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Home sales fall, debt worries rise

May 21st, 2020
The latest statistics from the Canadian Real Estate Association are stark but they should not be surprising. April sales hit a 36-year low, down nearly 57% from a month earlier and down almost 58% year-over-year.

As with March, though, average prices remained steady. Compared to a year ago the national average dipped 1.3% to just over $488,000. With Toronto and Vancouver taken out of the calc ...

TD Economics | Covid 19 Economic Update

May 19th, 2020
COVID-19 Adds Housing To Its 'Unprecedented' List

  • Canada existing home sales fell an eye-popping 56.8% month-on-month in April. The word unprecedented is getting a lot of use lately, and with good reason – April's drop was more than double the weakest point of the Global Financial Crisis (October 2008: -19.6% m/m). Going even further back and using non-seasonally adjusted data, the 57.6% ...

Residential Market Commentary - Pandemic predictions

May 11th, 2020
Longer term outlooks for the housing market are mixed, depending on which indicators are being considered.

The gloomiest projections are coming from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The agency expects it will be, at least, the end 2022 – nearly three years from now – before housing prices recover to pre-recession levels. CMHC head Evan Siddall also points out that the coronavirus pand ...

The Bank of Canada Announces New Governor

May 7th, 2020
The Bank of Canada has a new Governor. And it could be said that everything old is new again.

Current Governor Stephen Poloz will step down, as scheduled, at the start of next month. He will be replaced by Tiff Macklem, an old hand at the central bank.

Macklem is currently the dean of the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto, but he has a long history at the Bank of Canada a ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - April 2020 Stats

May 4th, 2020
While Metro Vancouver* home sale and listing activity remains limited by the COVID-19 situation, REALTORS® across the region are fast adopting new tools and practices to help advise and serve their clients in a responsible way.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 1,109 in April 2020, a 39.4 per cent decrease from the 1, ...

TD Canadian Housing Foecast Update

May 1st, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has rippled across all segments of the economy, and of course, real estate has not been spared. The virus has put housing markets across the country in a deep freeze, with both buyers and sellers moving to the sidelines, awaiting the COVID-19 storm to pass. We got our first taste of the impacts of the virus in March, as Canadian home sales plunged in 14% m/m while listin ...

Crumbling confidence

April 27th, 2020
The latest consumer confidence numbers from the Conference Board of Canada are another dull spot on an already gloomy outlook.

The April survey by the policy think-tank suggests the future outlook of debt-laden Canadians is at an all-time low and the plunge happened at a record pace – 73 points in just two months. By comparison, the financial collapse of 2008 also saw a 73-point drop, but tha ...

Residential Market Commentary - March madness

April 21st, 2020
The national home sales numbers for March have been delivered by the Canadian Real Estate Association. As expected, they show the promising start to this year’s spring buying season has come to an abrupt end.

Earlier CREA released sales figures for Toronto and Vancouver, the country’s biggest and busiest markets. They showed those cities going into a tailspin in the second half of the month. ...

Residential Market Commentary - What we know. What we can hope for.

April 14th, 2020
We have been receiving a lot of unsettling economic data lately.

Coming out of February, unemployment stood at 5.6% and nearly 250,000 jobs had been created in the previous 12 months. By the end of March, nearly a million jobs had disappeared. The Conference Board of Canada projects that could climb to 2.8 million by the end of April. The best guess right now is that unemployment stands at ab ...

Residential Market Commentary - March limps away

April 7th, 2020
As the old saying goes, March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. For Canada’s housing market, that is all too true this year. And the country’s two biggest markets make it abundantly clear.

The Canadian Real Estate Association reported strong year-over-year sales gains of 26% coming out of February. The Toronto Region Real Estate Board clocked-in with a 49% y/y increase for the fi ...

The Economic Machine Was Not Designed to be Shutdown, No V Shape Recovery

April 5th, 2020
This idea of pent-up demand and a V shape recovery is, in my mind, ridiculous. This is a massive wealth destruction type event that will take years to fully recover from. The global economy was simply not designed to be shutdown.

In Canada, we are particularly vulnerable, and the economic recovery is likely to be even more painful than in most countries. This is due to a large debt overhang, ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - March 2020 Stats

April 4th, 2020
Metro Vancouver’s* housing market saw steady home buyer demand to begin March and a levelling off of activity as the month went on and concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak intensified.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,524 in March 2020, a 46.1 per cent increase from the 1,727 sales recorded in March 2019, and a 17. ...

Bank of Canada lowers rates again and launches two debt market support programs

March 30th, 2020
This morning, the Bank of Canada lowered its target for the overnight rate by 50 basis points to ¼ percent. This follows a 50-basis point reduction that took effect March 16, 2020 and a 50-basis point reduction on March 4, 2020 and brings the policy rate to its lowest level since the global financial crisis over a decade ago.

In making its second unscheduled rate decision in just two weeks, t ...

Bank of Canada makes another emergency cut to interest rate

March 27th, 2020
The Bank of Canada has made a second unscheduled cut to its benchmark interest rate, lowering it to 0.25 per cent amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The central bank made the announcement in a news release on Friday morning.

The overnight lending rate is what the bank charges for short-term loans between retail banks, but it impacts the rates that Canadian consumers get from their banks on things like ...

Canada’s big banks will offer mortgage relief to Canadians

March 23rd, 2020
The novel coronavirus outbreak has forced Canadians to hole up in their homes, bringing normal life to a standstill. With government and health bodies advocating for social distancing to flatten the curve, many businesses are on the verge of shutting down. Many Canadians are fearing layoffs as a massive economic slowdown looms.

While people are scrambling to put food on the table and save the ...

Buying season off to a brisk start

March 10th, 2020
The annual spring home buying season seems to have jumped the gun and is already out of the blocks. Canada’s biggest and busiest markets are reporting significant sales and price increases based on activity recorded even before the announced easing of the B-20 stress test and the, coronavirus inspired, drop in the Bank of Canada rate.

February figures from Greater Vancouver show a 45% sales i ...

Bank of Canada lowers overnight rate at second 2020 meeting

March 4th, 2020
This morning, the Bank of Canada lowered its target for the overnight rate by 50 basis points to 1.25 percent from 1.75 percent.

This is the first time the benchmark rate has changed since October 24, 2018.

Comparing the Bank’s two most recent statements (today and January 22, 2020), we find several notable new comments:

  • It is “becoming clear that the first quarter of 2020 will be weaker ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - February 2020 Stats

March 3rd, 2020
February saw steady home buyer demand and reduced home seller supply across Metro Vancouver*.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,150 in February 2020, a 44.9 per cent increase from the 1,484 sales recorded in February 2019, and a 36.9 per cent increase from the 1,571 homes sold in January 2020.

Last month’s sales wer ...

Markets and the Coronavirus

March 2nd, 2020
The spread of the Coronavirus has affected equities and financial markets around the world.

What the markets and the bankers are really trying to cure is fear. And the medicine of choice appears to be interest rate cuts.

Pressure is mounting on a reluctant Bank of Canada to trim its trendsetting interest rate at its meeting on Wednesday, and at least once more during 2020. Market watchers hav ...

A little less stress in the test

February 24th, 2020
The federal government has announced its response to the rising chorus that has been calling for changes to the mortgage stress test. It is small but it is, generally, being well received.

Starting in April the qualifying rate for the stress test on insured mortgages (usually those with less than 20% down payment) will be based on the weekly median 5-year fixed insured mortgage rate, plus 2%. ...

Ottawa unveils new mortgage stress test rules that will make it easier to pass

February 19th, 2020
Starting in April, the government will change the rules that cover mortgage lending in a way that should, in the short term at least, make it easier to qualify for a loan to buy a home.

The Department of Finance says that as of April 6, the so-called "stress test" for mortgages will be calculated in a new way.

The stress test was implemented in January 2018 as a way to let some of the specula ...

Think B.C. has a lot of housing regulations? You ain't seen nothing

February 18th, 2020
The world’s most populous countries, India and China, don’t allow any non-resident foreign nationals to buy their real estate.

The city of Berlin just moved to protect 1.5 million tenants by freezing most rents for five years. The Netherlands is cutting back on sudden reno-victions by making sure 70 per cent of an apartment building’s tenants agree before landlords makes improvements.

In Cana ...

Growth From Alternative & Private Lenders

February 13th, 2020
The latest check-up on Canada’s residential mortgage industry shows the influence of alternative lenders continues to grow.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation estimates that alternative mortgage lenders headed into 2019 with a market size of between $13 billion and $14 billion. That is up significantly from the $8 billion to $10 billion, estimated in 2016.

It is a small share of the over ...

CEO of CMHC Stepping Down

February 10th, 2020
One of the biggest influencers in the Canadian housing industry will be gone by the end of this year.

Evan Siddall, President and CEO of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, has announced that he will not seek to renew his term. There is no firm date for his departure but Siddall’s current term is up at the end of 2020.

Siddall has been a polarizing figure since he was appointed to the jo ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - January 2020 Stats

February 4th, 2020
Home sale and price activity remained steady in Metro Vancouver* to start 2020 while home listing activity declined in January.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 1,571 in January 2020, a 42.4 per cent increase from the 1,103 sales recorded in January 2019, and a 22.1 per cent decrease from the 2,016 homes sold in Dece ...

Coronavirus Fears Could Bring Lower Canadian Mortgage Rates

January 31st, 2020
The ripple effects of the coronavirus are being felt on Canada’s bond market, which is translating into lower mortgage rates.

Variable-rate mortgages are generally tied to the Bank of Canada’s overnight benchmark rate. Their fixed-rate counterparts depend on the five-year Government of Canada bond yield, which fluctuates with market forces. It’s fallen sharply since the coronavirus first surf ...

Debt goes for a hike

January 27th, 2020
As Canada rolled into the final quarter of 2019 debt levels went for a hike. The latest figures from Statistics Canada put the level of household debt to disposable income at 176%. Up from 175.4% reported in the previous quarter.

For every dollar left after taxes and expenses Canadians owed $1.76 in debt. It was the first increase in a year and represents an annualized increase of 1.2%.

Mortg ...

Skinny home in Toronto as prototype for parking-space homes?

January 24th, 2020
When Cyril Borovsky bought a 16-foot-wide strip of land in Toronto sandwiched between two bungalows, he knew the only way to fit more than one bedroom on the tiny footprint was to think cubically. Using a steel frame and performing much of the work himself- with just a boom lift and makeshift pulley-, he went up four floors.

The final 1,300 square foot home fits 3 bedrooms and 3 baths on a 16 ...

Your Property Tax bill won’t drop along with Assessment

January 22nd, 2020
The long-held myth that property taxes rise in step with property assessments might finally be debunked this year. Or maybe not.

Most Metro Vancouver homeowners who received their assessment notices in the mail over the past week have seen their property values decline somewhere between five and 15 per cent, which might have some out there believing their tax bill won’t be quite as onerous th ...

Consultations begin on preventing money laundering in mortgages, corporations

January 20th, 2020
British Columbians are invited to take part in public engagements on creating a central registry of company beneficial ownership, as well as modernizing mortgage broker regulation to guard against money laundering.

“Money laundering in our economy must end,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance. “These consultations are an opportunity for the public to voice concerns around how we can preve ...

Jobs up. Rates steady.

January 13th, 2020
The Canadian economy just keeps playing into the hands of the Bank of Canada as the central bank continues to resist pressures to trim interest rates.

The latest jobs report has given the Bank yet more ammunition to defend its position. The December figures showed a nice recovery following the sharp drop in November. The economy netted 35,200 additional jobs last month and the unemployment ra ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - December 2019 Stats

January 7th, 2020
Home sales decline below long-term averages in 2019 despite increased demand to end the year

The Metro Vancouver* housing market experienced below average sales activity and moderate price declines in 2019.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that sales of detached, attached and apartment homes reached 25,351 in 2019, a three per cent increase from the 24,619 sales re ...

Residential Market Commentary - 2020 foresight

January 6th, 2020
The New Year is here, we are heading into a new decade and by most accounts all is right in Canada’s housing market.

2019 has been a turnaround year in the industry, particularly through the second half. The Canadian Real Estate Association, the big realtors and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation all expect an ongoing recovery through 2020. But each has its own interpretation of “rec ...

Canadians To Get a (Short) Break From Rising Debt Service Costs

December 16th, 2019
As we look back on the year that was, one of the biggest surprises was the movement in interest rates. Rather than rising, interest rates fell in 2019. The decline in rates came without any help from the Bank of Canada, which held the overnight rate steady through the year. Rather, global events and worries about trade wars and recession pushed Canadian yields down.

The fall in government yie ...

MPC applauds Prime Minister’s order to review the mortgage stress test

December 13th, 2019
Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released his Mandate Letter to Minister of Finance Bill Morneau. One of the prime minister’s stated priorities is that his minister must “review and consider recommendations from financial agencies related to making the borrower stress test more dynamic.”

As the Globe and Mail’s Janet McFarland put it, since 2018 Mortgage Professionals Canada (MPC) has bee ...

A flaw in Canada’s economic armour

December 9th, 2019
Canada’s resilient economy appears to have developed a crack. The November employment statistics surprised everyone with a loss of more than 71,000 jobs. The unemployment rate jumped 0.4 percentage points to 5.9% – the biggest monthly increase since 2009.

It is the second consecutive monthly decline. In October the economy shed 1,800 positions. The November losses are particularly stark given ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - November 2019 Stats

December 4th, 2019
After a quieter first half of 2019, home buyer activity has returned to more historically typical levels in Metro Vancouver*.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,498 in November 2019, a 55.3 per cent increase from the 1,608 sales recorded in November 2018, and a 12.6 per cent decline from the 2,858 homes sold in Octob ...

Alleyway home in Toronto makes room splitting into 5 levels

December 3rd, 2019
Toronto is the fastest growing city in North America, but rather than simply grow up and out, city planners are relaxing zoning on its 250 kilometers of laneways so owners can turn garages and sheds into small downtown homes (limited to 8 meters wide (26 feet)).

Zeke Kaplan’s home had a 100-year-old shack occupying the lane before he began construction to convert it into a modern 2 bedroom ho ...

Housing and debt worries weigh on BoC

December 2nd, 2019
The Canadian economy continues to stubbornly support the Bank of Canada’s interest rate policy. Market watchers are pretty much unanimous in their projections that the central bank will stay on the sidelines, again, when it makes its rate announcement later this week.

The latest numbers from Statistics Canada show gross domestic product grew by 1.3% in the third quarter. That is a slow down, ...

Here’s how much you need to earn to buy the average home in Canada’s biggest cities

November 27th, 2019
After a long period of relentless home price increases, affordability is starting to improve in a number of Canada’s most expensive cities. According to the National Bank of Canada’s third quarter Housing Affordability Monitor, the housing affordability composite index has backpedaled to historical averages thanks to a rise in incomes and lower mortgage rates. Still, how much you can afford a ...

Consumer debt blues brighten slightly

November 26th, 2019
Interest rates are stable and look poised to fall. Inflation is in check. The unemployment rate is at historic lows. We are told wage growth is strong, and households appear to be reducing their debt-load.

Still, many Canadians are worried about making ends meet.

The latest quarterly survey by insolvency trustee MNP suggests 54% of Canadians have growing concerns about their ability to repay ...

CREA: Canadian Real Estate Prices Reach A New All-Time High, But Growth Slows

November 20th, 2019
Canadian real estate sales are back to booming, and they’re pushing prices higher. Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) data shows the price of a home in Canada hit a new high in October. Price growth was much stronger in Ontario and Quebec, with Western Canada still dragging.

Canadian Real Estate Prices

The industry’s aggregate price index is still climbing across Canada. The benchmark pr ...

Toronto decline, Vancouver recovery leave Canadian home sales flat

November 18th, 2019
Canadian housing sales took a breather as activity in Toronto pulled back, but strength in the western provinces highlights a sustained recovery at the national level.

Home sales were little changed in October after seven straight months of gains, according to data released Friday by the Canadian Real Estate Association. Toronto was a major drag, posting a 2.9 per cent decline, the biggest dr ...

Architectural Digest | Inside a $5.5M Floating Mansion in Miami

November 12th, 2019
Today we take you to glamorous South Beach in Miami, Florida to tour a truly one-of-a-kind offering. At 400 Alton Road sits the Arkup, a $5.5 million yacht house powered entirely by solar energy. The floating villa has 4 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms, an extendable deck for entertaining large groups, and a full kitchen - all with the freedom and functionality of a yacht.


Feel like a quick trip t ...

Residential Market Commentary - Mortgage-free or diversity?

November 8th, 2019
Canadians put a high priority on paying off their mortgage debt – sometimes maybe a little too high.

Paying off debt is always a good move. Wanting to be mortgage free is a laudable goal. Making it your only goal may not be as sound.

Traditionally paying off your mortgage as quickly as possible has been seen as one of the best routes to financial success. Interest rates used to be higher. Som ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - October 2019 Stats

November 5th, 2019
The Metro Vancouver housing market is experiencing a fall pickup in home sale activity.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,858 in October 2019, a 45.4 per cent increase from the 1,966 sales recorded in October 2018, and a 22.5 per cent increase from the 2,333 homes sold in September 2019.

Last month’s sales were 9.8 ...

Canadian Housing Market Trends To Look Out For In 2020

November 4th, 2019
The floodgates have officially opened for Canadian housing market forecasts for the next year.

We’ve already heard that interest rates will likely sink lower in 2020 as the housing market continues to rally through the first half of the year. There’s also speculation around how the Liberals’ October election win will impact housing affordability and whether the NDP will play a bigger role in ...

Bank of Canada holds rates, warns economy will be 'tested'

October 31st, 2019
The Bank of Canada forecast a weaker outlook for the domestic economy amid heightened global downside risks, potentially giving itself more leeway to lower borrowing costs.

In a decision Wednesday, policy makers kept their current 1.75 per cent policy rate unchanged for an eighth straight meeting, calling the level “appropriate” even as they cut their growth forecasts for the next two years. ...

Mortgage business on the move

October 30th, 2019
In an effort to fill in some of the gaps in the country’s housing market data Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has launched a new Residential Mortgage Industry report. The agency says the report is designed to support “evidence-based policy and informed decision making within the housing finance sector.”

Not surprisingly the report confirms that Canada’s big banks have the vast majorit ...

Is real estate still a good investment for Canadians?

October 24th, 2019
Long before the stock market existed, before salt was considered as valuable as gold, and before humans first struck oil, the asset that was most sought after was land. Real estate investing has evolved, but today investors still seek out land as a way to diversify their assets, earn income, and increase their net worth.

These days, however, many are asking whether or not real estate is still ...

Residential Market Commentary - Qualifying rate conundrum

October 23rd, 2019
The Bank of Canada’s Qualifying Mortgage Rate has popped back onto the real estate radar. Back in July the central bank lowered the rate for the first time in nearly three years.

The idea behind the QMR is to ensure that home buyers will be able to afford their mortgage as interest rates rise in the future. It is a stress test that sets the lowest “theoretical” interest rate the buyer will be ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - September 2019 Stats

October 7th, 2019
Increased demand helps housing market reach balanced territory.

Home buyer demand has returned to more historically typical levels in Metro Vancouver* over the last three months.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,333 in September 2019, a 46.3 per cent increase from the 1,595 sales recorded in September 2018, and a ...

Where Could a Median-Income Household Afford Real Estate in Canada?

October 1st, 2019
Housing affordability has long been a hot-button issue across Canada and will take centre stage in the upcoming October Federal Election as a top priority for voters. However, given the vast geographical size of the nation, and its many market nuances, buyers’ ability to purchase a home varies widely depending on local prices and incomes; in fact, the Canadian Real Estate Association has note ...

How the parties' housing promises stack up, according to this expert

September 30th, 2019
Housing has emerged as a hot-button topic in the federal election campaign, with party leaders unleashing a slew of headline-grabbing promises over the last few weeks.

The so-called B-20 mortgage stress test, an incentive aimed at helping first-time buyers, and an update to the RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan are among measures that have been introduced since the current Liberal government came into p ...

Residential Market Commentary - What is a central bank?

September 27th, 2019
As we head into the federal election we’ll be hearing a lot about the economy, interest rates and housing. In this country, one of the key players in all of those things is the Bank of Canada, commonly referred to as “the central bank”.

Since the financial collapse a decade ago central banks and the people who run them have become fixtures in the news. There is hardly a day that goes by that ...

A ‘dumb’ idea to make housing more affordable

September 25th, 2019
The Conservatives and the Liberals have both rolled out policies meant to address housing affordability for new buyers. They don’t really work.

Evan Siddall can’t say the Conservative Party’s campaign pledge to increase the amortization period on mortgages is “dumb.” Not right now, at least.

As president and CEO of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Siddall is a civil servant ...

Vancouver Real Estate Is Once Again The Fastest Cooling Market In Canada

September 24th, 2019
Canadian real estate markets are seeing demand improvements, just not in British Columbia. Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) data shows the sales to new listings ratio (SNLR) increased in August. The ratio, which gives a quick snapshot on how soft the market is, generally increased. British Columbian real estate was a notable exception. Cities in the province were the three fastest cool ...

Alternative facts vs. fraud: Millennials believe it’s acceptable to fib on applications

September 16th, 2019
Ongoing affordability challenges and tougher mortgage qualification rules have homebuyers turning to alternative lenders, but some are also turning to alternative facts.

A recent survey by credit monitoring service Equifax suggests there is a growing acceptance of fudging the numbers on mortgage applications, especially among younger house hunters. Nearly a quarter of the millennials (23%) su ...

Residential Market Commentary - Treading water in a rising tide

September 11th, 2019
In the rising tide of interest-rate-cut expectations, the Bank of Canada is treading water. The central bank did meet expectations by holding its policy rate at 1.75% for a seventh consecutive setting, last week.

The reasons are fairly apparent: inflation is on target, GDP growth is good (Q2 was far better than expected even if it was based on some one-off stats), job growth is steady and une ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - August 2019 Stats

September 5th, 2019
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 w ...

Bank of Canada Holds Overnight Rate Steady Amid Uncertainty

September 4th, 2019
The Bank of Canada held the target overnight rate at steady at 1.75% for the seventh consecutive decision date but will monitor closely the impact of the US-China trade war on economic activity around the world and in Canada. The second-quarter growth--posted at 3.7%--exceeded the Bank's forecast in the July Monetary Policy Report (MPR), but the Bank expects the economy to slow from that pace ...

Inside UBC's Exchange Residences

September 3rd, 2019
Students have moved in to UBC's new Exchange Residence. The residence has 651 beds, including 71 nano suite units that squeeze a kitchenette, full bathroom, closet, and convertible double bed/desk combination into 140 square feet. Highly central, the residence is steps from the Aquatic Centre and Student Centre. Built above the new UBC bus exchange, the UBC bus loop is virtually at the Exchan ...

Vancouver condo prices see biggest drop in Canada, but still lead the nation: report

September 2nd, 2019
Greater Vancouver’s housing market correction is finally having a noticeable impact on condo prices.

That’s according to a new report from real estate firm Royal LePage, which found that the per-square-foot price of a condo in Greater Vancouver has fallen more than any other major market in the country this year.

The median Greater Vancouver condo is priced at about $764 per square foot, down ...

Perfect Productive Workspace – Minimal Office + Desk Tour

August 30th, 2019
To do our best work, we need three things: clear goals, time to focus, and a distraction-free space. In this video, I'll share my perfect productive workspace, which I use for writing, editing, and designing. I'll also share a few of the tools and processes I use to stay focused.

You can find everything featured in the space here https://kit.com/MatthewEncina/the-per...
You find out more abou ...

Everything you need to know about Canada's new First-Time Home Buyer Incentive

August 29th, 2019
The new federal First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) will officially come into effect as of September 2 this year.

Designed to alleviate mortgage costs for first-time home buyers, the FTHBI will provide shared equity loans of 5% toward the down payment of a resale home, and 5% or 10% for newly-built homes.

The idea is that by boosting the size of buyers’ down payments, the FTHBI whittles d ...

Vancouver Real Estate Falls To Bottom Of The List For Demand, Ottawa Tops

August 28th, 2019
Canada’s fast moving real estate market is still seeing demand shift to the East Coast. Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) data shows the sales to new listings ratio improved in July. On the national level, there was only a small increase. However, that’s because large gains in the East, are being weighed down by large drops in the West.

Sales To New Listings Ratio (SNLR)

The sales to new ...

HouzzTV: 80 Year Old Barn Conversion | Medina, Ohio

August 26th, 2019
As a kid playing in the hayloft of his parents’ dusty 80-year-old barn in Medina, Ohio, Andrew Towne never imagined that one day he would convert the space into a stunning modern home for himself and his then elementary school friend Crystal Madrilejos. But decades later, that’s exactly what happened.

See how this family of four converted nan 80-year-old barn into a warm, cozy home with a one ...

Vacancy taxes prompt sale of luxury condos in Downtown Vancouver

August 23rd, 2019
If you’re in the market for a luxury condo in Downtown Vancouver, you’ve got a lot of choice. There are 15 condos for sale at Trump Tower on 1151 West Georgia St., priced from $1.298 million to $5.88 million.

Across the street at the Living Shangri-La at 1128 West Georgia St. and 1111 Alberni St., there are 17 condos for sale, ranging from $950,000 to $5.788 million.

There are 13 listings in ...

A sunny July, but ominous clouds on the horizon

August 22nd, 2019
The July home sales numbers from the Canadian Real Estate Association are offering some encouragement. Sales posted their fifth straight month of increases, up 3.5% from June and up 12.6% from a year ago. They are up 15% from the six-year low posted in February.

The national average price for housing (all types) rose 0.6% in July, compared to June – the biggest increase in two years. Compared ...

Housing market will drag on B.C. economy, offset by major projects: forecast

August 20th, 2019
A slowdown in residential construction investment will be a drag on the B.C. economy over the next year or two, but this will be offset by a boom in non-residential building, according to a forecast released August 16 by Central 1 Credit Union.

Housing starts in the province are currently high, supported by presales in the active markets of the past few years. But this will slow down along wi ...

New data shows parents are helping their kids pass Canada’s mortgage stress test

August 19th, 2019
Much has been written about the Bank of Mom and Dad — a term often used to describe parents who help their children buy homes.

From sympathetic portraits to Millennial hit pieces, the trend has become media fodder.

Yet most coverage skews toward the anecdotal: numbers are harder to come by.

But new research from Teranet provides a deeper look at the phenomenon in the Greater Toronto Area and ...

The ups and downs of unemployment and interest rates

August 16th, 2019
Canadian employment took an unexpected hit in July and that has market watchers turning to the Bank of Canada to see if there will be a response. There are a few forecasters predicting a rate cut by the bank in October, but they are in the minority at this time.

Economists will tell you that job numbers are notoriously hard to predict on a month by month basis, so it makes more sense to look ...

Residential Market Commentary - BoC not reacting to U.S. interest cut

August 15th, 2019
As was widely predicted the U.S. Federal Reserve has gone ahead with an interest rate cut. It is the first reduction by the American central bank since the financial collapse more than a decade ago.

The Fed trimmed a quarter-point off its benchmark rate bringing it to a range of 2.0% to 2.25%, and a step closer to the Bank of Canada’s policy rate of 1.75%. It remains unlikely the BoC will be ...

Brookfield to take control of Canadian mortgage insurance giant in $2.4 billion deal with Genworth

August 13th, 2019
Genworth Financial Inc. agreed to sell its Canadian unit to Brookfield Business Partners LP for $2.4 billion as it works to win regulatory approval for its acquisition by China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co.

Brookfield Business Partners LP will purchase 48.9 million shares, or a 57 per cent stake, at $48.86 apiece in Genworth MI Canada Inc., giving it majority control of Canada’s largest privat ...

Towers of trouble: Toronto's condo market has no rule book | Doc Zone

August 12th, 2019
The Condo Game examines the forces at play behind the fastest moving condo market in North America – Toronto - and discovers that the glittering glass hides a sea of troubles. The first startling revelation for many people will be how very much the condo market is focused on investor profit, not affordable housing. One expert even says that it’s really not a housing market but a commodities p ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - July 2019 Stats

August 7th, 2019
Home buyer demand picked up across Metro Vancouver* last month, making July, a traditionally quieter month in real estate, the second highest selling month so far this year.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,557 in July 2019, a 23.5 per cent increase from the 2,070 sales recorded in July 2018, and a 23.1 per cent in ...

CMHC sees 'moderate overvaluation' in Canada's housing market, but little vulnerability overall

August 6th, 2019
Quarterly report finds pockets of concern, but overall lower level of risk

After waving a red flag of warning about Canada's housing market for more than two years, Canada's national housing agency says the overall level of vulnerability has inched down from high to moderate over the past six months.

That's one of the main takeaways of a quarterly report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing ...

The Fed's Quarter-Point Rate Cut Not the Start of Something Big

August 1st, 2019
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) cut the overnight target rate by 25 basis points as expected today. Chairman Jerome Powell, however, said it was designed to "insure against downside risks" rather than to signal the start of multiple rate cuts. President Trump called for "large" rate cuts on Twitter and has for months pressured the Fed to ease monetary policy. It is very unusual for t ...

Is the worst over for Vancouver’s housing market?

July 29th, 2019
Greater Vancouver’s housing market may finally be bottoming out.

Bryan Yu, deputy chief economist of Central 1 Credit Union, tells Livabl that it looks like home sales activity across the province — and Greater Vancouver in particular — appears to be scraping the bottom of the cycle.

“Prices are still expected to drift lower over the second half of the year,” he adds in an email.

In June, Gre ...

B.C. Is Home To The Fastest Cooling Real Estate Markets In Canada

July 26th, 2019
B.C. real estate markets are the fastest cooling in the country right now. Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) numbers show sales to new listings ratios made a mild decline across the country. Most markets made improvements on a year-over-year basis. However, B.C.’s markets are cooling so fast, it was enough to weight the national market.

Sales To New Listings Ratio (SNLR)

The sales to ne ...

Residential Market Commentary - Interest rate early warnings

July 24th, 2019
The interest rate dominoes are starting to tumble. In a surprise move the South Korean central bank trimmed a quarter-point off its benchmark rate last week. The Koreans were following similar moves by central banks in Indonesia and South Africa. The U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank have also been hinting they could be getting ready to trim rates as well.

The key difference ...

Canadian home prices hit decade low for growth

July 22nd, 2019
Increases in Canadian home prices haven’t been this sluggish since Canada’s housing market was withering in the wake of the Great Recession.

So suggests the Teranet-National Bank House Price Index, which is based off property records from public land registries.

In June, the composite index measuring price changes in 11 major markets, showed an increase of 0.5 percent year-over-year, the smal ...

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

July 19th, 2019
OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada has lowered the rate used by mortgage stress tests to determine whether would-be homeowners can qualify, marking the first drop in three years.

The central bank's five-year benchmark qualifying rate is now 5.19 per cent, down from 5.34 per cent.

It's the first decrease in the five-year fixed mortgage rate since September 2016, when it dropped from 4.74 per cent to ...

Housing returns as economic driver

July 17th, 2019
The Bank of Canada has, once again, held the line on interest rates. For the sixth consecutive setting the benchmark, overnight rate remains at 1.75% and the bank continues to signal it is in no hurry to make any changes, up or down.

The rate announcement was no surprise but the quarterly Monetary Policy Report provided some deeper insights about the bank’s thinking.

The bank has made a numbe ...

House Prices Are Falling In 25 Canadian Communities ― Here’s The Scoreboard

July 15th, 2019
Royal LePage's house price forecast sees eastern cities outperforming western ones this year.

Western Canada’s housing market doldrums will continue, while some previously sleepy housing markets in the east will be Canada’s strongest this year, a forecast from Royal LePage predicts.

The real estate brokerage collected median house price data for 63 communities across Canada and offered forec ...

Vancouver is still in a housing crisis. But when will we know if it's over?

July 10th, 2019
It's a question without a defined answer — but one that could have big policy implications down the road

All words have meaning. But sometimes, it's hard to get people to agree on what that meaning is.

Take the words "balanced" or "crisis." They've been used ad nauseam in the last four years in Vancouver as home prices soared to record heights, upending governments and dominating political ...

Greater Vancouver home sales lowest June on record in nearly 20 years

July 8th, 2019
Property sales plummeted across the Lower Mainland in June

Home sales are down across the Lower Mainland and for the first time in two years the composite benchmark price of a home in Metro Vancouver is below $1 million.

Both the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) reported lower than average sales for the month of June. In Greater ...

Residential Market Commentary - Affordability improves, a little

July 5th, 2019
Housing affordability got a little better in Canada in the first quarter of this year, but not so much that anyone would really notice.

The latest report from one of the country’s big banks shows a 0.3 percentage point drop in its affordability measure for Q1. It is a small reduction but it marks the second straight quarter of decline. The measure now puts the cost of home ownership at 51.4% ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - June 2019 Stats

July 4th, 2019
With home buyer demand below long-term historical averages in June, the supply of homes for sale continued to accumulate in Metro Vancouver*.

June 2018 2,425 Sold June 2019 2,077 Sold (-14.4)

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,077 in June 2019, a 14.4 per cent decrease from the 2,425 sales recorded in June 2018 an ...

Residential Market Update - Canada’s interest rate conundrum

June 28th, 2019
The latest flurry of economic data appears to give the Bank of Canada the footing it needs to stand firm on interest rates.

Core inflation came in at 2.1% in May. That is the highest rate since 2012. The central bank prefers the core reading, which strips out volatile items like food and fuel, which were both the big influencers in May.

Canada’s retail sales numbers are generally deemed to be ...

Here’s where there are still hot housing markets in the Vancouver area

June 25th, 2019
It’s not all doom and gloom for the Metro Vancouver housing market.

A new study from REW.ca suggests there is one seller’s market — and several just shy of that status — in the region.

“In the current slowing real estate market, it’s easy to read the headlines and imagine that sales are plummeting all over the region and it’s becoming a buyer’s market. But that’s not necessarily true of all a ...

Pre-sale condo buyers back out of contracts as market slows in Lower Mainland

June 22nd, 2019
When the market was hot, people lined up overnight to get their hands on pre-sale condominiums. Now that the housing market in B.C.'s Lower Mainland has cooled, some buyers are trying to back out of their contracts — unable to obtain the financing they need.

A Vancouver lawyer says clients are coming to him several times a week hoping he can help find loopholes to get out of buying units the ...

CMHC’s First-Time Home Buyer Incentive Falls Short of Expectations

June 21st, 2019
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation held an official announcement yesterday to release details of its First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI).

While officials reiterated how this shared-equity program will help young middle-class Canadian buyers, there were scant new details beyond what has previously been confirmed since the program was first announced in the March budget.

A Recap of ...

Average wages in Canada need to double for millennials to afford a house: study

June 19th, 2019
A new report out of the University of British Columbia says millennials – who make up the bulk of the highly coveted first-time buyer cohort – are still wildly priced out of the housing market.

The report, titled “Straddling the Gap”, says 25 to 34 year-olds are stuck between high home prices, rising rents, stagnant wage growth and the threat of rising interest rates. It says that – over the ...

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 ...
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