehouse has become a stylish home oriented toward the outdoors. Chicago magazine's Dennis Rodkin shares the details.

This is an amazing example of how not to conform to what a living space should be.

Residential Market Commentary - As goes housing, so goes the economy

February 6th, 2019
The pundits have been saying for quite some time that the slowdown in Canada’s housing market is going to have a negative effect on the country’s Gross Domestic Product. That prediction appears to have come true.

For the past several years housing has been one of the few things that has helped keep the economy afloat. But it is now clear that rising interest rates and restrictive government ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - January 2019 Stats

February 5th, 2019
Home listings continue to increase across all housing categories in the Metro Vancouver* housing market while home buyer activity remains below historical averages.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 1,103 in January 2019, a 39.3 per cent decrease from the 1,818 sales recorded in January 2018, and a 2.9 per cent incr ...

Residential Market Commentary - Housing: An early election issue

February 1st, 2019
Housing appears to be taking root as a key issue in upcoming federal election.

We got a preview of that when NDP leader Jagmeet Singh hinted at what an NDP government would do as he launched his campaign in a British Columbia by-election.

Singh was light on details but said his Party’s program would get 500,000 affordable housing units built over a 10 year period. He also called for the eli ...

Overbuilding in Vancouver? New report says long-term home construction needs to speed up

January 31st, 2019
A surge in the number of new condos scheduled for completion this year has some experts ringing alarm bells as it would bring more supply to a market that’s already cooling.

Meantime, a building boom continues, as developers are slated to begin selling units at 73 projects for total of 13,975 homes across the Greater Vancouver Area alone this year, according to research by MLA Advisory.

But ...

Why the government should rethink the mortgage stress test

January 30th, 2019

Mortgage default rates are sensitive to job losses, not interest rate changes—stress tests might not be much of a safeguard.

A series of regulatory changes, which included interest rate hikes, taxes on foreign homebuyers and stress tests, have contributed to a slowdown in housing markets in Canada.

That’s the conclusion of a new report from the Mortgage Professionals Canada (MPC) that quest ...

The Mortgage Professionals Canada | Annual State of the Residential Mortgage Market Report

January 29th, 2019
Housing markets across Canada slowed significantly in 2018 as a result of higher interest rates coupled with mortgage stress tests and other policy changes that have constrained homebuying.

Our latest consumer research report, Annual State of the Residential Mortgage Market in Canada, released today, examines the negative impacts of federal policies on housing markets across the country.

Re ...

Liberals seeking to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

January 28th, 2019
OTTAWA -- Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the federal government is looking at ways to make home-buying more affordable for millennials.

Following a speech today north of Toronto, Morneau made the comment when he was asked if Ottawa has any plans to help first-time buyers enter the housing market at a time of rising interest rates.

Housing is expected to be a campaign issue ahead of Octo ...

The sub-million dollar detached home is back in Vancouver

January 25th, 2019
It’s back.

After several years of continually rising prices for single-family detached homes in Vancouver, the sub-million dollar house has re-appeared — and it even has a white picket fence and grassy back yard.

The listing, at 1578 East 22nd Avenue, is priced at $998,000 — which is a hefty discount on the $1,264,800 value placed on the property on July 1, 2018 by the B.C. Assessment Autho ...

Declaration Period Begins for B.C. Speculation and Vacancy Tax

January 24th, 2019
The Speculation and Vacancy Tax (the “Speculation Tax”) became law in November 2018 and is applicable for 2018 and subsequent years. The B.C. government recently advised that between January 18, 2019 and February 28, 2019, owners of residential property located in areas subject to the Speculation Tax will receive a letter and related instructions for how to complete a declaration and regist ...

Inside Hong Kong's Cage Homes

January 23rd, 2019
Hong Kong tops the table as world’s most expensive housing market for 9th straight year.

A family would on average need to save up for 21 years without spending a single dollar to afford a home in the city, according to the Demographia International Housing Affordability Study.

That is the longest saving period in the study’s history and beats the previous record of 19.4 years set by Hong Ko ...

Canada's commercial property market is set for another blockbuster year

January 22nd, 2019
Canada’s commercial-property boom is expected to stretch into this year, helped by a tight supply and the lowest unemployment rate in at least four decades, according to brokerage Avison Young Canada Inc.

“We continue to feel very positive about opportunities in the real estate environment for the year ahead,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Rose said in a report Tuesday. “More capital is avai ...

Residential Market Commentary - Inflation: Just a blip on the radar

January 21st, 2019
Inflation has popped back onto the market watcher radar, but it does not appear to be much of a threat.

Statistic Canada’s headline number for December came in at 2%. That increase was actually held in check by lower prices at the pumps. With gasoline taken out, headline inflation jumped to 2.5%, year-over-year. That seems like a significant increase given that November inflation clocked-in ...

Mortgage rates expected to ease as economy slows

January 18th, 2019
A slowing economy has started to drive mortgage rates lower, and competitive pressure among Canada’s big banks means there are likely more drops to come, experts say.

Earlier this week, RBC lowered the posted rate for its flagship 5-year fixed mortgage to 3.74 per cent, from 3.89.

There’s likely more to come, according to mortgage broker Jaimes Laird, co-founder of rate-monitoring site Rate ...

Residential Market Commentary - BoC holding steady against headwinds

January 18th, 2019
The Bank of Canada has not just stepped to the interest rate sidelines, it has pulled up a chair and taken a seat. The latest statement from the Bank gives every indication it intends to continue raising rates, but it is in, absolutely, no hurry to do so.

The key concern appears to be oil. The low price of crude is seen as a weight on the entire Canadian economy, although not as heavy a wei ...

Affordable Housing Problem Is Causing Vancouver's Brain Drain: Minister Carole James

January 16th, 2019

Iain Reeve and his wife Cassandra Sclauzero moved from rental home to rental home in Vancouver. Then they moved to Ottawa and bought two houses.

VANCOUVER — Iain Reeve and his wife moved from rental home to rental home in Vancouver but their final solution for secure housing was to move to Ottawa and buy two houses — one for them and another for his parents.

He and his wife, Cassandra Sclau ...

Canadian House Prices To Drop As 'Huge' Wave Of New Homes Arrives: Report

January 15th, 2019

Construction cranes along the skyline in Toronto, Dec. 6, 2012. The slowdown in Canada's housing market will get worse before it gets any better, a new analysis predicts, because the country is about to be flooded with a "huge amount" of new homes.

The slowdown in Canada's housing market will get worse before it gets any better, a new analysis predicts, because the country is about to be fl ...

First- and Second-Home Buyers Can Expect Discounts in 2019

January 14th, 2019

Data: Knight Frank research; Douglas Elliman; S&P Case-Shiller Corelogic; ImmobilienScout24

The luxury real estate market in 2018 wasn’t great for many people. Sellers in cities as far apart as London, Los Angeles, and New York found themselves facing daunting macro- and microeconomic headwinds, while buyers, on the other hand, had to contend with overpriced stock and rising interest rates—a ...

What would it take for Canadian interest rates to drop in 2019?

January 11th, 2019

Like many other market observers, Central 1 expects the Bank of Canada will hike its influential key interest rate this year — but the credit union also presents a possible scenario that could see rates sink lower.

“The next Bank rate move is expected to be a quarter-point increase in late October 2019 on the expectation that oil prices have stabilized at a higher level, U.S.–China trade tens ...

Vancouver home prices in 2018, and where they might go in 2019

January 10th, 2019

Development consultant Michael Ferreira of Vancouver-based Urban Analytics says financial stress tests have impacted first-time buyers.

Calling the timing and extent of a market correction can be a mug's game, but when it comes to the Vancouver housing market, economists and experts are pulling together all kinds of indicators to say where prices will go.

Vancouver’s home prices remain dizzy ...

Bank of Canada Remains on Hold, Revising Down Oil Market Outlook

January 9th, 2019
The Bank of Canada left the overnight benchmark policy rate at 1-3/4%, as expected. In another dovish statement, the Bank of Canada acknowledged a slowdown in global economic activity and highlighted that oil prices are roughly 25% lower than what they had assumed in the October Monetary Policy Report (MPR). The lower prices primarily reflected sustained increases in U.S. oil supply and inc ...

Staying Cool in the 2019 Housing Market

January 8th, 2019
With each New Year, comes the promise of renewal. But for some, the changing calendar can bring anxiety. Especially when it comes to finances. And if you’re getting all worried about mortgage rates after seeing frequent increases the last 18 months, you really shouldn’t fret, and here’s why.

We’ve been spoiled as borrowers for years. Interest rates have been at generational lows for some ti ...

Rate rise unlikely this week but could a cut happen in 2019?

January 7th, 2019



The Bank of Canada will be making its latest interest rate decision Wednesday but there is not much expectation that Governor Stephen Poloz will announce a hike.

But with the announcement comes the Monetary Policy Report and the markets will be paying close attention to the language used and any hint of what the BoC’s next move may be.

CIBC economist Avery Shenfeld says that decidi ...

December Housing Reports Show Plummeting Home Sales in 2018 in Toronto and Vancouver

January 4th, 2019
In separate releases, the local real estate boards in Canada's largest housing markets released data this week showing home sales fell to decade lows in 2018 reflecting rising interest rates and stricter mortgage rules.

Sales in the GTA fell 16% in 2018 while the average price declined 4.3%, the Toronto Real Estate Board reported today. That is the worst year for sales in Canada's largest c ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - December 2018 Stats

January 3rd, 2019
Metro Vancouver home sales decline below historical averages in 2018


Metro Vancouver* home sales in 2018 were the lowest annual total in the region since 2000.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that sales of detached, attached and apartment properties reached 24,619 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in 2018, a 31.6 per cent decrease from the 35,993 sales rec ...

Vancouver single family home assessments dip, while commercial properties soar

January 2nd, 2019
Lululemon founder Chip Wilson’s home on Point Grey Road topped the list of most expensive properties in Vancouver yet again.
Photograph By JENNIFER GAUTHIER

Typically an exercise in abject frustration and sadness, this year’s press release from the BC Assessment Authority contains terms like “softening,” “modest change” and “moderation.”

Indeed, the Vancouver housing market appears to have ...

Residential Market Commentary - A softened stance on future rates hikes

January 1st, 2019
Back in October it was “clear sailing, all ahead full”. Now the forecast is calling for headwinds and choppy seas and poor visibility.

When the Bank of Canada bumped its trend setting rate to 1.75% the economic statement spoke of full capacity, full employment, growing wages and rising inflation. The Bank and market watchers were confident interest rates would continue their measured, upwar ...

OSFI wants big banks to hike reserves amid elevated risks

December 17th, 2018
Canada’s biggest banks – those deemed ‘too big to fail’ – will need to increase the size of their emergency funds in 2019.

OSFI has announced that the Domestic Stability Buffer will increase from the current 1.5% of total risk-weighted assets to 1.75% in April 2019 for those FIs designated as Domestically Systematically Important Banks (D-SIBs).

The regulator notes that Canada’s current cre ...

Big banks tighten grip on mortgage market after rule changes stifle competition

December 14th, 2018
Canada’s biggest banks are tightening their grip over the country’s $1.5 trillion (US$1.1 trillion) mortgage market as new rules designed to cut out risky lending make it harder for borrowers to switch lenders, with some analysts betting on more gains for the country’s biggest two banks.

The rules, which stress-test borrowers’ ability to make repayments at 200 basis points above their contr ...

Toronto, Vancouver most 'vulnerable' to interest rate hikes: CMHC

December 13th, 2018
Canadians living in the country's two largest cities may find themselves more "vulnerable" to interest rate increases as personal debt levels in Toronto and Vancouver continue to hit record levels, warns a Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation report.

The housing agency says the debt-to-income (DTI) ratio for those living in Vancouver climbed to 242 per cent in the second quarter ended June 3 ...

Vancouver-area home prices to fall 3% in 2019: RE/MAX

December 12th, 2018


Home prices could fall — or at the very least, fall flat — in 2019, according to projections from two realty firms looking at our market.

That could mean opportunities for buyers, at least in some Vancouver-area communities.

We’ll see a three per cent drop in prices, according to a forecast from RE/MAX.

Royal LePage isn’t quite as pessimistic. It expects prices will rise, but probably by less ...

The devil is in the details

December 11th, 2018


Canada’s November employment numbers were stunning. Economists had projected about 10,000 new jobs. The economy created an amazing 94,000 jobs for the month, most of them fulltime. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.6%, down 2 basis points from October and down 3 bps from a year ago.

Numbers like that usually set the stage for a lot of speculation about more interest rate hikes by the Bank ...

Bank of Canada's Dovish Tone

December 5th, 2018
As was universally expected, the Bank of Canada's Governing Council held overnight interest rates steady at 1-3/4% as it heralded a weaker outlook for the Canadian economy. The dovish tone in today's Bank of Canada statement is in direct contrast to its attitude when it last met on October 24. Since that time, the global economy has moderated, and oil prices have fallen sharply. Troubling p ...

Thinking of Buying a Leasehold Property? Read This First

December 4th, 2018

What the Heck is a Leasehold Property?

A leasehold property means that the owner owns the house/townhouse/condo itself but not the land it is built on. That land is leased to the home owner by the land owner. Leasehold land is basically a plot of land that has been rented out to a developer, who then builds on the land and rents the property for a certain sum of money (or a portion of it as ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - November 2018 Stats

December 4th, 2018
Metro Vancouver homes sales down across all property types

Home buyer demand remains below long-term historical averages in the Metro Vancouver* housing market.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales totalled 1,608 in the region in November 2018, a 42.5 per cent decrease from the 2,795 sales recorded in November 2017, and an 18.2 per cent de ...

Is it time for a mortgage checkup?

December 4th, 2018
It’s coming up on the end of the year. It’s most likely been another busy year for you; when is it not right? While there’s so much to do as we get into the holiday spirit, this is a great time to reflect on your finances, more specifically your mortgage. Maybe you’ve had your mortgage for a couple years and it’s not top of mind. But things have not only changed in the mortgage industry, bu ...

CMHC forecasts higher rates, slower housing

December 3rd, 2018
The conditions are right for further interest rate increases and that will blunt home sales and slow price acceleration.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation predicts the economy will continue to grow at a moderate pace well into next year. The housing agency expects that will keep pressure on the Bank of Canada to raise rates which will, in turn, increase the debt service costs for ...

Q3 Canadian GDP Growth Slowed On The Back of Weak Housing and Business Investment

December 2nd, 2018
This morning, Stats Canada released the third quarter GDP figures indicating an expected slowdown to 2.0% growth (all figures quoted in annual rates), compared to a 2.9% pace in Q2. Over the first three quarters of this year, quarterly growth has averaged 2.2% which is down from the 3.0% annual growth recorded in 2017. The Canadian economy is at or near full capacity, so slower growth is no ...

Many mortgage renewers can expect better rate in 2019, despite recent hikes: poll

November 30th, 2018
Most homeowners who are renewing their mortgage in 2019 are set to land a new deal at an equally good interest rate, according to a survey of Canadian homeowners by RateHub.ca.

This is despite the Bank of Canada raising overnight rates three times in the past year alone, and five times since July 2017.

Of the 19 per cent of homeowners surveyed who are renewing their mortgage in 2019, 82 per ...

'We're at a crisis and we don't even realize it': The dark side of Toronto's housing boom

November 29th, 2018


Debbie Ross has the same chance of snagging an affordable apartment in Toronto as she does picking a long-shot at the Kentucky Derby.

Ross is hoping to win one of 75 rental apartments in a lottery run by the city’s public housing agency. She’s up against 3,779 others, so the odds of winning are only about 50:1 but figures it’s as good a chance as any of finding a place to live.

Long priced o ...

Canadians are obsessed with housing affordability — so why isn't Ottawa talking about it?

November 28th, 2018
Housing may be the topic you’re most likely to hear discussed at the local coffeeshop or see on the neighbourhood Facebook page, but it’s not dominating question period.

It may seem like a slam dunk political issue for either the government to solve or the Opposition to make some hay out of, but housing affordability is a multi-jurisdictional issue that doesn’t lend itself to easy answers. ...

Bank of Canada takes a holiday from rate increases

November 27th, 2018
The Bank of Canada gets one more chance to raise interest rates before the end of the year but market watchers are betting against a Christmas increase. 

The October inflation numbers, which came in above expectations, would normally be seen as green light for the Bank to go ahead with another quarter-point increase. Headline inflation for October came in at 2.4%, with analysts having called ...

The Verge + Curbed | Building the Home of the Future w/ Grant Imahara

November 26th, 2018

The Verge  and Curbed have teamed up to build the home of the future. Join host Grant Imahara as he examines the renewed trend of prefabricated modular home construction.

"Figuring out what tomorrow’s technology will look like is what we try to do every single day on The Verge, and smart home tech is an increasingly big part of that. So finally, we decided to just build a home and see how ...
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