Low mortgage rates and low unemployment and immigration will continue to push some demand, but it will be tempered by high house prices, elevated debt, and slowing employment, according to the report out Friday and authored by senior economist Sal Guatieri.
Guatieri said home sales overall are likely to remain steady in 2012.
“Prices should also stay put, similar to Alberta’s experience of the past four years following its boom,” he said. “However, the resource-rich provinces, notably Alberta and Saskatchewan, should outperform other regions since their economies are expected to grow the fastest.”
The report warned housing is “moderately” overpriced in most parts of Canada, especially in Vancouver, and thus vulnerable to correction. A recession this year, which has been predicted already by some economists in Canada, is the biggest threat to the housing market, said Gautieri. A smaller threat would be if interest rates significantly spike up next year. Alternatively, rates remaining low could also be dangerous.
Despite a recent slowdown in economic activity that has cooled real estate across the globe, Canadian housing demand and home values have remained relatively steady this year, according to a new report from Scotia Economics.
Housing prices had stalled in Canada in the second half of 2010
with two consecutive quarters of downward movement, but they have since recovered with a 5.3% gain in the first quarter of this year followed by another 5.1% gain in the second quarter, according to Scotia Economics.
On a year-to-date basis, the national average resale price rose 7.6%
to $364,953, up from $339,030 recorded for the year-ago period. Sales rose a more modest 1.2% to 452,435 transactions.
A combination of historically low borrowing costs and lower home prices in many markets, especially in Alberta, have injected more demand into the housing market, said Scotia economists in the Global Real Estate Trends report, released Tuesday. Read more
How is the Vancouver real estate market in Yaletown? Are sales up or down? Have listings increased? What’s the average price? How long does it take to sell a Yaletown property? What are prices doing? Are they higher or lower than 90 days ago? What price range is selling the best?
The Yaletown market now well balanced between Buyers and Sellers
- sales in August jumped 25% and the majority were between $500,000-$1M
- the supply dropped to 4. 8 months
- Yaletown prices now lower than April but higher than a year ago
- Buyer opportunities ahead as we move into Fall – ask me how to find the best deal! Read more
As the Georgia Straight went to press on September 21, uncertainty continued to linger over how the conflict over energy charges at the Olympic Village would be resolved. The dispute has pitted low-income tenants and seniors on subsidy against the City of Vancouver, a housing-management group, and a private billing company.
Earlier in the week, it looked like it was going down to this: either the residents would pay up or they’d get evicted.
“They’re not giving us even one concession, not a thing,” Pam Burge complained in a phone interview with the Straight on September 19. Read more
Veena Kalia and Miro Nikolov have been riding the real estate rollercoaster for months now, wondering if it’s the right time to buy. Like many British Columbians, the couple is wondering whether Vancouver’s housing bubble is about to burst – and whether there will be a market correction.
“You’re not sure if it’s going to continue to go down, and whether now’s a good time to jump in and do it or whether we should wait and watch the market a little bit more because we’re not sure if it’s on it’s way down, or whether it’s stabilizing,” said Kalia.
Astronomical real estate prices combined with global instability have many wondering if the bubble is about to burst in Metro Vancouver. Read more
In its own right, BC Place Stadium, with its comfortable pillow-top roof, has been an icon on the city’s ever-changing landscape. But it has also been, along with its joined-at-the-hip Expo 86 world’s fair, a generator of change, weaving itself finely into the fortunes of the city and region. Read more
August saw an uptick in listings and a drop in sales
resulting in a good market for buyers in this Vancouver West End neighbourhood. A whopping 80% of the sales were under $500,000, favouring lower end sellers. In general, Sellers need to be priced no more than 3% above market value in order to attract an offer.
HPI Price over the last year
increased a whopping 10.2 % for West End condos – highest of all vancouver condos neighbourhoods Read more
The B.C. government is trying to boost international trade by doubling oversees trade offices, providing special host services for visiting trade delegations and launching a marketing campaign to lure companies to the province. Premier Christy Clark announced the plan Friday as the latest part of her strategy to create more jobs in B.C.
Clark says increased trade in Asia, for example, will result in more B.C. jobs and that she’s expanding existing overseas trade offices that have helped boost the province’s lumber shipments to China.
The premier says the government will also set up a new hosting program for visiting trade delegations, linking them with potential business opportunities and partnerships.
In another move, B.C. will launch a marketing and sales campaign aimed at attracting international companies to set up offices in the province, with the focus on companies headquartered in Asia. Read more
The world may be experiencing economic upheaval but Canada has amazing mortgage rates.
I have never see a 5 year term at 3.19%.
If you’re currently a buyer take advantage of these low rates and get a pre-approved mortgage. You should be able to get 120 day hold on the rate, giving you lots of time to shop and transact.
Next Bank of Canada meeting is October 25th and rates are expected to remain as is.
Variable 2.50% Read more
Wealth on paper doesn’t necessary mean carefree living. In Vancouver, a retired couple we’ll call Roland, 69, and April, 67, are in the curious position of being real estate millionaires but struggling to remain middle class in their way of life. The reason is the soaring B.C. property market, which has raised the estimated prices of their 1,800-square-foot city house and 900-square-foot country cottage, where their family retreats, to a total of $1,550,000. They have been pushed by circumstance to live up to their level of assets, but they are going broke trying to do it on after-tax income of $4,247 a month. They need to make fundamental decisions on what assets they can afford to keep and what has to go.
Their current monthly pretax income of $4,526 is composed of April’s $1,388 work pension, two Old Age Security pensions of $534 each, two Canada Pension Plan benefits that total $1,570 and Roland’s $500 monthly income from odd jobs. Their financial assets are $210,000.
The problem is that after tax on income over their credits and deductions, they have $4,247 to spend each month. But their monthly expenses of $5,184 leave them with a deficit of $937 a month or $11,244 a year.
They are spending 22% more than their take-home income. The deficit has to be eliminated. Read more
August saw listings up a notch and sales flat in Vancouver’s Kitsilano condo market, resulting in a balanced market but sellers need to be priced right to receive an offer. 65% of the sales were under $500,000, favouring lower end sellers. In general, Sellers need to be priced no more than 2% above market value in order to attract an offer.
HPI Price over the last year is up 7.2% for Kitsilano condos. Read more
Plans to remove the HST and return to a provincial sales tax mixed with the Goods and Services Tax will probably cause some potential buyers of new homes in British Columbia to delay purchases until 2013, Central 1 Credit Union forecasts.
In a news release Thursday, Central 1 economist Bryan Yu said: “People looking at new homes priced over $525,000 may very well wait until the tax changes lower the 12 per cent hit they face.”
The HST added provincial tax to new housing on top of GST and $525,000 was the upper limit for a rebate program intended to add no additional tax on homes. Read more
10 city global billionaire index values rose 10% in first six months of 2011
Hong Kong is in a league of its own in value terms, more than twice the value of London (£6700 vs £3090 psf)
Tokyo is no 2 in terms of £psf and in terms of size, making this the most expensive of any world class city for the ultimate home, at £83m
Singapore (144%), Mumbai (138%) and Moscow (110%) recorded greatest 5 year growth to end 2010 Read more
How’s the market in Vancouver’s waterfront neighbourhood of Coal Harbour? Are prices up or down? How long does it take to sell a Coal Harbour condo or townhouse? What’s the average sale price? Are listings increasing or decreasing? Is it a Buyers or Sellers market? Search for luxury coal harbour homes, find home values, local real estate news.
Coal Harbour condo sales over $1M decreased.
70% of August sales were under $1M – a reversal of July
August saw sales and listings flat, the average sale price down due to more lower priced sales. Market now favours buyers. Read more
NDP tourism critic Spencer Chandra Herbert says the terminal was supposed to be temporary while the new one was being built. “The floatplanes are still operating there because the new private operator is charging too high of user fees and I’m now told that the docks are too high and could pose safety threats to operators of the planes but also users.”
The new $18 million Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre opened in the spring, and Hebert says the operators need to reach an agreement with the floatplane companies that still refuse to use it. Read more
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Southwestern B.C. and the rest of the province increasingly have little in common when it comes to year-over-year home price changes, according to the latest numbers from the B.C. Real Estate Association.
While residential sales across the province remained stable in August as low mortgage rates were balanced by high numbers of active listings, average prices dropped in the Okanagan and most other interior regions in the past year while rising sharply in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.
There are many reasons for the price divergence in the two regions, including less migration to the Okanagan, fewer sales of recreational properties and a higher number of active listings there that quell upward pressure on prices, says BCREA senior economist Cameron Muir Read more
The Central 1 Credit Union report, which was issued on Thursday, forecasts the B.C. market will slow this year and total sales will drop slightly from 2010, but prices will continue to rise an estimated 6.8 per cent next year.
According to the report’s author economist Brian Yu, low interest rates that show no sign of rising quickly and the limited supply of land will keep values rising – all familiar arguments. Read more
Are prices up or down? Are listings increasing? Are sales up or down? What’s the average days on the market? What’s the average price? How do prices compare to a year ago. How flexible are sellers on their list price?
2011 vs 2010
Sales are up in 2011, listings have dropped dramatically and prices are also up.
August saw higher sales and listings compared to July Read more