Bank of Canada raises overnight rate to 1 per cent

[Source: CTV News, September 6, 2017] OTTAWA -- The Bank of Canada is once again raising its benchmark interest rate as it sees the economy's powerful performance pointing to broader, more self-sustaining growth. The central bank hiked its rate Wednesday by one-quarter point to 1.0 per cent, its second 25-basis-point increase since July. The move, which will likely be a surprise for some, came less than a week after the latest Statistics Canada numbers showed the economy expanded by an impressive 4.5 [...]

What’s the Average Value of a New Mortgage in Vancouver?

[Source: REW, August 8, 2017] Number of new mortgages across Canada and in BC rose in 2016, CMHC reports – but Vancouver loan amounts decrease. With Greater Vancouver home prices increasing exponentially each year and now at record highs, there is a widespread – and understandable – assumption that most buyers must be taking out huge mortgages to afford real estate in the region. However, the average value of a new mortgage loan in the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in 2016 [...]

Metro Vancouver sees fewer home sales and more listings in July

[Source: REBGV, August 2, 2017] The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in the region totalled 2,960 in July 2017, an 8.2 per cent decrease from the 3,226 sales recorded in July 2016, and a decrease of 24 per cent compared to June 2017 when 3,893 homes sold. Last month’s sales were 0.7 per cent above the 10-year July sales average. “Housing demand is inconsistent across the region right now. Pockets of the market are still [...]

Federal banking regulator proposes new stress test for uninsured mortgages

[Source: CTVnews, July 6, 2017] OTTAWA -- The federal banking regulator is proposing a new stress test for all uninsured mortgages as part of efforts to tighten lending rules. The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) recommended the measure as part of draft changes that it has published for public consultations. The change would mean that homebuyers who have a down payment of 20 per cent or more -- and therefore don't require mortgage insurance -- will still face a [...]

Foreign buyers’ tax, other measures under review: B.C. housing minister

[Source: Vancouver Sun, July 31, 2017] British Columbia's new Housing Minister Selina Robinson says she is reviewing the tax on foreign buyers of Vancouver real estate and the province's interest-free loan program to first-time homebuyers. The provincial government is reviewing the foreign buyers’ tax in the Vancouver area and the interest-free loan program to first-time homebuyers to determine whether they have been effective in improving affordability, the province’s new housing minister says. In an interview Monday, Selina Robinson said she and provincial [...]

‘Disproportionate’ growth still flowing into housing as B.C. economy revised upward: BCBC

[Source: BIV, July 12, 2017] Higher than expected job growth and consumer spending helps the BCBC revise an earlier economic forecast from 2.2% growth in 2017 to 2.7% A “disproportionate” amount of growth is still flowing into the B.C. housing sector this year even as business investment remains soft, according to a report from the Business Council of British Columbia. Meanwhile, higher than expected job growth and consumer spending also helped the BCBC revise an earlier economic forecast from 2.2% real GDP [...]

Canada’s economy accelerates on consumer, business spending

[Source: Globe and Mail, May 31,2017] Canada’s economy accelerated strongly in the first quarter, driven by consumer spending and a rebound in business investment. Gross domestic product grew at an annualized 3.7 per cent pace, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday, slightly below economists’ expectations for 3.9 per cent, and following upwardly revised annualized growth of 2.7 per cent in the fourth quarter. The economy also appeared to be on solid footing ahead of the second quarter with growth rising by a better-than-expected [...]

Bank of Canada leaves key rate unchanged, but ‘soft hawkish tilt’ emerges

[May 24, 2017, Globe and Mail] The Bank of Canada is creeping closer to its first rate hike in nearly seven years as it weighs the clashing forces of anemic inflation and a surprise burst of economic growth. The central bank opted Wednesday to keep its key overnight interest rate unchanged at 0.5 per cent – the 15th consecutive time it has done so since July, 2015. But the generally upbeat tone of the accompanying statement suggests Bank of Canada Governor Stephen [...]

New real estate taxes only created new problems

[Source: The Province,  May 18, 2017] I’m not generally inclined to say “I told you so,” but the last few days have been quite validating for those of us who cautioned against government intervention through taxation in the Vancouver housing market. As most people know, the provincial government introduced a 15-per-cent property transfer tax on foreign buyers in August and Vancouver city council passed the empty homes tax, which also targets a lot of foreign buyers. The taxes were designed to [...]

Housing inventory at 20-year low, B.C. Real Estate Association says

[Source: CBC News, May 15, 2017] New data from the B.C. Real Estate Association (BCREA) shows housing supply in the province is at a 20-year low, and the association says that lack of supply is making the ongoing affordability problem worse. The BCREA, the provincial real estate professional association, says the supply of homes for sale is down 17 per cent from April 2016 and down 50 per cent since 2012 after adjusting for seasonal variance. "We're really in almost uncharted territory [...]