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The last decade of the Vancouver Real Estate market has certainly been an interesting one.  2019 ended the decade with a year of many challenges while still proving that overtime Real Estate is a very good investment.
 
As we start this new year, I believe we have turned the corner and are firmly in a more "normal" balanced market which allows  good opportunities for both buyers and sellers.  Pent up demand and an attitude of "getting on with it" are fueling the current market.  The  Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver stats show an 88% jump in sales December 2019 over December 2018.
 
 
Looking forward I wish you all the very best for 2020 .
 
Want to know what this means for your neighbourhood and plans, I am here to help.  I have my feet on the ground and finger on the pulse.

Michele
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The 'Hood - Point Grey


This neighbourhood is dear to my heart.  It was my home for 16 years and was home to Noelle and Adam for all of their childhood. I recently attended a seminar hosted by the Vancouver Historical Foundation, “The Art Of Research.”  The setting was Aberthau -“a house filled with light”.   


Built in 1910 at a time when the city had only three areas Point Grey, CPR and South Vancouver. Point Grey was considered away from the city and had lots of space to build large manor homes.  Aberthau was donated to the city in 1972 for a community space and has been home of the West Point Grey Community Centre since.  I have spent many, many hours here with the kids for ballet lessons, breakfasts with Santa and other such events. 


Touring this beautiful building I learned many new things about the history of this neighbourhood. Did you know Jericho Park which we all know and love today was the original site of the Point Grey Golf Course?  Did you know that the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) took over the golf course in 1924.  Then they claimed Aberthau as the Officers Mess.  These lands later hosted Habitat 1, the first United Nations Conference on  Human Settlements, 31 May – 11 June 1976.  


What I found most fascinating however is that all these resources are available to us in the city archives and public library.   We can learn so much about our city, the history of the people, places and homes.  


This may become my new hobby.  Do you want to find the history of your home?  I would be happy to share what I have learned.


How’s the Market


Well we finally seem to have moved away from doom and gloom in the press. 


“Vancouver Housing Market bouncing back faster than expected.”


- CTV News


The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says “home sales returned to around historically typical levels in November after a quieter first half of the year.” 


A new report from Central 1 Credit Union found that “Buyers are returning to the B.C. Market – particularly the Lower Mainland.” 


My feeling is we will see a little quieter market through the month of December and then a quick start in the New Year.  Want to know what is happening in your neighbourhood? I have my finger on the pulse, call me anytime…


On a Personal Note


When the days get short and grey Vancouverites turn our thoughts to sun and adventure.  I recently had the good fortune to be invited to a friend’s place in Palm Springs. Merion and Clint where wonderful hosts and taught me the PS Happy Hour culture which was so much fun. My favourite event however was the Mid-Century Modern Architectural tour I took one sunny morning.  I highly recommend Kurt at Mod Squad!

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Home Buyer Activity Increases in October


The Metro Vancouver housing market is experiencing a fall pickup in home sale activity.


The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver 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 per cent above the 10-year October sales average.



Phil Soper, CEO Royal LePage Canada, reports in a series of media releases dating back to May, we have provided evidence that the major housing industry slowdown and market correction of 2018 and first half of 2019 was over. More collaborating data became available this week from the Bank of Canada.


Our banks are selling more mortgages. The total value of residential mortgages written in our country climbed to $1.6 trillion in September, up 4.2% from a year ago. That is the 7th consecutive month of improvement.


I feel this market improvement is more than a simple short-term blip. Barring a full-fledged global recession, we should see housing market growth both in 2020 and in 2021. There is no magic formula behind this outlook, simply math and common sense.


Canada boasts the fastest growing population of any advanced nation on earth. We have a huge population of millennials that are buying their first homes, and for the older families in this cohort, their first family homes as the children arrive. On top of that, Canadians are employed – in record numbers.



My experience over the past couple of months continues to confirm we are firmly in a balanced to Sellers market depending on the neighbourhood and property type. Prices have come down from the height of the market , interest rates remain low and home buyers are reacting and making decisions to move forward with their home buying needs.


I have my feet on the ground and am happy to discuss how this relates to your specific neighbourhood and plans.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Michele

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How’s the Market

Well it has certainly been an interesting year in Real Estate!  After over 30 years on this crazy roller coaster ride of my chosen career one thing I know for sure, no two years are the same.

While the first 6 months of the year were frustrating and slow to show results there was a noticeable up tick starting mid May which gained momentum through the summer making  July and August the busiest of the year so far for me.  The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported sales where up 15.7% August 2019 over 2018.


List to sale ratio’s indicate Detached still a Buyers market while Townhomes and Condo’s have moved to a Balanced market.

Well priced properties are selling and focused buyers are able to negotiate favourable sales.  As we move into fall I anticipate more properties coming to market for better choice, and hopefully a continued balanced market which will be good for Buyers and Sellers.

Want to know what is happening in your neighbourhood?  I have my finger on the pulse, call me anytime...


The ‘Hood – Summer Festivals, Vancouver Has No Shortage of Them

In and around  Downtown all summer long there are plenty to choose from, Celebration of Light, Folk Festival, Pride to name a few.  I was fortunate to enjoy many of them and finally was fortunate enough to be invited to the  coveted  Dîner en Blanc. The event brings together thousands of people for an elegant all white dinner in a secret location.  This year the beautiful venue the was George Wainborn Park in Yaletown.  We picnicked and celebrated with the city and tranquil views of False Creek surrounding us. I love to walk Downtown, with water and beautiful mountain views in every direction and no shortage of excellent people watching (one of my favourite pass times.  Certainly a great neighbourhood to live work and play.


On a Personal Note

I know a little late, but it is still Summer as I write this. I have been really busy all year with some great results finally over the past few months.  I was able to carve out a couple of days here and there to enjoy some quality time with friends on the Sunshine Coast and the  Okanagan and am proud to say I finally learned to paddle board and manage to stay upright. I took some drives through Stanley Park in between appointments and enjoyed lunch at the recently opened Stanley Park Brewing, defiantly worth a visit. My daughter Noelle spent the summer in Northern B.C. tree planting, when she emerged from the bush we took  a couple of days in Whistler to spa and relax.  I highly recommend a day at the Scandinave Spa Whistler!

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Well folks we are now in a full Buyer’s market in all segments. The big question on everyone’s

mind is where is the market going in 2019?

 

For this month I am showing a comparison of January over January for the past 5 years and

as you will see the big change occurred with # of sales way down. This is a result of a number

of factors, taxes implemented at the local, and provincial levels as well as Federal intervention

in the mortgage industry with the new “Stress Test”.


The good news going forward, inflation rate, unemployment rate and interest rates are all good!

 

I  always love to hear from you and happy to discuss how the market effects your future plans.

Michele

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Well the stats are fresh off the press and not really a surprise.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reports sales for all property types are down 31.6% from 2017 and 38.4% from 2016.
 
This past year has been a transition away from the high prices and hot demand seen in previous years brought on by new mortgage requirements and numerous new taxes on top of home prices out of reach for many of the local market. This period of cooling was long over due and welcomed by me.
 
All of this of course is the broad picture with differences in each sub market and individual neighbourhoods of which I have available and happy to break down for you.  This healthier market has many opportunities, particularly for those wanting to move up as the gap is no longer as wide and the ability to research and negotiate in a timely manner is the best it's been in over a decade.
 
I look forward to hearing from you anytime with a question or a referral to someone you think I can help. 
 
All the very best for family, happiness and home in 2019!
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All the stats for the month of November 2018 are now in and I thought you would be interested.
 
The market has continued to slow down through 2018 and we are now firmly in a Balance or Buyers market in all segments.  This is a good thing, gone are the crazy days of making rash decisions and crazy bidding wars.  It has also created an opportunity that we haven't seen in years to move up in the market.
 
I have included the overall stats for the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.  I have lots of information as to how this drills down by property type, neighbourhood and price brackets which I am happy to share with you.  

 
I always love to hear from you and happy to discuss how the market effects your future plans.

Take care,

Michele
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On a Personal Note – Celebrating 30 Years!

This August marked my 30th year helping my clients buy and sell real  estate in Vancouver. My first cell phone was huge, mounted in my car with a lovely antenna out the back window. I carried a pager in my purse and the only way to communicate was in person or by phone. Today with so many ways to communicate, text, email, messenger, Facebook, LinkedIn, SnapChat, WhatsApp, WeChat, Instagram etc., I feel a lack of connection. I miss talking to people!


My goal for year 31 is to get more face to face with people, my friends, my clients, my colleagues and the many contacts I have in the community.

My career has spanned many life stages, first time buyer, move up buyer, starting a family, sending kids off to University, selling the family home and downsizing.


I am now happy to announce my daughter Noelle is a graduate of The University of Victoria and her brother, Adam, is flourishing at the University of British Columbia and not far behind. I have had the privilege of working with you, my clients, in all of these stages in your lives and always look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for being part of my journey so far ………I look forward to talking to you soon.


Trees, Trees, Trees

I remember early in my career my colleagues and I would always refer to The Eugenia at 1919 Beach Avenue as the “building with the tree on the roof”.  The original pin oak was installed in 1987 as part of the Architect Richard Henriquez’s vision, a symbol of the forest that was there before.


Today as Vancouver continues on the road to becoming the “Greenest City”, trees on the roofs of new developments have become a very common site and landscape plans are taken very seriously by the City of Vancouver.

Vancouver’s Favourite Topic – “How’s the Market?

No day goes by that does not include a news story and no social event would be complete without discussion about what is happening in the Real Estate market. Keep in mind the reports are general to Greater Vancouver which covers vast and various markets and Stats are old news by the time they are published. I specialized in the City of Vancouver and within the many submarkets.  I have my finger on the pulse.


The good news, we are for the first time in over a decade in a more balanced market, one that allows for  negotiation, investigation and time for decision making. If you or anyone you know have been sitting on the fence or lost hope of being successful in the Vancouver Real Estate market, now is a great time to take a look.

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Celebrating 30 Years!

Because it's more than a job. It's doing what I love.


What a wonderful night we had for my 30th Celebration!

A beautiful night, a beautiful venue, fireworks and a surprise fly over from the Canadian Air Force's Snowbirds.

I was so happy to be able to spend time chatting with so many of my favourite people and enjoyed watching you interact with each other.   I can say for sure, fun was had by all.

For those of you who were not able to be there at the last minute I look forward to finding time to see you soon.

Thank you all, for trusting me with your important Real Estate decisions, for referring me to your family, friends and colleagues and for staying in touch and being part of my life.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Highlights from the night.
August 1st, 2018

   


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July’s residential housing sales in Metro Vancouver reached their lowest levels for that month since the year 2000.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in the region totalled 2,070 in July 2018, a 30.1 per cent decrease from the 2,960 sales recorded in July 2017, and a decrease of 14.6 per cent compared to June 2018 when 2,425 homes sold.


Last month’s sales were 29.3 per cent below the 10-year July sales average.


“With fewer buyers active in today’s market, we’re seeing less upward pressure on home prices across the region,” Phil Moore, REBGV president said. “This is most pronounced in the detached home market, but demand in the townhome and apartment markets is also relenting from the more frenetic pace experienced over the last few years.”

There were 4,770 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in July 2018. This represents a 9.2 per cent decrease compared to the 5,256 homes listed in July 2017 and a 9.6 per cent decrease compared to June 2018 when 5,279 homes were listed.


The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 12,137, a 32 per cent increase compared to July 2017 (9,194) and a 1.6 per cent increase compared to June 2018 (11,947).

“Summer is traditionally a quieter time of year in real estate. This is particularly true this year,” Moore said. “With increased mortgage rates and stricter lending requirements, buyers and sellers are opting to take a wait-and-see approach for the time being.”


For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for July 2018 is 17.1 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 9.9 per cent for detached homes, 20.2 per cent for townhomes, and 27.3 per cent for condominiums.


Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.


The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,087,500. This represents a 6.7 per cent increase over July 2017 and a 0.6 per cent decrease compared to June 2018.


Sales of detached properties in July 2018 reached 637, a decrease of 32.9 per cent from the 949 detached sales recorded in July 2017. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,588,400. This represents a 1.5 per cent decrease from July 2017 and a 0.6 per cent decrease compared to June 2018.


Sales of apartment properties reached 1,079 in July 2018, a decrease of 26.5 per cent compared to the 1,468 sales in July 2017. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $700,500. This represents a 13.6 per cent increase from July 2017 and a 0.5 per cent decrease compared to June 2018.


Attached property sales in July 2018 totalled 354, a decrease of 34.8 per cent compared to the 543 sales in July 2017. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $856,000. This represents a 12.1 per cent increase from July 2017 and a 0.4 per cent decrease compared to June 2018.


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Home buyer demand continues to decline across the Metro Vancouver housing market.

 

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in the region totalled 2,833 in May 2018, a 35.1 per cent decrease from the 4,364 sales recorded in May 2017, and a 9.8 per cent increase compared to April 2018 when 2,579 homes sold.

 

Last month’s sales were 19.3 per cent below the 10-year May sales average.

 

“With fewer homes selling today compared to recent years, the number of homes available for sale is rising,” Phil Moore, REBGV president said. “The selection of homes for sale in Metro Vancouver has risen to the highest levels we’ve seen in the last two years, yet supply is still below our long-term historical averages.”

 

There were 6,375 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in May 2018. This represents a 5.5 per cent increase compared to the 6,044 homes listed in May 2017 and a 9.5 per cent increase compared to April 2018 when 5,820 homes were listed.

 

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 11,292, a 38.2 per cent increase compared to May 2017 (8,168) and a 15 per cent increase compared to April 2018 (9,822).

The total number of listings available today is 17.2 per cent below the 10-year May average.

 

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for May 2018 is 25.1 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 14.7 per cent for detached homes, 30.8 per cent for townhomes, and 41.7 per cent for condominiums.

 

Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

 

“For home sellers to be successful in today’s market, it’s important to price your property competitively given the shifting dynamics we’re experiencing,” Moore said. “It’s also important to work with your local Realtor to better understand these changing conditions.”

 

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,094,000. This is an 11.5 per cent increase over May 2017 and a 0.2 per cent increase compared to April 2018.

 

Sales of detached properties in May 2018 reached 926, a 40.2 per cent decrease from the 1,548 detached sales recorded in May 2017. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,608,000. This is a 2.4 per cent increase from May 2017 and a 0.1 per cent increase compared to April 2018.

 

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,431 in May 2018, a 29.3 per cent decrease from the 2,025 sales in May 2017. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $701,700. This is a 20.2 per cent increase from May 2017 and a 0.1 per cent increase compared to April 2018.

 

Attached property sales in May 2018 totalled 476, a 39.8 per cent decrease from the 791 sales in May 2017. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $859,500. This represents a 16 per cent increase from May 2017 and a 0.6 per cent increase compared to April 2018.

 

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The Metro Vancouver housing market saw fewer home buyers and more home sellers in April.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in the region totalled 2,579 in April 2018, a 27.4 per cent decrease from the 3,553 sales recorded in April 2017, and a 2.5 per cent increase compared to March 2018 when 2,517 homes sold.

 

Last month’s sales were 22.5 per cent below the 10-year April sales average.

 

“Market conditions are changing. Home sales declined in our region last month to a 17-year April low and home sellers have become more active than we’ve seen in the past three years,” Phil Moore, REBGV president said. “The mortgage requirements that the federal government implemented this year have, among other factors, diminished home buyers’ purchasing power and they’re being felt on the buyer side today.”

 

There were 5,820 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in April 2018. This represents an 18.6 per cent increase compared to the 4,907 homes listed in April 2017 and a 30.8 per cent increase compared to March 2018 when 4,450 homes were listed.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 9,822, a 25.7 per cent increase compared to April 2017 (7,813) and a 17.2 per cent increase compared to March 2018 (8,380).

 

“Home buyers have more breathing room this spring. They have more selection to choose from and less demand to compete against,” Moore said.

 

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for April 2018 is 26.3 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 14.1 per cent for detached homes, 36.1 per cent for townhomes, and 46.7 per cent for condominiums.

Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

 

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,092,000. This represents a 14.3 per cent increase over April 2017 and a 0.7 per cent increase compared to March 2018.

 

Sales of detached properties in April 2018 reached 807, a 33.4 per cent decrease from the 1,211 detached sales recorded in April 2017. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,605,800. This represents a 5.1 per cent increase from April 2017 and a 0.2 per cent decrease compared to March 2018.

 

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,308 in April 2018, a 24 per cent decrease from the 1,722 sales in April 2017. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $701,000. This represents a 23.7 per cent increase from April 2017 and a 1.1 per cent increase compared to March 2018.

 

Attached property sales in April 2018 totalled 464, a 25.2 per cent decrease compared to the 620 sales in April 2017. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $854,200. This represents a 17.7 per cent increase from April 2017 and a 2.3 per cent increase compared to March 2018.

 

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  • On a quarter-over-quarter basis, home prices decline slightly in half of key markets
  • Condominiums continue to appreciate at fastest rate among housing types studied in the Royal LePage National House Price Composite

RLP_Property_Media_Stock_EN

TORONTO, April 13, 2018 – According to the Royal LePage House Price Survey[1] released today, home prices in Canada saw slowing year-over-year increases in the first three months of 2018. On a quarter-over-quarter basis for the same period, home prices in many markets across the country remained relatively flat, with approximately half of the markets studied by Royal LePage posting slight declines. These declines were most prevalent in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and to a lesser degree in the Greater Vancouver detached home segment. Eroding housing affordability and the impact of government measures restricting access to mortgage financing have led to dips in demand and softening of price appreciation across the nation. While the 2018 spring market has started slowly in the GTA and Greater Vancouver, a return to normal activity levels is anticipated in the second half of the year.

 

The Royal LePage National House Price Composite[2], compiled from proprietary property data in 63 of the nation’s largest real estate markets, showed that the price of a home in Canada increased 6.2 per cent year-over-year to $605,512 in the first quarter of 2018. When broken out by housing type, the median price of a two-storey home rose 5.7 per cent year-over-year to $715,726 and the median price of a bungalow climbed 4.5 per cent to $501,985. Condominiums continued to witness the highest price appreciation rates among housing types studied, rising 10.3 per cent to $418,245, driven by significant year-over-year price gains in the country’s largest housing markets.

 

Greater Vancouver witnessed the most significant condominium price gains among Canada’s major metropolitan areas, posting a 19.8 per cent increase to a median price of $668,342, while several suburban regions including North Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Langley, Richmond and Surrey surpassed the 20 per cent mark in annualized condo price gains. In the GTA, the median price of a condominium increased 11.9 per cent year-over-year to $471,854 in the first quarter, and decreased slightly on a quarter-over-quarter basis, decreasing 1.3 per cent. In contrast, the median price of a two-storey home in the GTA increased 1.8 per cent year-over-year to $939,610 and depreciated 2.4 per cent quarter-over-quarter, while bungalows appreciated 1.1 per cent year-over-year to $788,501 and depreciated 2.1 per cent quarter-over-quarter. Bucking this trend, condominiums in the Greater Montreal Area appreciated 3.5 per cent to $314,554 year-over-year compared to two-storey homes, which appreciated 8.3 per cent to $492,751, due to the relative affordability of two-storey homes in the region.

 

“We are experiencing a broad-based, residential housing correction in Canada, triggered by federal and provincial intervention,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “Strong house price gains in the first half of 2017 mask some of the recent market shifts when comparing year-over-year home value trends. As is the norm in our huge nation, regional themes play out differently, with economically expanding, affordable markets seeing less change than areas where home prices overshot. Regulators were concerned primarily with the large GTA market, and it is there we are seeing the most pronounced short-term changes.”

 

The new Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) mortgage rules came into effect in January 2018, which include a financing stress test for borrowers with uninsured loans, intended to ensure that home purchasers can withstand higher mortgage payments as interest rates rise. At the outset of the quarter, sales activity levels fell at both national and regional levels year-over-year, in part due to an observed “pull-ahead” in transactions at the end of 2017, as buyers sought to solidify home purchases before the new rules came into effect. As Royal LePage forecasted in its December 2017 Market Survey Forecast, the new measures have played into a slower housing market so far this year, as many people adjust their expectations and take a “wait and see” approach. In the GTA, this has somewhat prolonged softer market trends in the detached home segments – particularly in surrounding suburbs, which had previously been witnessing the highest appreciation rates in the region.

 

“The combination of declining affordability and government intervention has for the most part neutralized very high home price appreciation levels in the greater Vancouver and Toronto regions, relative to the extreme heights witnessed in recent periods,” said Soper. “However, those looking for this slowdown to translate into material year-over-year home price drops shouldn’t hold their breath. The demand for housing is so strong that the rate of home price appreciation is expected to pick up again in the second half of 2018.”

 

From low interest rates through to solid job creation, the fundamental conditions to support a strong housing market continue to remain in place. Canada’s economy is currently on solid footing. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently raised its Canadian growth projection for 2018. In the past year, the Canadian economy grew by an estimated three per cent, making it the fastest-growing among the G7 advanced economies.

 

“While we have recently seen both overshooting and corrections in Canada’s largest markets, on a national basis we believe the Canadian housing market is amidst a long-term expansionary cycle supported by strong economic fundamentals,” said Soper. “Canada’s stature is rising on a global scale. Our cities continue to be ranked among the most desired places to live in the world. Our economy is strong, our unemployment levels are the lowest they’ve been in four decades and we have one of the fastest-growing populations among advanced economies. These factors combined are incredibly supportive of long-term housing demand and valuations.

 

“Assuming that the economic outlook is not compromised by some unforeseen global event, such as a sustained trade war, we anticipate healthy, expanding Canadian housing market growth in the coming year,” continued Soper. “It is important to note that numerous Canadian regions are experiencing only modest economic growth and some are in a fragile state of recovery, and could get caught in the crossfire if regulators decide to take further measures aimed at Canada’s larger markets.”

 

In February, the British Columbia government introduced a slew of new tax measures targeting the region’s housing market. These included the introduction of a speculation tax on qualifying secondary homes, an increase to the foreign-buyer tax as well as an expanded list of affected regions and an increase to the property-related school taxes and land-transfer taxes on homes worth over $3 million.

 

“While policy instruments like foreign-buyer taxes will temper markets in the short-run, they are a diversion from the real issue,” concluded Soper. “Housing supply shortages in markets like B.C.’s Lower Mainland and the GTA remain at the heart of the problem. To avoid a return to the extreme market conditions of over 20 per cent annual home price increases, aggressive multiple offer scenarios and crumbling affordability, there is a need for sensible housing policy focused on creating a sustainable and diversified mix of supply. In condominiums, this includes the creation of larger units that are livable for families, especially as the Peak Millennial generation starts having families in increasing numbers.”

 

Provincial and City Summaries and Trends

British Columbia was a leading Canadian economic powerhouse in 2017, but its growth is expected to slow over the next two years as measures to curb the housing market set in. However, in turn, fewer home listings are expected to put continued upward pressure on prices. The province’s unemployment rate was 4.7 per cent in March, well below the national average. Furthermore, B.C. is one of the few provinces that is adding population via three core channels: natural increase, international immigrants, as well as through interprovincial in-migration, further supporting housing demand in the region.

 

In the first quarter of 2018, the aggregate price of a home in Greater Vancouver rose 10.3 per cent year-over-year to $1,280,014, while the City of Vancouver saw an increase of 10.1 per cent to $1,487,048. Meanwhile, surrounding suburbs continued to see relatively high year-over-year appreciation as a result of increasing demand for lower-priced properties outside the city center. During the same period, Langley, Surrey, Coquitlam and Burnaby posted home price increases of 18.5 per cent, 16.3 per cent, 15.3 per cent and 11.7 per cent to an aggregate price of $933,725, $879,848, $1,088,334 and $1,132,570, respectively.

 

Alberta led the country in economic growth in 2017, according to the provincial government which estimated that the economy grew by 4.7 per cent. For 2018, solid growth is expected, with the province raising its forecast to 2.8 per cent, citing oil production, manufacturing, population growth and spending as key drivers of economic activity. Employment in the province is now higher than it was prior to the downturn in oil-price during 2014. As of March 2018, the province’s unemployment rate was 6.3 per cent, down from the peak of nine per cent reached in the fall of 2016, contributing to relatively stable year-over-year home prices in the region. In the first quarter of 2018, the aggregate home price in Calgary increased 2.4 per cent year-over-year to $475,160, while the price of a home in Edmonton decreased a slight 0.6 per cent to $377,986.

 

Like Alberta, Saskatchewan is recovering from its oil-price induced downturn and is expected to grow at a pace above the national average in 2018, with agriculture, mining and manufacturing expected to be top contributors to the province’s expansion. In March, the unemployment rate in the province was 5.8 per cent, the same as the national average. Over the past year, employment has been virtually flat. Data from the first few quarters of 2017 suggest that the province is losing population to other provinces, although international migration has helped lift the overall population to a record level. Still, the economy is struggling to recover from the dislocations of recent years – which has been a drag on housing demand and market expansion the region. The aggregate price of a home in Regina and Saskatoon decreased 1.0 per cent year-over-year in the first quarter, to $329,727 and $376,111, respectively.

 

Following several years of growth that were boosted by large scale infrastructure projects, Manitoba’s economy is now slipping back into what the provincial government is referring to as “the new normal.” As a result, most forecasters expect provincial growth to be slightly under the Canadian average for the near term. As of March, the unemployment rate in the province was 6.2 per cent, above the national average of 5.8 per cent. Although employment has grown over the past year, full-time jobs have declined, also suggesting that the province is going into a slightly slower growth mode. In the first quarter, the price of a home in Winnipeg rose 5.1 per cent year-over-year to $291,671.

 

In the first quarter, Ontario continued to benefit from roaring economic strength in the U.S., which has boosted the province’s exports and manufacturing sector. Although growth may come down from that high this year, the economy is expected to continue a solid expansion. While many Ontario cities have done well in recent years, in 2017, the Greater Toronto Area led employment growth in the province, adding 69,700 jobs[3]. Like B.C., Ontario is adding population via natural increase, international immigration and interprovincial migration – in contrast to most of the previous decade where Ontario lost population to other provinces such as Alberta.

 

In the first quarter of 2018, the aggregate price of a home in the Greater Toronto Area rose 3.1 per cent to $802,252, while the City of Toronto saw an increase of 6.3 per cent year-over-year to $814,992. A number of surrounding suburbs, which had previously been outpacing the core, posted much lower year-over-year rates of appreciation than in recent quarters. The aggregate price of a home in Whitby, Ajax, Pickering and Oshawa rose 1.6 per cent to $660,618, 2.1 per cent to $664,578, 1.9 per cent to $690,884 and 3.0 per cent to $531,079, respectively. During the same period, the price of a home in Richmond Hill decreased 6.0 per cent year-over-year to $1,142,577, while the price of a home in Markham decreased 3.5 per cent to $991,068. Meanwhile, other nearby regions in the Golden Horseshoe including Niagara/St. Catharines, Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge and London maintained substantial year-over-year home price appreciation of 17.9 per cent, 15.4 per cent and 10.9 per cent to $397,807, $474,437 and $352,907, respectively – though, like many markets in the region, London and Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge saw price decreases on a quarter-over-quarter basis.  In the nation’s capital, Ottawa home prices continued to appreciate at a healthy pace, rising 4.7 per cent year-over-year to an aggregate price of $437,243.

 

Quebec’s economy was operating on all cylinders in 2017, with strong growth expected to continue throughout 2018. Last year, several industries were operating at close to capacity including construction, manufacturing and mining. Strong job creation has supported income growth, which has been further accentuated by a provincial tax cut. In March, the unemployment rate in Quebec was below the national average at 5.6 per cent, and down a full percentage point from March 2017. Notably, full-time job growth in Quebec over the past year has been a very strong 4.5 per cent, which translates into 150,000 full-time jobs. Overall, Montreal industries, particularly manufacturing and tourism, are expected to gain from the strong U.S. economy, along with stable economic conditions in the balance of Canada. The proportion[4] of Quebec consumers who feel that the time is right to make a major purchase, such as a property, remained stable in March at 37 per cent. Montreal’s residential real estate market is expected to continue to do well this year as demand increases, especially in the single-family home segment where supply shortage puts upward pressure on prices.

 

The aggregate price of a home in the Greater Montreal Area rose 6.1 per cent year-over-year to $389,197 in the first quarter. Montreal West and Montreal Centre saw the highest rates of appreciation in the region, rising 10.7 per cent and 9.2 per cent year-over-year to $460,657 and $493,244, respectively. In other parts of the province, the aggregate price of a home in Sherbrooke rose 6.1 per cent to $259,155, while the price of a home in Quebec City increased 1.0 per cent to $297,198. During the same period, the aggregate price of a home in Trois-Rivières fell 3.5 per cent year-over-year to $197,736. Meanwhile the price of a home in Gatineau increased 5.1 per cent year-over-year to $269,973.

 

In Atlantic Canada, economic performance and housing market trends varied province by province. Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy is expected to remain weak in 2018, while the government remains in a tight fiscal situation. However, the housing market in St. John’s was active in the first quarter, with the aggregate price of a home increasing 5.5 per cent year-over-year $344,699. During the same period, Moncton and Fredericton posted slight price increases of 2.2 and 1.4 per cent to $189,981 and $251,194, respectively, while Saint John continued to see a decline in the city’s aggregate price, decreasing 1.5 per cent to $205,196. In Nova Scotia’s capital, the aggregate price of a home in Halifax rose 2.1 per cent year-over-year to $311,841. Prince Edward Island performed better than most provinces in 2017, with steady economic growth expected for the coming year. In the first quarter, the aggregate price of a home in Charlottetown saw among the highest year-over-year growth in the country, rising 14.8 per cent to $267,498.

 

About the Royal LePage House Price Survey

The Royal LePage House Price Survey provides information on the three most common types of housing in Canada, in 63 of the nation’s largest real estate markets. Housing values in the House Price Survey are based on the Royal LePage National House Price Composite, produced quarterly through the use of company data in addition to data and analytics from its sister company, RPS Real Property Solutions, the trusted source for residential real estate intelligence and analytics in Canada.  Commentary on housing and forecast values are provided by Royal LePage residential real estate experts, based on their opinions and market knowledge.

 

About Royal LePage       

Serving Canadians since 1913, Royal LePage is the country’s leading provider of services to real estate brokerages, with a network of close to 18,000 real estate professionals in more than 600 locations nationwide. Royal LePage is the only Canadian real estate company to have its own charitable foundation, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, dedicated to supporting women’s and children’s shelters and educational programs aimed at ending domestic violence. Royal LePage is a Brookfield Real Estate Services Inc. company, a TSX-listed corporation trading under the symbol TSX:BRE.

 

For more information visit: www.royallepage.ca.

 

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Home buyer activity returned to more typical summer levels in Metro Vancouver last month.

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 receiving multiple offers and others are not. It depends on price, property type, and location,” Jill Oudil, REBGV president said. “For example, it’s taking twice as long, on average, for a detached home to sell compared to both townhomes and condominiums.”

There were 5,256 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in July 2017. This represents a 0.3 per cent increase compared to the 5,241 homes listed in July 2016 and an 8.1 per cent decrease compared to June 2017 when 5,721 homes were listed.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 9,194, a 10.1 per cent increase compared to July 2016 (8,351) and an eight per cent increase compared to June 2017 (8,515).

“Because home sale activity decreased to more historically normal levels in July, the selection of homes for sale in the region was able to edge above 9,000 for the first time this year,” Oudil, said.

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for July 2017 is 32.2 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 16.9 per cent for detached homes, 44.9 per cent for townhomes, and 62 per cent for condominiums.

Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,019,400. This represents an 8.7 per cent increase over July 2016 and a 2.1 per cent increase compared to June 2017.

Sales of detached properties in July 2017 reached 949, a decrease of 11.9 per cent from the 1,077 detached sales recorded in July 2016. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,612,400. This represents a 1.9 per cent increase from July 2016 and a 1.5 per cent increase compared to June 2017.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,468 in July 2017, a decrease of 8.4 per cent compared to the 1,602 sales in July 2016. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $616,600. This represents an 18.5 per cent increase from July 2016 and a 2.7 per cent increase compared to June 2017.

Attached property sales in July 2017 totalled 543, a decrease of 0.7 per cent compared to the 547 sales in July 2016. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $763,700. This represents an 11.9 per cent increase from July 2016 and a 2.4 per cent increase compared to June 2017.    

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