Vancouver, BC – June 15, 2016. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a record 13,458 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May, up 32.3 per cent from the same month last year. Home sales last month exceeded April’s record of 12,969 units. Total sales dollar volume was $9.72 billion in May, up 51.1 per cent compared to the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was up 14.2 per cent year-over-year, to $722,146.Continue reading →
Vancouver, BC – May 13, 2016. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a record 12,969 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April, up 30.3 per cent from the same month last year. Home sales last month beat March’s record of 12,560 units. Total sales dollar volume was $9.64 billion in April, up 52.7 per cent compared to the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was up 17.2 per cent year-over-year, to $743,640.Continue reading →
Vancouver, BC – April 15, 2016. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a record 12,560 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March, up 38 per cent from March of last year. Home sales last month eclipsed the previous record of 11,683 unit sales in May of 2007. Total sales dollar volume was $9.69 billion in March, up 66.9 per cent compared to the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was up 20.2 per cent year-over-year, to $771,620.
“Housing demand has never been stronger in the province,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Most large population centres of the province are now experiencing record levels of housing demand.”
“Strong employment growth, rising wages and a marked increase in net inter-provincial migration is fueling
consumer confidence,” added Muir.
Supply imbalances are becoming increasingly common as new residential listings are not keeping pace with consumer demand. As a result, the inventory of homes for sale is at decadelong lows in many regions.
The year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume increased 70.1 per cent to $21.59 billion, when compared with the same period in 2015. Residential unit sales climbed by 39.2 per cent to 28,028 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 22.2 per cent to $770,408.
To see the full article, click here: http://www.bcrea.bc.ca/docs/news-2016/2016-03.pdf
*Article content provided by BCREA – April 15th, 2016
The Canadian government announced today that it is increasing the minimum down payment on insured mortgages from 5 per cent to a two tiered system under which the minimum down payment on houses priced above $500,000 will remain at 5 per cent, but there will be an additional 10 per cent required on the portion of the house price above $500,000.
As an example, for a house priced at $700,000, the minimum down payment for mortgage insurance purposes under the status quo would be $35,000. Under the new system, the minimum down payment would be 5 per cent x $500,000 + 10 per cent x ($700,000-$500,000) or $45,000. It is important to note that the homes priced at or above $1 million already require a minimum down payment of 20 per cent.
The changes to minimum down payments will take effect on February 15, 2016 and apply to new mortgage loans where a mortgage insurance application is received on February 15, 2016 or later.
The increase in minimum down payments on homes above $500,000 is designed to target excess risk taking in Canada’s most expensive housing markets. Most homes in BC are priced below $500,000 and therefore this change will have limited impact in much of the province. However, 35 per cent of homes sold in Metro-Vancouver are priced between $500,000 and $1 million and so this change could adversely affect or delay demand in those markets, particularly for first-time homebuyers. That said, given the incremental nature of the change, and since minimum down payments are less frequent at higher home prices, we expect the overall impact to be relatively minor.
The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) is the professional association for more than 18,500 REALTORS(r) in BC, focusing on provincial issues that impact real estate. Working with the province’s 11 real estate boards, BCREA provides continuing professional education, advocacy, economic research and standard forms to help REALTORS(r) provide value for their clients.
Real estate boards, real estate associations and REALTORS(r) may reprint this content, provided that credit is given to BCREA by including the following statement: “Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.” BCREA makes no guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of this information.
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“More robust economic growth, strong consumer confidence and rock-bottom mortgage interest rates
are expected to push housing demand this year to its highest level since 2007,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist.
Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in British Columbia are forecast to rise 12.1 per cent to 94,300 units this year, before edging back 2.9 per cent to 91,600 units in 2015. The ten-year average is
83,600 unit sales. A record 106,300 MLS® residential sales were recorded in 2005.
Stronger consumer demand combined with fewer homes available for sale is forecast to push the average MLS® residential sales price in the province up 7.4 per cent to $610,500 this year. Modest upward pressure on mortgage interest and rising new home completions are expected to ease pressure on home prices in 2016. The average MLS® residential sales price is forecast to increase by 1.7 per cent to $621,000 in 2016.
“Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.”Continue reading →
New home construction in Canada jumped 10 per cent in May to 201,705 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts of 181,231 units SAAR was up slightly and is in-line with Canadian household growth.
Housing starts in BC fell from a blockbuster 37,000 units in April to 25,609 units SAAR in May. On a year-over-year basis, housing starts were down 11 per cent compared to May 2014. Single-detached starts were 8 per cent higher while multiple unit starts fell 20 per cent compared to this time last year. Year-to-date, housing starts in BC are up 13 per cent.
Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were down 13 per cent year-over-year in May due to a 17 per cent decline in multiple starts. Single-detached starts in Vancouver were 3 per cent higher. In the Victoria CMA, new home construction fell 32 per cent year-over-year due to a 44 per cent drop in multiple unit starts. Total housing starts in the Kelowna CMA were down 36 per cent year-over-year in May with broadly weaker construction activity of both single and multiple units. Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA declined by just over half compared to May 2014 .
“Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.”Continue reading →
While we expected the sharp decline in oil prices and the uncertainty regarding when they might stabilize would keep the Bank of Canada from raising interest rates in 2015, the Bank has instead opted for a more aggressive approach. How long the Bank intends to keep its overnight rate at 0.75 per cent is unclear, but given strong underlying growth pre-oil shock, if oil prices rise as expected in the second half of the year we could see this move reversed by the end of 2015. For now, the BC housing market should continue to benefit from low and now likely lower mortgage rates
One of the least safe places to barbecue is on a balcony. A back draft can draw smoke into the apartment making breathing uncomfortable and creating a health hazard. A by-product of burning propane, wood and/or charcoal is carbon monoxide. This odorless gas blocks the human body from absorbing essential oxygen. Victims of carbon monoxide poisoning become disoriented, which is very unsafe near a hot barbecue. At concentrated levels, carbon monoxide is fatal. Barbecuing on a balcony also poses a hazard to neighbors since a breeze can carry burning embers into their suites. Balconies typically do not have sprinklers so a fire can spread quickly. Backyard grilling has its own set of precautions. Consider this scene: a party of adults and children are gathered poolside one summer afternoon. Meat, coleslaw, condiments, etc. are set out on a platter while people socialize prior to the barbecue. Children are running around. The chef, who has consumed a couple of beers, decides it’s time to heat up the grill. It is a warm, breezy day. The chef opens the propane valve, opens the lid and flicks the automatic lighter. At this point, you might have noticed a few potential problems. Has the chef cleaned the grill since its last use? If not, he or she might experience a dangerous flame burst caused by grease and food particles that have built up on the briquettes, grill, and the barbeque interior. As a rule, it is wise to scrub your grill with a stiff steel bristle brush and wipe off grease splatter after each use. (A clean grill also prevents food from sticking.) After several uses, it will likely be time to give your grill a top to bottom cleaning. Wipe off the visible grease then use soapy water to clean up the residue. If your briquettes are encrusted with food and burned oil, replace them. If you have a gas barbecue, disconnect the gas and lift out the grill parts layer by layer. Once you get down to the burners, make sure you inspect them thoroughly. Be sure that the lines and connections are clean for even heating. If you notice peeling paint or rust, touch up the spots with fresh, heat-resistant primer and paint. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on the best way to clean and repair your unit. The second risk involves children playing near the barbecue. They can easily become engrossed in their games and trip into the hot barbecue or knock over the chef causing burns and other injuries. Young children are curious and want to watch and assist. Ensure that little helpers are constantly supervised by another adult. A third risk is alcohol, which impairs reflexes and judgement. Barbeque accidents have happened to people who are completely sober so imagine how the odds increase with too many drinks!A fourth problem with this lovely summer scenario is the food itself. Meat, fish and foods containing dairy or egg products should be refrigerated until they are ready to be cooked or eaten. According to the Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education, pathogens and micro-organisms that cause food poisoning can multiply rapidly within a temperature zone of 4C (40F) to 60C (140F). Reheating the food will not make it safe. Also, avoid cross contamination by using a fresh platter for cooked meat and fish; never put cooked food onto a surface that held raw food.Tips for everyone who enjoys barbecuing …..