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Blog by Micah Verceles

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.

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 ...