News

Aug 16th

 

The Georgia Straight

New Vancouver condo set to open with high-flying pool
Vancouver’s skyline is no stranger to tall, striking buildings. There’s the soon-to-be-completed Vancouver House, for instance, with its bases peaking from the Granville Bridge and tower twisting up almost precariously. The Living Shangri-la, the city’s tallest building, juts into the sky from its location on West Georgia Street. Vancouver’s number of such tall, shiny facades has led some to call it the “City of Glass”.

Huffpost

Canada’s Vacant Home Rate Is 5 Times Higher Than U.S., And Rising

There’s no doubt Canada’s housing supply ― at least in many places ― is very tight. Apartment vacancy rates are near historic lows, and the country’s home ownership rate is shrinking. But somehow, there is a growing number of empty homes to be found. Many of Canada’s largest cities have seen a spike in empty home rates in recent years, according to new research from Point2 Homes that shows the issue is a much larger phenomenon in Canada than in the U.S.

Vancouver Courier

Housing market will drag on B.C. economy, offset by major projects: forecast
A slowdown in residential construction investment will be a drag on the B.C. economy over the next year or two, but this will be offset by a boom in non-residential building, according to a forecast released August 16 by Central 1 Credit Union. Housing starts in the province are currently high, supported by presales in the active markets of the past few years. But this will slow down along with current new home sales, wrote Central 1’s deputy chief economist Bryan Yu.

 

Canadian Real Estate Wealth

GTA market fundamentals to remain robust going forward
Exceptional job growth in the Greater Toronto Area, along with consistently high immigration, has spurred strong rental demand through the first half of 2019. According to a report from Marcus & Millichap, the region is brimming with tech sector talent and it played a crucial role in the 81,600 jobs created in the GTA through the first two quarters of the year.

 

Aug 12th

 

Huffpost

Canadian Home Affordability Sees Biggest Improvement In A Decade
It’s a bit premature to say houses in Canada are affordable again ― in fact, it’s way too premature to say that ― but things are moving in the right direction, and fast. The latest housing affordability monitor from National Bank of Canada shows the cost of owning a home, relative to income, saw its steepest drop in a decade in the second quarter of this year.



Canadian Real Estate Wealth
Offices and apartments are bolstering GTA commercial investment
Offices and apartments were the major commercial asset investment drivers in the GTA during Q2 2019, according to Altus Group. In its latest market report, Altus stated that total investment during the quarter was at $5.8 billion. Much of the strength came from the 563 sales transactions valued at over $1 million.

RENX
20.7M sq. ft. of office development in Canada’s big cities
The pipeline of office developments in Canada reached 20.7 million square feet in the second quarter according to JLL, the highest level in this cycle but still below the peak of 23.1 million in 2014.
More than 10 million square feet of office development activity is taking place in downtown Toronto, with most of the balance in Vancouver and Montreal.

 

Toronto Storeys

High House Prices Aren’t Stopping Canadians From Buying. Here’s Why.
It doesn’t look like the housing bubble will pop anytime soon. Despite high prices, housing demand in Canada continues to climb and sales continue to soar. According to Toronto and Vancouver real estate board data, home sales rose by 24 per cent year over year in July in both cities. The increase was fuelled by low interest rates and high demand. 

 

Aug 1st 

 

Canadian Real Estate Wealth

Federal government commits $11.9 million for PEI affordable housing complex
The governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island have committed $11.9 million to finance the construction of a 60-unit affordable housing complex in the PEI capital of Charlottetown. The complex, called Martha’s Place, will be situated at 2 Acadian Drive in Charlottetown and will also house part-time social services from the Sisters of St. Martha.


BNN Bloomberg
Vancouver market no longer 'highly vulnerable' as price acceleration eases: CMHC
OTTAWA -- The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. has lowered the vulnerability rating of Vancouver's housing market to "moderate," marking the first change in three years as prices have eased. The federal agency says in a report that "evidence of price acceleration" in Vancouver has eased to low, prompting a downrating after 12 consecutive quarters of being flagged as "highly vulnerable." CMHC says that a moderate degree of vulnerability remains at the national level, but imbalances between house prices and housing market fundamentals have narrowed over the past year while certain markets are at higher risk.

Global News
Downtown Edmonton developers would rather switch to rentals than fight with housing market
A housing change is emerging in downtown Edmonton. The housing market has softened, according to an update from the Altus Group, market analysts who review real estate trends. Renting lately trumps buying. “What’s happening is developers who may have gone to market with the intention to build condominiums are finding that pre-sales are a little bit more challenging to get, but there’s quite a bit more certainty from a rental perspective so they’re shifting into that tenure,” Altus VP of product management Matthew Boukall said in an interview.


RENX
Great divide in Vancouver apartment development: Goodman
In Metro Vancouver’s perpetual struggle to build enough rental apartments for its growing population, the suburbs are leaving the city behind. Vancouver brokerage house Goodman Commercial, which focuses on the rental building sales sector, calls the situation “shocking” in its mid-year report.The City of Vancouver’s immediate neighbours and outlying cities are starting to outpace the urban core in approving and building new rental apartments. That’s a good thing for the suburbs, but also marks a disappointment for Vancouver, said David Goodman, principal with Goodman Commercial, which publishes the Goodman Report.

 

July 31th 

 

CBC News

How Charlottetown has become one of the hottest housing markets in Canada
House prices in Charlottetown rose 38.5 per cent over the last three years, one of the fastest rates in the country, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. That's faster than Victoria (33.3 per cent), Vancouver (10.93 per cent), Toronto (25.3 per cent) and Montreal (17.7 per cent). In Calgary, Edmonton, Regina and Saskatoon, house prices fell.


Better Dwelling
Canada Is Building The Most Rental Housing In At Least 30 Years
Canadian real estate developers are in a mad dash to build purpose built rental units these days. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) numbers show huge growth in rental units under construction in June. Canada hasn’t built this much rental stock at once in at least 30 years.

Vancouver Sun
"A sea change' in Burnaby's direction on housing
A month after Vancouver touted its strengthened new tenant protection measures, the neighbouring municipality of Burnaby is looking to go substantially further. Burnaby’s council unanimously moved Monday to direct staff to develop a housing strategy incorporating 18 recommendations from the task force struck by the new mayor to tackle the city’s housing crisis.


BIV
Canada’s first CondoExpo to take place in Vancouver this fall
B.C.’s real estate and development industry has been full of innovative ways to sell new condos recently, and now it is taking another fresh approach to sales with Canada’s first ever CondoExpo. The event, to be held at the JW Marriott Parq Hotel in downtown Vancouver on Saturday September 28, will offer homebuyers and investors a one-stop shop for purchasing a new home.

 

July 11th 

Dailyhive

Vancouver's luxury housingmarket 'expected to regain momentum' this year: report
During the first half of 2019, compared to the same period in the previous year, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada’s bi-annual top-tier real estate report notes the overall $1-million to $2-million segment of the market saw a 33% decrease in sales, while the $2-million to $3-million segment experienced a similar 31% drop.


CTV News
Lower property assessments set to raise GreaterVancouver taxes
With the first half of the year done, the number crunchers will be busy sorting the data for initial insights on the market with a view to figuring out where the second half will take us. With many first-half numbers not due out till September, what’s happened to date will also set the tone for the final push to the end of the year.


CTV News
BC tax redirecting international homebuyers to Montreal: Sotheby's report
Luxury real estate sales flourished in Montreal with property sales over $4 million jumping by triple digits in the first half of 2019, but continued to dwindle in Vancouver, according to a new report. “Canada's top-tier real estate markets veered in separate directions,” read a report released Wednesday by Sotheby's International Realty Canada, which tracked the number of condominiums, townhouses and detached homes sold for over $1 million and $4 million in major Canadian cities.


Vancouver Sun
Canadian commercial property insiders reveal top stories of the summer
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t issues, stories and topics to handle. Postmedia recently spoke to several commercial property insiders around the country who revealed what they’ll be thinking about throughout the summer months.

 

July 9th 

Globalnews.ca

White Rock wants version of Vancouver's empty homes tax — but provincial rules stand in the way
Vancouver’s empty homes tax has proven successful enough that at least one other B.C. municipality wants its own version. But Vancouver never had to face the provincial rules that bar those municipalities from imposing new taxes. White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker wants to change that, and intends to bring up the issue at September’s Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) annual meeting.


The Province
Chris Gardner: Why does Vancouver council hate renters?
In the race for worst city council in B.C., Victoria gets most of the media buzz. It’s no wonder why, given Victoria’s debates over such stupid ideas as trying to ding veterans to pay for Remembrance Day, trying to ban the iconic horse-drawn carriages in Beacon Hill Park, cutting important police units to cover the NDP’s employer health tax, or trying to get rid of poinsettias in city hall because they are somehow a “Christian” symbol. Times Colonist columnist Jack Knox isn’t kidding when he calls Victoria “Dysfunction-by-the-Sea.” This might be one of the more polite things that town has been called lately.


Wolf Street
Housing Bust in Vancouver, Canada, Crushes Spring Hopes
In the City of Vancouver, BC, Canada, condo sales in June plunged 28% from the already weak June last year to just 343 units. Inventory for sale jumped 32%. Prices – however you slice them – follow volume and supply: The median price fell 10% to C$656,000. The average price-per-square-foot fell 10% to C$933. And the MLS Home Price Index for condos, which calculates a “benchmark price” based on a “typical” condo, fell 10% to C$733,300. 


clarkcountytoday.com
Vancouver accepting applications for AffordableHousing Fund Shelter Project grants
VANCOUVER — The city of Vancouver will make a minimum of $300,000 in Affordable Housing Funds available for projects that provide shelter to people experiencing homelessness. Projects that increase the capacity of the shelter system will receive priority in the review process. Eligible uses of funds include costs associated with shelter acquisition, construction, rehabilitation and operations.

 

July 8th 

CBC

Vancouver is still in a housing crisis. But when will we know if it's over?
All words have meaning. But sometimes, it's hard to get people to agree on what that meaning is.  Take the words "balanced" or "crisis." They've been used ad nauseam in the last four years in Vancouver as home prices soared to record heights, upending governments and dominating political discussion.  But they aren't words with strict definitions (like "recession") or with legislative implications (like "emergency"), which gives them a certain rhetorical vagueness.   

The Guardian
Nearly 40% of Toronto homes not owner-occupied, new figures reveal
More than a third of Toronto’s condominiums are owned by people who don’t live in them, according to new government figures which suggest that more cities across Canada could be facing a growing struggle with housing affordability. Figures released this week by Statistics Canada show that 39.7% of Toronto condos are not owner-occupied, meaning they are either vacant, rented or used as a second property. The new statistics offer further evidence that people now view housing as an investment, and not necessarily as a place to live, said Andy Yan, the director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.


Global News
City of Vancouver facing multiple lawsuits over empty homes tax
The City of Vancouver is facing multiple court challenges over its empty homes tax — all of which have been filed over the past six weeks. At least two homeowners and one developer have taken issue with bills they received in 2017 during the first year of the controversial tax, which range from under $4,000 to roughly $289,000. The petitions were filed in B.C. Supreme Court after appeals to the city were denied.


Canada .com
Market ripe for real estate investment in Calgary
Calgary is a hotspot — or at least should be — for investors in real estate, according to an analyst behind a report that ranks real estate investment opportunities in Alberta. Jennifer Hunt is the vice-president of research for the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN), which published its Top Ten Alberta Towns and Cities every six months, including its most recent update in the spring. Speaking to the Calgary Herald recently, Hunt provided her most recent insights on why the city consistently ranks second only behind Edmonton as a leading investment opportunity in Alberta.

 

 

 

July 5th 

Financial Post

Toronto home sales surge 10%, narrowing affordable options for buyers
Toronto home sales jumped again in June, nudging prices higher and narrowing affordable options for buyers. A total of 8,860 homes changed hands in Canada’s biggest city in the month, up 10 per cent from the same month a year earlier, the Toronto Real Estate Board reported Thursday. New listings fell 0.4 per cent to 15,816, leading to increased competition between buyers and price increases across certain segments.

Canadian Architect
State of the Nation: British Columbia
British Columbia is leading the charge on sustainability in Canada. Starting in 2017, the province’s Energy Step Code has provided an incremental approach to making buildings net-zero energy ready by 2032. The voluntary policy allows local governments to set incentives and bylaw requirements for builders to meet one or more steps. Forty-two local governments are currently referencing the code. In coordination with the step code, the City of Vancouver has developed its own zero-emissions energy plan, which aims for all new buildings to be zero emissions by 2030. Since last year, all projects applying for rezoning must be designed to meet Passive House requirements or, for non-residential buildings, LEED Gold BD+C or an alternate set of performance criteria. While it is still in use, most architects in Vancouver consider LEED passé because it does not deliver real-world energy efficiency. The conversation in Vancouver has moved forward to explore more ambitious and impactful sustainability measures, including Passive House, Net Zero Carbon, Life Cycle Assessment and Living Building Challenge.


Global News
Vancouver voted down rental townhouses next to a hospice. Now, there'll be a mansion instead
The rejection of an upscale rental townhouse project next to a Vancouver hospice has led to a new round of controversy. Vancouver city council shot down a rezoning for a proposed 21-unit development at 4575 Granville St. late last month after a marathon public hearing. Now, the property owners say that instead of building a multi-unit project, they will build a 12,000-square-foot mansion instead.  The shift has drawn swift condemnation from housing activists, who say that in the city’s tight rental market, every single unit counts. “The people who are going to suffer from this are not going to be the 21 families who were going to move in,” said Stuart Smith with Abundant Housing Vancouver. “Those 21 families will find a place, but they’re going to push people down the ladder 21 places, and at the bottom, 21 families are going to fall out.”


Business Examiner
VIREB - Weak Housing Market Persisting
NANAIMO – Sales of single-family homes in June board-wide dipped by seven per cent year over year and were 11 per cent lower than in May. Last month, 408 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 458 the previous month and 437 in June 2018. Sales of apartments dropped by 29 per cent year over year while townhouse sales were down by 32 per cent from one year ago. The mortgage stress test (Guideline B-20) continues to hurt housing sales throughout British Columbia, including Vancouver Island. Although the B.C. economy continues to be highly supportive of housing demand, the negative shock to affordability and purchasing power created by the stress test is making it extremely difficult for some buyers, particularly millennials, to enter the housing market. Even when prospective buyers can afford monthly mortgage payments, they are unable to qualify because Guideline B-20 has eroded their purchasing power by as much as 20 per cent.

 

 

June 28th

 

Business in Vancouver

Housing affordability still 'dreadful' in Vancouverdespite slight easing: RBC
What happened: Latest measures reveal housing affordability easing slightly in Vancouver region. What it means: Even with some easing affordability remains out of reach for most households in the region. It’s still grey skies for housing affordability in Greater Vancouver despite some relief in the first quarter of the year, according to the Royal Bank of Canada. RBC’s affordability measure calculates the proportion of median pre-tax household income required to cover the cost of mortgage payments, property taxes and utilities based on the average market price for single-family detached homes and condos.


Global News
Real estate prices are dropping, but will MetroVancouver ever really be affordable?
“We’re not Manhattan. We’re not London for prices although we flirt with those levels,” said Tom Davidoff, an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business. While prices have cooled, it’s still a challenge for first-time buyers to break into the market. “[It’s] fairly difficult to get into the market here in Vancouver, for somebody like myself,” said Jordan Mara, who was born and raised in Vancouver.


CTV News
Unique 'bubble home' popping up in Esquimalt
A one-of-a-kind home has popped up in Esquimalt, largely created out of thin air. The home's main structure, in fact, went up in just three hours. It's a giant white balloon that serves as a mould for the finished home. Once inflated, the bubble is sprayed with a polyurethane sealant, reinforced with rebar, and then sprayed with concrete and covered with a stucco exterior. The balloon is then removed to be reused for another project. The developers, Nouvel Housing, say it's an affordable and energy-efficient alternative to traditional building materials. "The options are pretty vast," says Nouvel vice-president Brittany Olney. "This allows us to build in half the time, which cuts down on cost."


Financial Post
Immigration's impact on home prices hard to quantify — until you take it away
Housing markets respond to demand generated by households. An increase in population or the purchasing power of buyers is likely to exert upward pressure on housing prices and rents. But how much of that pressure is generated by immigration, the biggest factor driving Canada’s population growth? The interest in that question has increased since housing affordability become a significant concern in large cities in Canada. Rapid price escalation in Toronto and Vancouver during 2016-17 raised concerns about the impact of foreign money, something provincial governments addressed by implementing measures including a foreign homebuyers’ tax.

 

June 27th

 

Vancouver Courier

Metro urged to densify housing developments in Coquitlam
Coquitlam council is urging Metro Vancouver to densify its housing properties and said the city is open to partnering with the regional government to add more affordable units. In a letter to Metro Vancouver’s housing committee, the city said it is working with developers and non-profits to secure provincial housing funding to increase the affordable housing stock in the city.


The Georgia Straight
Vancouver explores new forms of hospitality andhousing tenure as hotel rooms disappear
Vancouver’s housing crisis has deeply affected the city’s hotel industry as more hotels are closing and/or converting into expensive residential condos. Now the City of Vancouver is exploring new ways of accommodating the city’s booming tourism industry. A motion approved by Vancouver city council on Tuesday (June 25) has directed city staff to study new forms of hospitality and housing tenure and provide recommendations to the council. Green councillor Pete Fry, who spearheaded the motion, said that “there is a need for modest-priced hotel accommodation.” “Looking into all of our hotel listings, only 30 percent of our proper hotels are actually unionized. We've got to have mid-range accommodation options,” Fry said at the meeting. “It is a very complicated concept to wrap our brains around.”


CTV News
Toronto and Vancouver improve in cost of living survey
Although it may not feel like it, a recent study on the world’s most expensive cities to live and work in indicates that Canada is becoming a little cheaper relative to other major cities across the globe. Mercer’s 25th annual Cost of Living Survey has come out, and it reports that life in two of the most expensive Canadian cities—Vancouver and Toronto—has dropped at least a little bit in cost. Toronto, which took the top place for Canadian cities in 2018, dropped six spots in 2019, ending up number 115 on the list. Vancouver, although it replaced Toronto as the most expensive Canadian city, also fell from 109 in 2018 to 112 on the list in 2019.


Inkstone
Foreign ownership linked to expensive homes, study says
Vancouver has for decades attracted waves of millionaires and money from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Now a study has found long-sought evidence linking foreign ownership to extreme housing unaffordability in the Canadian city. The white paper by Josh Gordon, an assistant professor at Simon Fraser University’s school of public policy, found a near-perfect 96% (or 0.96) correlation between various metro Vancouver municipalities’ price-to-income ratios – a common measure of unaffordability – and the proportion of their detached houses in which at least one owner was a non-resident.

 

June 26th

 

Global News

As sales stall, Metro Vancouver caught between a buyer's and seller's market

A once boiling hot market appears to be lukewarm at best. Listings that would have once fuelled fierce bidding wars can be left lingering for months. In some cases, asking prices have dropped dramatically below assessed values in a bid to attract buyers. A home in Vancouver’s Southlands neighbourhood had a listing price of $5.29 million last year and is now available for $3.6 million. Another home on Vancouver’s west side was listed at $4.5 million and now lists for $3.9 million.

Vancouver Sun
Controversial South Granville rental project goes to council for decision
A 21-rental unit development project in Shaughnessy that has faced impassioned and heated opposition from members of a neighbouring hospice is slated to proceed to Vancouver city council on Tuesday. Concerns over the project at 4575 Granville St., which was brought forward under the city’s Affordable Housing Choices Interim Rezoning Policy, have been focused on issues like construction noise, loss of privacy for hospice clients and family, increased traffic congestion around the hospice’s rear entry and lack of fit with the surrounding neighbourhood. But a major new fear flared up in recent days when the project was spotted on a realtor’s website, leading some to believe the developer was planning to sell the dedicated rental units if the project was approved.


Global News

How government policies are impacting BC's real estate market for better or worse

“We’ve had the foreign buyer tax expanded geographically and made even stricter, we have the speculation tax, we’ve also had the mansion tax,” Tom Davidoff, an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business, said. Those changes are not only impacting sales and pricing but also supply. “The presales just aren’t happening,” Coquitlam City Coun. Dennis Marsden said.

Huffington Post

Canadian Housing Market Poll Finds 2/3 Are 'Concerned' With Where Things Are Headed

Feeling a little tense about jumping into the housing market? You’re not alone. A solid majority of participants in Canada’s various housing markets are feeling on edge about where things are headed, according to a survey from brokerage Century 21. The survey is somewhat indirect: Rather than polling buyers and sellers, it asked more than 1,000 Century 21 real estate agents to gauge the mood of their clients. In all, 68.3 per cent of agents reported their clients are “somewhat” or “very concerned” about current market conditions. Only 15.6 per cent described their clients as “optimistic” or “excited.”

 

June 25th

 

Abbotsford News

Community, housing options make Abbotsford appealing for homebuyers

Located in beautiful B.C., Abbotsford is an ideal place to raise a family, grow a business, and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Fraser Valley. Just an hour east of Vancouver, Abbotsford offers residents a lower cost of living but still offers convenient access to all the amenities and culture of the big city. There is so much to see and do in Abbotsford, especially for the outdoorsy type. Hiking, camping, swimming, rafting – Abbotsford offers it all. Abbotsford is set against glorious views of B.C.’s Coast Mountains and Washington’s Mount Baker, and offers an endless array of things to do, see and taste! Known as the Raspberry Capital of Canada, Abbotsford is the perfect place for an individual or family looking to enjoy a high quality of life on a lower income. Abbotsford is the largest city in the Fraser Valley with a population of 141,397.

Vancouver Courier

How Metro Vancouver home prices have rocketed vs. other North American cities

We all know that real estate prices in Metro Vancouver have gone nuts over the past decade or so, but how does that growth compare with other North American cities? Canadian housing blog Better Dwelling crunched the numbers and came up with a jaw-dropping graph that shows just how dramatically prices have risen in the region since 2000, as compared with cities such as New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto and Montreal.

Vancouver Courier

Condo incentives ramp up, but can they save slow-selling projects?

Cash bonuses of up to $100,000 for realtors; free flights, skis and golf; free mortgage interest and property tax payments for the first year; no strata fees for life; eight per cent interest paid on deposits for presale buyers. All of these and more – including such headline-grabbing schemes as free avocado toast and a year’s worth of wine – are among the tempting incentives being dangled by Metro Vancouver condo developers. But in some cases the buyer bait is not enough to turn the tide on what the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says is the worst housing sales slump in 19 years. As of the end of May, there was an inventory of 766 newly completed and unsold condo apartments in Metro Vancouver, compared with 326 for all of 2017, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC). Currently, 25,158 condo apartment units are under construction in the Metro region, representing 70 per cent of the total housing units underway.

Vancouver Sun

BC businesses say rising costs hurting outlook despite strong economy: survey

B.C. businesses say cost increases are forcing them to increase prices, cut staff and hold off on expansion, even as economic growth in the province outstrips the national average. Vancouver-based Culinary Capers Catering has been doing for corporations and special events in the Lower Mainland for more than 30 years. The now $10 million-a-year business started after Expo 86 and weathered downturns since, according to CEO and founder Debra Lykkemark. Recently, she said, the business has been grappling with the new employer health tax, which came into effect January 2019 and will cost Culinary Capers $80,000 to $100,000 a year.

 

June 11th 

 

RE/MAX Canada News 

Millennials Driving New Trends in Vancouver Real Estate

So, what are Millennials in Vancouver looking for in a home? ... With more Millennials entering Vancouver's real estate market, whether it's a starter ...


Vancouver Courier
Real estate market 'primed for a comeback': Metro Vancouver brokerage
Skipworth continued, "There is confidence in the Metro Vancouver real ... Skipworth noted that housing affordability has not significantly improved for ...

Business in Vancouver
Metro Vancouver building permits leap 131% in April
What happened: April saw a burst of building permit activity in Metro Vancouver as developers got ahead of development cost changes.

 

June 6th

 

Western Investor
Capitalization rate compression may be coming to an end

As one consultant recently described at the Vancouver Real EstateForum, “for every dollar in real estate, there are twelve dollars chasing it”.

Better Dwelling
Vancouver Real Estate Prices Drop Almost $100k In Value In Less Than A Year
Greater Vancouver real estate didn't experience that spring bounce people were expecting. Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) ...


CityNews Vancouver
Expert who predicted Vancouver housing price drop now expects condos to flood market
VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Get ready to see a lot more condominiums for sale across Metro Vancouver. That's the latest from the real estate ...


CityNews Vancouver
Vancouver office space to be converted into apartments and rented as hotel rooms
If Sonder were a traditional hotel, he says, the company wouldn't be accused of exacerbating Vancouver's housing crisis. Harrison says the city has ...


Financial Post
The same type of debt blamed in the US credit crisis could help Canada with housing risk
... in the housing markets,” said Andrey Pavlov, a professor of finance at Beedie School of Business of Simon Fraser University in Greater Vancouver.

 

June 4th

 

National Observer

Montreal aims to find affordable-housing fix that has eluded Toronto, Vancouver

As Toronto and Vancouver struggle to keep housing affordable for anyone but the wealthy, Montreal says its new, first-on-the-continent development ...

CBC
'Gentle densification': Unique West End development puts 6 units on single family lot
Hanks said that while he hopes it will open up housing options without ... it will take more from policy-makers to solve Vancouver'saffordability crisis.

Times Colonist
Seniors' housing vacancy rate rises 
CMHC's annual seniors' housing report found the vacancy rate for standard spaces in seniors' residences on Vancouver Island and across the ...

Money Sense
Where to buy real estate in in 2019: Vancouver
As of April 2019, the Canadian Real Estate Association reported decreased demand for all housing stock across Greater Vancouver(an area known ...

Better Dwelling
Canadian Mortgage Debt Hits A New Record, $1.56 Trillion Outstanding
Greater Vancouver condo prices are falling, as inventory rises and sales drop. The price of a typical condo fell to $656,900 in April, down 6.9% from ...
 

 

May 30th

 

Vancouver Courier

Opinion: Two solutions to help provide much-needed rental housing

There is much discussion about Metro Vancouver housing and those who feel unable to find a home they can afford. As one of the most desirable ...

Business in Vancouver
Home sales up on the Island, down in Metro
Sales were mixed in B.C. Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) sales feel 1.4%, marking a sixth straight monthly decline; sales also fell in ...

Vancouver Sun
Douglas Todd: Metro renters pummelled by demovictions and gentrification
City of Vancouver development-application permit signs are popping up ... But in the first-changing real estate market, where prices are now falling, ...
 

May 28th

 

Real Estate News Exchange
Towering urban enclaves developing in Metro Vancouver

Seeds of change planted by Metro Vancouver’s planning strategy eight years ago are growing into standalone cities within the city, says a new report from Avison Young. New towering urban enclaves are taking root throughout the city in hubs such as Vancouver’s Oakridge neighbourhood; Brentwood, Lougheed and Metrotown town centres in Burnaby; and nearly a dozen other once-suburban areas around the region.

Business in Vancouver
Developers look to lure new condo buyers with creative incentives
The trend for quirky new-home buyer incentives is continuing after developer Woodbridge Homes recently offered a year’s worth of avocado toast to buyers of homes at its West Coquitlam development KIRA. Today, developer Wesgroup is throwing down the gauntlet and telling its competitor, “We’ll see your avocado toast and raise you a glass of wine.” This new incentive offers buyers a year’s worth of wine if they buy a home at Wesgroup’s MODE development in Vancouver’s River District. The exact offer is a $1,500 gift card for a nearby wine store, equal to roughly one bottle of wine a week for a year with each purchase of a home in the new riverfront development.


Vancouver Sun
Public transit: must revenues and ridership be at odds?
What is the answer to the recurring question of how best to manage a municipal transit system: focus on revenue by charging the highest possible fares most residents will grudgingly tolerate; or focus on user-friendly tweaks that will boost ridership? Are we already on the wrong track by thinking revenue and ridership are mutually exclusive? In April, the city council of Victoria opted to bring a motion before the regional transit commission to eliminate public transit fees for everyone (in stages) and also expand bus service, to encourage more ridership and reduce the impact of climate change.


Vancouver Courier
Some Metro Vancouver luxury mansions selling for less than half original ask
A six-bedroom, 9,700-square-foot house on Vancouver’s chi-chi West Side has been on and off the market for the past two-and-a-half years. It was originally listed in September 2016 for $21,898,000, then in 2017 for just under $20 million, and then in 2018 for just shy of $16 million. The home was relisted in April this year for $13.8 million and a deal was reached 23 days later.

BNN Bloomberg
Homebuyers escaping high housing costs by relocating to secondary cities
Danielle Bacci's favourite part of her move to near Windsor, Ont., is the lack of traffic along her 15-minute commute to work in nearby Leamington. The 26-year-old bank employee and her partner left Toronto and bypassed the suburbs of the GTA for the affordability of Kingsville, Ont. "We decided if we're going to go somewhere far we wanted to kind of go somewhere dramatically far where we would change our jobs and everything because we didn't want to keep with our jobs and have a longer commute just for lower housing costs," she said.

  

May 24th

 

City News

Can micro homes help Metro Vancouver's housing crisis?

These cubes are less than 200 square feet in size, but some feel they could be a solution to help with Metro Vancouver’s housing crisis. Ashley Burr explains.

CBC News
Province not prepared to ease policies as housing market sputters


Housing measures designed to stabilize the distorted real estate market have gone too far, according to lifelong Vancouver resident Ric Pow. He and his wife are selling the Point Grey house they've lived in for 17 years — and not by choice, he claims. "In 2002 when we moved in, our taxes were about $5,000," he said. "We just got our tax assessment for this year and it's going to be $30,000. Frankly, that's money we just can't afford." Pow, 66, says they've been forced to defer the taxes on their $4.2-million home, which has dropped in value 30 per cent in the past 18 months.

Business In Vancouver
One in five proposed Vancouver housing units has been shelved: report


Of the 5,600 new housing units proposed to the City of Vancouver in 2016, about half have now been approved. However, approximately 20% are in projects that have since been abandoned, said the report. That’s much higher than in the City of Toronto, where only 2% of 2016-proposed housing units have been shelved since then.

Vancouver Sun
Canada's big-city housing markets are all at different stages of the cycle, April figures show


A surprise jump in housing sales in greater Toronto in April is being interpreted in some quarters as a sign of a spring recovery in the housing market. But market movements in other parts of the country have been much more nuanced, making any broad statement about a sustainable recovery impossible at this point.

Vancouver Sun
Canada's big-city housing markets are all at different stages of the cycle, April figures show


A surprise jump in housing sales in greater Toronto in April is being interpreted in some quarters as a sign of a spring recovery in the housing market. But market movements in other parts of the country have been much more nuanced, making any broad statement about a sustainable recovery impossible at this point.

 

May 21

 

Journal of Commerce

Vancouver revamps regulation and rezoning resources

The City of Vancouver has launched a suite of online permit and building process tools to simplify building in the region. “These improvements are part of the dedicated effort to speed up the permitting process and deliver much needed housing faster. This also better serves small- and medium-sized businesses by making it easier to work with the city,” Vancouver mayor Kennedy Stewart said in a statement. City of Vancouver city-wide and regional planning project manager Marco D’Agostini said the city wants to address a long legacy of regulations that haven’t changed in decades. “The zoning bylaw was first adopted in 1956, and there have since been over 8,000 amendments. This is the first time the city has done a comprehensive review of the regulations,” D’Agostini said.

CBC News
Vancouver seniors facing 'demoviction' oppose new affordable housing building
Tenants of an affordable housing building on Vancouver's East Side held a block party on Saturday to voice their opposition toward their home being torn down to make way for a bigger building with more units.  The Alice Saunders House is a three-storey walk-up in the Hastings Sunrise neighbourhood that's managed by the non-profit Brightside Community Homes Foundation. It houses about 65 residents, most of them low-income seniors between 55 and 80 years old. Last month the residents found out the building is being torn down to make way for a larger development with more than 100 suites.


Move Smartly
Foreign buyers tax impacts Greater Toronto + Spring market thaws
In the City: The Foreign Buyers tax is doing its job in the Greater Toronto Area while the housing market begins to thaw in May. Elsewhere: Bank of Canada against loosening mortgage rules, Chicago uses libraries to improve public housing and how I. M. Pei shaped modern cities. 


Better Dwelling
Bank of Canada staff warn home equity may be concealing financial distress
Canadian real estate owners may be hiding financial vulnerability using complex debt products. Bank of Canada(BoC) staff published a new analytical note examining new home equity data. The new data gives more insights into home equity borrowing, and how the debt is drawn. Out are traditional HELOCs, held separately from the mortgage. In are mortgages combined with HELOC components, allowing owners to withdraw principal immediately.
 

 

May 9

 

Real Estate News Exchange

Better balance ahead for Toronto, Vancouver office sectors: CoStar
Booming office building construction cycles in Toronto and Vancouver will force landlords of older buildings to make some tough decisions in the coming years, according to data from CoStar Group Canada. CoStar’s Roelof van Dijk, market economist, Canada, said the office market sector is facing significant changes across Canada. With every construction cycle, the market is the recipient of more efficient, better buildings which are leading tenant demand. “That’s a big impact right now in Toronto and Vancouver because we’re undergoing huge construction cycles, a ton of space in both markets. About 11 million or 12 million (square feet) in Toronto and about four million in Vancouver,” van Dijk told RENX in an interview. “The question is what happens to the older buildings?
 

Vancouver Sun

The good news (and bad news) about Canadian commercial real estate
Over the last several years, most commercial property asset classes in Canada’s big cities, save for down-in-the-dumps Alberta, have been on bullish investment and demand runs, but national growth has been slowing. (Canada’s GDP shrunk by 0.1% in February and also declined in three of the five months previous to that.)

Vancouver Sun
Samuel Hyman: Vancouver tax fairness should include end of 'community garden' tax scam
On April 29, three Non-Partisan Association councillors on Vancouver council, including Lisa Dominato, and three Green councillors voted to increase property taxes on homeowners for a third consecutive year. Dominato said that she was informed by residents who value their small businesses. The tax shift provides needed relief to Vancouver’s small business community, who struggle to pay a disproportionately higher tax rate and share of municipal services than residential homeowners. We are told this tax shift is about “fairness.” If so, before increasing homeowners’ property taxes yet again, how about scrapping Vancouver’s “community gardens” tax scam?

BNN Bloomberg
Canadian April housing starts surge 23% in comeback for builders
Canadian housing starts unexpectedly surged in April, in another sign of recovery for the nation’s battered real estate market. Builders started work on an annualized 235,460 units last month, the highest level in 10 months and up 23 per cent from 191,981 units in March, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported Wednesday. The gain was driven by new multi-unit construction in Toronto and Vancouver. The report is in line with other recent data that suggests the nation’s housing sector is stabilizing from a recent slump, easing concerns that some of the country’s more expensive markets like Toronto and Vancouver were poised for a major correction.

Mortgage Broker News

Assessed values of condos soar in Toronto, Vancouver
The assessed values of condominium units in the country’s largest cities considerably outstrip those of other housing types in these markets, according to figures from Statistics Canada. “Toronto and Vancouver homeowners are condo crazy, and it shows in assessment values,” Better Dwelling noted in its analysis of the 2018 StatsCan numbers. “The gap between assessments for a condo apartment is as much as double in Toronto. Vancouver, the country’s most expensive city, isn’t seeing nearly as high of a premium on new builds.”
 

May 7

 

BNN Bloomberg

Vancouver housing may be down but not out, Vancity CEO says
The housing numbers out of Vancouver, once among the world’s hottest real estate markets, are getting more dismal with each passing month. Sales in April were the lowest in 24 years for a month that typically kicks off the busy spring homebuying season. Benchmark prices are down 8.7 per cent from their peak in mid-2018 and the number of homes sitting on the market has ballooned by nearly half, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Yet those awaiting a final reckoning -- and the chance to buy a home on the cheap in this picturesque West Coast city -- may be disappointed, according to Tamara Vrooman, chief executive officer of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union.

 

MPRN 

Mixed picture for real estate on northeast Vancouver Island, Powell River
While sales of single family homes in April dropped 13 percent year over year island-wide, that doesn’t tell the whole story. That’s because across Vancouver Island, sales actually rose by 33 percent from March. This is according to newly released statistics from the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board. And while the market is heating up, the board is still pointing a finger at the stress test (Guideline B-20) which it says in a release “continues to wreak havoc in the Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and Lower Mainland housing markets, which is spilling over, albeit more slowly, onto Vancouver Island.”

 

Vancouver Sun
The best 5 tips for choosing a realtor
Take the time to find someone you can build a relationship with Hiring a realtor for a property purchase or sale is sort of like dating: It’s a relationship and it takes work. Some people expect a realtor to be a mind reader, while others think that all realtors do the same job. Here are a few tips to make sure you find the right fit.

 

BNN Bloomberg
Toronto housing market heats up as sales jump 16.8% in April
The Greater Toronto Area's housing market saw an early spring sales surge last month, in the latest sign of sharp divergence between the country's two most-scrutinized real estate hubs. Sales across the GTA rose 16.8 per cent year-over-year in April as 9,042 properties traded hands, according to data released by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) Monday. Selling activity picked up across all property types, with detached home sales rising at the fastest rate (21.9 per cent). The average selling price across the GTA for those detached properties slipped in April, while the average selling price for all properties inched up 1.9 per cent year-over-year to $820,148.

 

Vancouver Courier

Lower Mainland's presale home absorption rate sees dismal April: report
Reflecting what’s happening in the Lower Mainland’s slowing resale housing market, the presale sector doesn’t seem to be doing much better, according to the results of a new report. MLA Advisory, the research arm of real estate marketing company MLA Canada, reported May 3 that there have been 3,817 presale units released for sale so far this year across Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. That number is 23 per cent lower than the same period in 2018.

 

May 3

 

CBC News

More choice, lower prices: Why now may be a good time to buy real estate in Vancouver
A new quarterly report on the Metro Vancouver housing market says there's a high degree of vulnerability in the market, but prices are down, and inventory is up, which means buyers will find some advantage. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the region's soaring real estate prices have cooled since last June's highs — down about seven or eight per cent — while the rest of the economy has remained strong. "This housing market assessment is an early warning system for vulnerabilities in the housing market," said Eric Bond, market analyst with CMHC. "The degree of imbalance between home prices and the local economy is narrower than it has been at any point in the last several years." 

 

The Star Vancouver

What some landlords are offering to prospective tenants as real-estate market falters
Rhapsody Living, the company that manages the new Duke apartment building in Mount Pleasant, recently began offering $1,000 off the first month’s rent and a reduction in the extra security deposit required for pet owners. The company declined a request for comment for this story. Rents at the Duke, starting at $2,530 a month for a one-bedroom that has a two-burner cooktop but no oven, are about $500 or $600 higher than most other one-bedrooms on the market right now. It’s not the only building offering perks to lure renters: A month’s free rent has become a common selling point for many new or recently renovated rental buildings that have set their rents at the top of the market, while one company, Wesgroup, is offering to pay moving costs for those who rent in its New Westminster apartment building.

 
Vancouver Sun

Aging millennials projected to drive up US housing prices
Nearly 45 million Americans will enter their mid-30s over the next 10 years, or 3.1 million more than in the last decade, according to an analysis by real estate information company Zillow. That potential surge in would-be buyers could drive up demand, pushing prices higher, particularly in the more affordable end of the market. The trend could also mean higher costs for renters. “If this coming wave of buyers have to compete fiercely for homes to purchase, that could drive up rent prices as well as home values,” says Skylar Olsen, Zillow’s director of economic research. 

 
The Georgia Straight

Filling a missing middle: City of Vancouver steps up townhouse rezoning approvals
For many who cannot afford a freestanding home, but don’t want a box in the sky, townhouses are the next best thing. However, finding one in Vancouver could be a tricky as there are not enough of these ground-oriented homes. As city hall noted in its 2019 progress report on housing, it approved only in the past couple of years two percent of the townhouses it hoped to see. This situation seems to be changing.

 

Vancouver Courier

Opinion: Home-alone trend is adding fuel to housing crisis
In Metro Vancouver, the most expensive rental housing market in Canada and one of the least affordable for homebuyers on the planet, about one-third of the homes have just one resident.  The same economics apply whether it is a car or a home: one person travelling alone in a vehicle represents a much costlier per capita commute than 30 people sharing a bus. When it comes to housing, the affordability factor is simply much more pronounced. A single person attempting to rent a home will have a harder time affording it than if he or she is sharing the cost with at least one other person. 

 

 

April 30

Vancouver Courier

When should you list your home for sale? (INFOGRAPHIC)
The spring market tends to be the busiest time of year for selling real estate – but does that mean you’ll necessarily get the best price for your home? Timing your home’s listing can be tricky – especially in a challenging market for sellers, such as the current one in the Lower Mainland. Real estate website Zolo has issued a report analyzing the best time to list a home in Canada’s major cities, in terms of the premium that sellers achieve.

Vancouver Sun

This Game of Thrones castle sold for price of a Vancouver condo
Gosford Castle, a mid-17th century castle in Northern Ireland, is off the market after being listed for £500,000 ($869,491 Cdn), roughly the same price as a 835-square-foot downtown condo on Smithe Street currently listed at $868,000.  The castle was featured on HBO’s Game of Thrones where it served as the set of Riverrun, one of the great houses of the Seven Kingdoms.

Vancouver Courier
Apartment parking spots going unused in Metro Vancouver
Urban planning nerds are going wild this month with all these reports out of city hall and TransLink boasting about walking, biking and transit ridership going up. If those impressive numbers weren’t intoxicating enough for the active transportation crowd, we also learned Vancouver city staff has come up with “six big moves” to drop carbon emissions by 1.2 million tonnes by the year 2030. One of those moves is to have two-thirds of trips in Vancouver made by walking, biking or transit. Another move is to have 50 per cent of kilometers driven on Vancouver’s roads to be done in electric vehicles by 2030.

Vancouver Sun
Parq Vancouver opened in splashier times, but could it be in debt distress?
Parq Vancouver, the curvy, copper-tinted glass jewel of a building beside B.C. Place Stadium, opened in September 2017 in what were splashier times. It was billed as the “largest private development in B.C.” with “world-class” everything — two luxury hotels, convention spaces, a casino and the city’s biggest ballroom.Conceived in boom times as the city’s real estate and tourism markets were humming, Parq had been positioned by its owners as a “compelling and rare investment opportunity in a coveted gaming market.”

Financial Post

BC's dirty money crackdown puts a damper on Vancouver's once-rollicking casinos
When Parq Vancouver, a glimmering waterfront casino, opened amid much to-do in late 2017, few would’ve anticipated that a dirty money crackdown was about to throw the city’s roaring gambling business into turmoil. Vancouver-area casinos for years had been accepting millions of dollars in questionable cash from gamblers showing up with suitcases and hockey bags bulging with bills, according to British Columbia Attorney General David Eby. But new rules implemented last year to more tightly identify sources of funds have put a damper on that rollicking trade.

 

April 26

Global News

'Sell before you buy' is the new housing market battle cry
It’s spring, but the real estate market in much of Canada has yet to exit hibernation. Home sales in Metro Vancouver for the month of March plummeted to the lowest level since 1986, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Activity in Alberta and Saskatchewan was more than 20 per cent below its 10-year average for the month, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) said. In Toronto, sales volumes were flat.

 

Huffington Post

Here's what the Bank of Canada says is the real reason for the housing slowdown 
For months now, the real estate industry has been telling us that Canada's mortgage stress test is the primary cause of the housing slowdown in Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver. The test is never far from the top of any real estate board press release announcing another decline in home sales, and groups like Mortgage Professionals Canada have warned that the rule risks shutting an entire generation out of home ownership.


Vancouver Sun

A taxing problem: Canadian cities desperately need new source of revenue
Canada’s municipalities are at the forefront of delivering a growing array of vital services to citizens, ranging from affordable housing, transit and child care to managing more than a trillion dollars of infrastructure. With nearly one in four Canadians expected to be over the age of 65 by 2031, many of these services will become increasingly expensive. Yet the ability of municipalities to pay their mounting bills is likely to be threatened by the growing gap between how value is created in today’s modern economy and the limited revenue tools available to cities and towns.


CTV News

Neighborhood of the future? New homes built overnight by a 3D printer
Imagine a dream home with a big kitchen, the right number of bedrooms and a perfect layout, all designed by you and then assembled in hours. A Metro Vancouver scientist says it’s possible using a printer. “People still see 3D printers as making toys, so they are not aware of its full power,” said Paul Tinari. His company, CAPRA Megalodon 3D Concrete, has been developing the machines for five years. Layer upon layer of concrete pours out of a spout until the foundation is complete. Then siding, electric and plumbing is added.


Vancouver Sun

Co-ownership on the rise in Metro Vancouver housing market
Can’t break into the sky-high Lower Mainland housing market? Perhaps it’s time to consider co-ownership, a creative option of sharing the financial burden of buying a home. Co-ownership is a way of buying real estate with one or more individuals. They could be family members or friends and the ownership percentage of the property can vary depending on the needs and financial resources of the co-owners.

 

April 23

Times Colonist

Exec: More homes will temper Vancouver housing prices 
As the real estate market soared in recent years, experts were divided about why prices kept rising. And now, there is little agreement about what is needed as sales and prices fall. This week, developers gathered for an industry lunch to hear Andrew Ramlo, vice-president of market intelligence at RennieGroup, talk about what he called real estate market myths, including the notion that “we have more than enough [housing] supply to satisfy demand.”
 

Vancouver Courier

Bold moves needed now to resolve Lower Mainland livability crisis
It is time to get serious about housing, transportation, regional planning and growth in the Lower Mainland. When thinking about the region’s future and concerns about housing affordability and livability more generally, a useful starting point is demographics. B.C. government projections point to a significant increase in the combined population of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley regional district over the next couple of decades, rising from almost three million today to 3.8 million by 2040 – an increase of 800,000 people. The expected rise is even larger than the 700,000 people added to the region’s population over the preceding two decades. Most of this increase was due to immigration. It is reasonable to expect this pattern will continue, especially considering the Justin Trudeau government plans to sharply boost immigration numbers in the coming years.


Ladysmith Chronicle

Buying? Selling? Consumer real estate conference shares what you need to know
If the recent changes in mortgage rules and the housing market have you wondering what’s happening in mid-Island real estate, the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board has planned an event just for you! At the Real Estate Consumer Conference May 11, learn all about buying and selling a home from industry experts, including real estate expert Tony Joe, mortgage lenders, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and BC Assessment. Even better, the event is free, and you’ll have a chance to win one of five Google Home voice-activated systems


Better Dwelling

Canadian Real Estate demand slips further in March
Canadian real estate demand is still slipping, by at least one industry indicator. Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) numbers show the National SNLR decline in March. Western Canadian markets were the biggest losers, accounting for most of the declines. The sales to new listings ratio (SNLR) is one of the quick ways to gauge demand for real estate. The indicator measures home resales compared to the number of listed for sale on the MLS. By measuring the same month absorption, we get a feeling for how hot or cold the market is. Organizations like CREA use this number to determine if the market is “balanced,” or how far off it is.


Global News

Affordable Housing: Would copying New Zealand's foreign buyers ban help?
Last summer, New Zealand nixed new foreign homeownership. Foreigners who already owned homes could keep them, but moving forward, only residents would be allowed to buy. The decision was pitched as a solution to unaffordable housing, a pain many around the world — including hopeful first-time buyers in Toronto and Vancouver — are all too familiar with.

 

April 15

Mortgage Broker News

Vancouver vacancies, supply drop further this year
Office vacancy and availability supply have fallen further in downtown Vancouver since Q3 2018, according to research by Avison Young. In its Tenant Profile Report Q1 2019, Avison Young stated that all tenant sizes are running out of options in the city, contributing to a steady increase in rents – a trend that will, in turn, continue the vicious cycle of price growth.


CBC News

New in town: Metro Vancouver still draws newcomers, despite cost of housing 
Vancouver is consistently ranked as one of the world's least affordable housing markets, but that hasn't stopped people from moving to the region. According the 2016 Canadian census, Metro Vancouver's population grew by an average of 30,000 people per year, with international immigration making up 79 per cent of the newcomers. University of British Columbia professor Nathan Lauster studies immigration patterns. He says that despite the high price of housing, Metro Vancouver has a lot to offer — if you're not concerned about  the trappings of a single-family detached house.


Vancouver Sun

Squamish Nation expects debate over plans for 3,000 housing untis at Burrard Bridge
The Squamish Nation’s plan for a housing project with some 3,000 units on land adjacent to the Burrard Bridge and Vanier Park is destined to be one of the most interesting examples in the debate over the needs of future residents and that of existing residents. “I think there is going to be an important conversation about what kind of housing we are going to build for the city,” said Khelselim, a Squamish council member. “What do local residents need against the future of people who need homes, young people and young families?”

 

Seeking Alpha

The most splendid housing bubbles in Canada deflate
In Greater Vancouver, BC, Canada, house prices fell 0.5% in March from February, the eighth month in a row of declines, according to the Teranet-National Bank House Price Index released this morning. It was the sharpest eight-month decline since February 2013. The index is now down 4.3% from the peak in July 2018. And it's down 2.1% compared to March last year. This housing market had been on an extraordinary ride: From January 2002 to the peak in July 2018, the index skyrocketed 316% - meaning that prices more than quadrupled.

 

Times Colonist

Newer condo buildings energy hogs: study
VANCOUVER — British Columbians living in newer high-rise condos likely have a higher energy footprint than they might think, according to new data from B.C. Hydro. The Crown corporation compared the electricity consumption of condominium buildings that were constructed after 2010 and higher than five storeys to others built in the last four decades, and found the newer condos used almost twice as much electricity per square foot.

 

April 10

CTV News

Pre-sale buyers no longer allowed to flip condos in landmark Vancouver tower
A landmark Vancouver condo tower that won architecture awards before construction even began is nearing completion -- and that's actually bad news for investors hoping to flip their units before the building opens and get out with a tidy profit. The 407 condos at Vancouver House sold out quickly when they went on sale in 2014, with many selling for several million dollars. Some units have been resold since then in a process known as assignment sales.


Vancouver Sun

Apartment where Ernest Hemingway lived up for sale in Toronto
An apartment briefly occupied by Ernest Hemingway at the end of his tenure in Toronto went up for sale Tuesday, putting a spotlight on the writer’s somewhat rocky relationship with Canada. The American novelist lived in the two-bedroom unit in the midtown building — which now carries his name — for about six months between 1923 and 1924 when he was working as a journalist for the Toronto Star, said Kaitlin Wainwright, the director of programming for Heritage Toronto.


Western Investor

Condo assignments halted at Westbank's Vancouver House
The developer behind the Vancouver House tower has informed presale buyers they must remove any condo assignment listings from MLS immediately. Westbank says 33 Vancouver House condo assignments currently listed on MLS will need to be removed ahead of the building’s completion.

 

Better Dwelling

Greater Vancouver detached real estate sales just keep printing new lows
Greater Vancouver real estate is slowing, and the detached market is no exception. Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver(REBGV) March numbers show prices are back to where they were almost 3 years ago. Rising inventory and a multi-year low for sales contribute to a declining outlook. The price of a detached home across Greater Vancouver is still falling. REBGV reported a benchmark of $1,437,100 in March, down 10.5% from last year. In the City, Vancouver East fell to $1,390,700, also 10.5% down from last year. Vancouver West dropped to $3,026,300, down 12.3% from last year. No need to whip out the calculator app, the last one is a whopping $424,441 loss over the past year.

 

CTV News

40% of Canadians live 'house poor': RBC Home Ownership Poll
Nearly one in four Canadians identify as “house poor,” meaning they spend 30 per cent or more of their income on home ownership. This is according to the annual RBC Home Ownership Poll, released Monday. The cost of home ownership includes mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance and utilities.  Two in five Canadians say that being house poor is a reality, while just less than half who answered the survey say it’s worth the sacrifice to own a home. Meanwhile, over half of those who responded said they would not put themselves into the position of being house poor, and 92 per cent of those who took the survey said that mental stress is a potential impact of being house poor.

 

April 9

Mortgage Broker News

Toronto hold strong while Vancouver dips and Montreal soars
Residential real estate in Canada slowed through the first quarter compared to the same time last year. The Royal LePage House Price Survey revealed that, early last year, Canada went through the most pointed housing correction since the Great Recession in 2008, and while signs of recovery manifested in late 2018, they have since receded.


Bloomberg

Canadian home building rebounds from deep freeze: Housing update
Canada housing starts rebounded in March from a sluggish performance a month earlier, returning to levels more in line with demographics and highlighting the buoyancy of the nation’s battered real estate market. Builders started an annualized 192,527 homes in March, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported Monday. That’s up from 166,290 a month earlier, when excessively cold weather slowed construction.


Western Investor

Richmond rental-only zoning bylaw sent back to staff
A proposal for rental-only zoning in Richmond was punted back to staff after the planning committee concluded there was still need for more information and consultation.The proposed bylaw would have imposed a “rental-only” zoning on 60 properties that already are 100 per cent rental as well as considered implementing rental-only zoning for new multi-family apartment developments. This would mean properties that were already pre-zoned in the 1980s could be required to include rental units. The new rental-only tool would allow the city to require rentals without needing to create a Housing Agreement Bylaw with the developer.

 

Times Colonist

Does Vancouver need its own auditor general?
The City of Vancouver stands out for many reasons. Its temperate weather. Its staggering natural beauty. Its million-dollar house prices. But one unique quality is a head-scratcher: it’s the only large city in Canada without its own independent financial watchdog to report on the effective and efficient use of municipal funds. If Vancouver is the world-class metropolis it claims, with annual revenue as high as $1.9 billion in recent years, why is its financial accountability so provincial? That may soon change as city councillors, the public and the provincial government find themselves asking what local accountability should look like for B.C.’s cities and towns. Whether it’s the province’s five-year review of the nascent office of the auditor general for local government, or Vancouver city council approving the first in-depth independent financial assessment in a decade, spending of tax dollars faces scrutiny.

 

Vancouver Sun

BC in 'policy-induced' housing recession: Capital 1's Helmut Pastrick
B.C. is in a “policy-induced” housing recession, but the chances of a broader economic recession remain low — for now, says Central 1 Credit Union’s chief economist. Central 1’s Helmut Pastrick spoke on April 4 at the Vancouver Real Estate Forum, providing his own forecast for B.C.’s property and economic outlook. Since 2016, B.C.s NDP government has increased the province’s tax on foreign buyers of major urban-area properties to 20 per cent, introduced a speculation and vacant homes tax on urban areas, and boosted residential tenant protections. The federal government, meanwhile, has introduced a new mortgage stress test on borrowers across the country.

 

April 3

Vancouver Sun

As city struggles to build housing for middle-income families, landlords pitch an idea
Pretty much everyone agrees that Vancouver needs more rental housing. But there remains a lively debate over the most effective — and fair — way to get those homes built. Some Vancouver councillors known for championing renters’ issues have recently proposed suspending the city’s Rental 100 program that waives development-cost-levies to encourage private developers to build rental homes instead of condos. Meanwhile, LandlordBC, the association representing the rental housing industry, is making a pitch to the provincial government for what it describes as the best solution to encourage new rental construction: exempting new purpose-built rental buildings from all rent controls for a set number of years.


Vancouver Sun

BC to create government registry of beneficial property ownership
People who hold an interest in B.C. property through corporations, trusts and numbered companies could soon have their names published in a government registry, according to new legislation. Finance Minister Carole James introduced a bill Tuesday to launch a beneficial ownership registry, which would be the first of its kind in Canada and designed to increase transparency of land ownership in an attempt to combat tax fraud and money laundering.


Better Dwelling

Canadian borrowing rates hit the highest level since 2009...then collapse
Borrowing rates are sliding before the traditional busy season for Canadian real estate. Bank of Canada (BoC) numbers show the effective borrowing rate peaked in early March. Shortly after printing the highest number since the Great Recession, the rate dropped. The minor drop made headlines, but only really impacts people shopping in that window. The reality is borrowing rates made the second largest annual increase in over half a decade.

 

Huff Post

Vancouver home sales were dismal in March. Realtors blame mortgage stress test and higher taxes
Home sales in Metro Vancouver in March plunged to levels not seen in more than three decades and real-estate experts blame government policies, not a lack of demand, for the dismal showing. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reports 1,727 homes changed hands, a 31.4 per cent tumble from sales recorded for the same month last year. March 2019 sales were up just over 16 per cent when compared with February, but the real estate board says they were more than 46 per cent below the 10-year average for the month and the lowest total since 1986.
 

Vancouver Sun

Housing Matters Podcast: Examining activity in fraser Valley market
Mission Mayor Pam Alexis, Don Campbell of Real Estate Investment Network, and Kelowna-area realtor Clayton Diebert join host Stuart McNish to discuss trends in the Fraser Vally real estate market.

 

April 2

Global News

Greater Vancouver home sales hit lowest point since 1986
A local realtor and real estate blogger has crunched the numbers and he says Greater Vancouver home sales just had their worst month of March since 1986. Steve Saretsky said the slowdown is a result of a gap between what sellers and buyers are expecting from the market. “Primarily because buyers have a certain price they want to pay, particularly given the outlook of housing market, and sellers are still trying to adjust to reality, which ultimately the market isn’t willing to pay for what they are asking,” Saretsky said.


Global News
Vancouver councillor calls for end to financial incentives to developers under rental program

A Vancouver city councillor is calling for the suspension of financial incentives to developers under the city’s Rental 100 program. The program offers breaks on development cost levies for buildings that are 100 percent rental. Maximum rents are also capped for the first tenants at rates established by the city. While the goal of the program was to promote affordable housing, Coun. Jean Swanson says the program misses the mark, with the starting rents deemed “affordable” still considered too high.


Better Dwelling

Canadian mortgage growth slows to levels not seen since the 1983 recession
Canadian real estate sales are still falling, and dragging mortgage credit with it. Bank of Canada (BoC) numbers show mortgage debt reached a new high in February. Despite hitting a new high, the annual pace of growth hit the lowest level in almost 36 years. Canadian mortgage debt printed a new record high, but it’s losing steam. Institutional lenders held $1.55 trillion of mortgage debt in February, up 0.19% from the month before. The increase represents a 3.2% increase when compared to the same month last year. A record is set for the dollar amount, but the growth rate is slowing dramatically.

 

Huff Post

Housing affordability survey finds it's harder then ever to go from renting to owning a condo in Canada
Canada's housing crunch is like a game of whack-a-mole. Solve one problem, and another pops up somewhere else. Runaway price growth for single-family homes is a thing of the past in Toronto and Vancouver today, thanks to rising interest rates and tougher mortgage rules. But with prices still high, buyers have turned to other options. Or really the one other option that exists: condos.
 

The Georgia Straight

Pete Fry rejects rental versus condo dichotomy in Vancouver housing debate as a straw man
It’s an argument Vancouver city councillors often make. It goes something like, “It’s either we approve rental or the developer will build condos.” It’s a line of reasoning often cited during public hearings related to so-called “for-profit affordable rental housing” developments. The result has been that the current council so far has approved all rezoning applications for these types of projects that critics say are not affordable housing in the first place.

 

April 1, 2019

CTV News

Speculation tax: 2 days left for BC homeowners to apply for exemptions
With just two days until the deadline, some British Columbians have yet to submit their speculation and vacancy tax exemptions, the province said. On Friday, B.C.'s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing said more than 90 per cent of the declarations have been made. The tax is designed to help control housing prices in urban areas and targets speculators who own residences in the province but don't pay taxes to the B.C. government.


Vancouver is Awesome

BC Real Estate Association predicts mortgage rates to drop this year
Those who are applying for or renewing fixed-rate mortgages this year may have some good news, as economists are predicting a decline in the average five-year discounted contract rate. While the Bank of Canada (BoC) is expected to hold firm on its overnight interest rate, which dictates variable-rate mortgages, fixed-rate deals are expected to improve somewhat over the next two quarters, according to a quarterly outlook from the economics division of the B.C. Real Estate Association.


Vancouver Courier

Executive rentals are collateral damage in backlash against Airbnb 
TORONTO — After first disrupting the hotel business industry, shared rental services like Airbnb are making life difficult for Canada’s corporate housing sector. Condominium buildings across the country are increasingly shutting their doors to companies that help find temporary accommodations for executives on short-term work projects or their families, following some well-publicized disruptions caused by overnight guests.

 

Huff Post

Housing affordability survey finds it's harder then ever to go from renting to owning a condo in Canada
Canada's housing crunch is like a game of whack-a-mole. Solve one problem, and another pops up somewhere else. Runaway price growth for single-family homes is a thing of the past in Toronto and Vancouver today, thanks to rising interest rates and tougher mortgage rules. But with prices still high, buyers have turned to other options. Or really the one other option that exists: condos.
 

CBC News

Gibsons grapples with both a housing crunch and prices that continue to rise
Three decades ago, Alex Henry remembers when he could rent a large house near Gibsons for $350.  Now, still working part-time in the construction industry, he says he can no longer afford to find a place to rent. "I just converted somebody's garage into a so-called studio. It's probably an illegal rental, and she's still gonna rent it out for like $1,200," he said.  "It's really impossible. I'm a poor tradesman. I'm a working man. But I've been five years in and out of accommodation."  Like all of southwest B.C., booming home prices have caused political tension in Gibsons, a community of 4,600 that's a 40-minute ferry ride from West Vancouver.

 

 March 13, 2019

Vancouver Sun

Housing report offers new insights into BC's non-resident home ownership
Compiled by the Canadian Housing Statistics Program, the report outlines the differences between non-resident owners and non-resident participation in the B.C. housing market, and whether assessments vary depending on the type of ownership. The report classifies a home as non-resident owned when the majority of owners are non-residents; homes are classified as resident owned if the majority of owners are residents. Meanwhile, homes are classified as having non-resident participation if at least one non-resident participates in the ownership.


Western Investor

Metro Vancouver residential land prices may have already peaked
Take a good look at the prices paid for residential development land in Metro Vancouver last year, as Colliers International did in its annual LandShare Report, because it could be a while before you see them any higher. In 2018, Metro residential land sales hit $627 million, which would be an all-time high were it not for the incredible spike during 2016 and 2017 when sales easily crested the $1.1 billon mark for the first time. The downward shift began in the last half of 2018, as an avalanche of government policies, interest rate hikes and a subsequent 40 per cent plunge in housing sales hammered developer and consumer confidence, noted Casey Weeks, senior vice-president, investment, at Colliers.


The Columbian

Vancouver Housing Authority makes progress on townhouse plans
For the first time in more than a decade, Vancouver Housing Authority will directly help families become homeowners.A subsidiary of the public agency, Vancouver Affordable Housing Nonprofit, is moving along with plans for an eight-unit townhouse development in central Vancouver. Saeed Hajarizadeh, deputy director of the housing authority and executive director of Vancouver Affordable Housing Nonprofit, said he’s been working since 2016 on the project originally envisioned for downtown Vancouver.
 

The Globe and Mail

BC' Maple Ridge promises housing plan after provincial housing minister calls for action
After months of talks with the province that went nowhere, the City of Maple Ridge must this week reveal a plan clearing the way for supportive housing units to be built in the municipality. Housing Minister Selina Robinson said she set a deadline of March 8 for a social housing proposal from the city, but agreed to wait until Tuesday’s council meeting for a plan. “We were hitting roadblocks and I got really clear with the mayor … that we need to see a plan,” Ms. Robinson said Friday in an interview. The province has said it would move forward on its own if it doesn’t get an acceptable plan from the city.

 

Maple Ridge News

Non-residents own %4.9% of Metro Vancouver, much higher in new condos: CMHC
While there is a common perception that overseas buyers have snapped up much of Metro Vancouver real estate, the number of homes owned purely by non-residents across the region is 4.9 per cent, according to a study of Statistics Canada data by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), published March 12. Including homes that are jointly owned by a mix of residents of Canada and non-residents – such as a satellite family where one spouse is resident in Canada, or a local student who jointly owns a home with their overseas parents – adds another 2.9 per cent. This brings the total proportion of Metro Vancouver homes with some “non-resident participation” to 7.6 per cent, said CMHC.

 

March 7, 2019

Mortgage Broker News

Vancouver's industrial rates are the highest in Canada
Amid record-level demand, Metro Vancouver’s industrial rates are now among the highest in Canada, according to commercial real estate services firm Lee & Associates. As of the end of 2018, annual lease rates for the asset class stood at $17.70 per square foot in the city of Vancouver, which has an industrial vacancy rate of 1.4% – indeed, the lowest of any Canadian market. The price per square foot is also at an unprecedented $370, growing by $80/sf from a year earlier.


Mortgage Broker News

Chinese property buyers veering away from Toronto, Vancouver
An increasing number of Chinese buyers are moving away from the traditional hotspots of Toronto and Vancouver in favour of previously unnoticed markets, according to a new analysis by Juwai.com. The international property portal stated that Chinese buying inquiries in Toronto went down by a significant 10.3% year-over-year in 2018. Inquiries in Vancouver also suffered a 2.8% decrease during the same time frame.
 

Vancouver Courier

Availability of newly built and presale condos skyrockets in Metro Vancouver: report
For buyers looking for a new-build condo in Metro Vancouver, there’s good news – the number of available units has skyrocketed, according to a report released March 7. In its quarterly State of the Market report for the Urban Development Institute, real estate research firm Urban Analytics said that the number of concrete condos that were either released for presale or completed and unsold, at the end of 2018’s fourth quarter, was quadruple that of one year prior.

 

Financial Post

Mortgage stress test proponents say rules are working. But what exactly were they supposed to do, again?
Housing sales in Canada’s large cities continue to show signs of weakness. The latest stats for February sales in Toronto and Vancouver revealed even fewer sales last month than February 2018, when sales had already declined because of stricter mortgage regulations. The real estate industry is holding the mortgage stress test responsible for the slowdown. The test requires borrowers to qualify for an interest rate that is 200 basis points higher than the contracted rate.
 

Macrobusiness

Vancouver house prices deteriorate
The Metro Vancouver* housing market saw increased supply from home sellers and below average demand from home buyers in February. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 1,484 in February 2019, a 32.8 per cent decrease from the 2,207 sales recorded in February 2018, and a 34.5 per cent increase from the 1,103 homes sold in January 2019. Last month’s sales were 42.5 per cent below the 10-year February sales average.
 

Shupilov Real Estate

Montreal VS. Vancouver and Toronto Real Estate Sales, Prices, Appreciation Rates
The total dollar value of real estate transactions in Vancouver dropped to $1.7 billion in January, which is 42% down from the same time a year earlier. Toronto recorded Canada’s largest number of real estate transactions in January, reaching $5.4 billion to start the year, albeit greatly reduced from the $8.5 billion in activity seen at the beginning on of 2017.
 

CTV News

Every member of Vancouver family now owns a home: a unique path to affordability
Inside a beautiful craftsman house in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood is a heartwarming story of family, support and housing affordability.“It starts with how do kids get to live in Vancouver with a piece of grass outside,” explained Vancouver real estate lawyer Richard Bell. His family is a living example of how to make that possible. A few years ago Bell and his wife Reni decided to renovate the home they had owned for 14 years. Their two young daughters were living on their own, Heather with her husband Andrew Stegemann and Bell’s eldest daughter Julianne had been traveling abroad.
 

Burnaby Now

Metro Vancouver's high-end house prices fall to a further 7.1%: Royal LePage
The national real estate brokerage’s 2019 Royal LePage Luxury Properties Report, which assesses high-end homes in five major cities across Canada, said that the sale price of the median “luxury” home in Metro Vancouver between February 1, 2018 and January 31, 2019 was $5,751,928, which is a decline of 1.7 per cent from the previous year.

 

Vancouver Courier 

Canadian real estate market outlook 2019: Stable but struggling
The Canadian housing market had a challenging year in 2018 as it struggled to regain its footing after the bubble-like conditions of 2017. It was a year characterized by decelerating sales and pricing. And it looks like 2019 may bring more of the same.

 

March 6, 2019

 

Business in Vancouver

Metro's high flying industrial rates faces turbulence
Metro Vancouver industrial lease rates are now the highest in Canada, and vacancy rates have fallen in the face of unprecedented demand, but clouds are forming over the region’s strongest real estate sector. As of the end of December, industrial lease rates averaged $11.86 per square foot, the highest in the country, according to commercial agency CBRE Canada.


Mortgage Broker News

Vancouver market labouring under sluggish sales, prices
Slow sales and significant price declines mainly characterize Vancouver’s housing market at present, according to the latest figures from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Residential sales across all property classes fell by 32.8% year-over-year in February, ending up at 42.5% below the 10-year sales average for that month, BNN Bloomberg reported. Breaking down by housing type, detached properties had 28% fewer sales last month compared to February 2018, while apartments had an almost 36% annual sales slowdown. Townhome activity suffered a nearly 31% decrease.
 

Business in Vancouver

Burnaby should displace homeownders, not renter: analyst
Burnaby has done the right thing in the wrong place, according to data analyst Jens von Bergmann. The city has built desperately needed housing along its rapid transit network at a furious pace – but concentrating much of that development in Metrotown has displaced vulnerable renters unnecessarily, he told the NOW. 

 

Vancouver Sun

Commercial Real Estate: A 'transparent' office space in more ways than one
It has been nearly three years since law firm McCarthy Tetrault moved into an open-concept, transparent glass, “democratized” office space in downtown Vancouver. Gone are the dry walled-in perimeter executive offices, closed doors and ample private space of their former space. In place of those traditional design concepts are equal access to natural light, small glass interior offices, relaxing common areas and views of the downtown buildings, water and the North Shore Mountains.
 

City News

City of Vancouver touts shortened permit wait times
The City of Vancouver is pointing to several improvements to permit wait times as development and permit applications skyrocket upward, with a 97.5 per cent increase in rezoning applications since 2010. Key improvements highlighted at a Feb 12. Vancouver City Council meeting include approval of 900 affordable housing units with development permit approvals under the Social Housing or Rental Tenure (SHORT) program, along with reducing single family and laneway housing permits from 28 to 38 weeks to six weeks through the Applicant Supported and Assisted Process (ASAP) pilot.

 

Feb 11, 2019

Vancouver Sun

UDI forecast predicts the housing market to 'reset' in 2019
Housing industry leaders say Metro Vancouverites can expect to see single-family home prices continue to fall this year along with some softening in the prices of new multi-family homes. But if you are counting on the housing market to be hit by a true recession, you may end up waiting a long, long time.
 

Western Investor

Weekly Buzz: Major commercial real estate sales
The week’s top stories cover three separate major sales that made news this week, from a shopping mall on Vancouver Island, to the sale of Vancouver’s newest casino and hotel, to a profile of several self-storage facilities across four provinces. Meanwhile, new analysis on construction costs across Canada reveal impending pressures for small developers.


Vancouver Courier

Opinion: BC Assessment process unfair to homeowners, small business
B.C. Assessment’s job is to assess all properties at “actual value,” which is synonymous with market value. For high-value industrial, commercial and investment properties, however, the assessment system often fails. That ends up squeezing smaller businesses and residential taxpayers to pay more than their fair share.
 

Vancouver Sun

Modular construction may prove to be a functional solution to the housing crisis 
Long before online ordering at Amazon.ca, the Sears print catalogue was the major shopping source for Canadian families, especially those in rural areas lacking any nearby retail locations. Consumers bought household tools and appliances through mail order as well as the same item of kids’ clothing in multiple sizes, with an easy return policy for items that didn’t fit.
 

Vancouver Sun

Housing affordability in 2019 - Will it get better or worse?
Although the temperature has dialled down in Canada’s hottest housing markets, it keeps on getting less affordable to own a home. In RBC’s latest quarterly Housing Affordability Report, the affordability measure is now at its worst level in Canada since 1990. Rising interest rates and the mortgage stress test are the main causes.

 

Feb 8, 2019

The Globe and Mail

For Canada's luxury property markets, the worst seems to be over 
“Real estate markets across Canada are facing a headwind,” says Brad Henderson, president and chief executive officer of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. Taking the blame are tightened mortgage guidelines, foreign-buyer taxes and higher interest rates. “Certainly there has been a significant decrease in activity everywhere.”
 

The Seattle Times

Victoria housing market remains overvalued: CMCH
Greater Victoria’s housing market is now “moderately overvalued,” an improvement from its status as being “highly overvalued,” according to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. The capital region and Toronto are the two areas among 15 in Canada to see their previous overvaluation rating decreased to moderate from high.
 

BC Business

Vancouver property prices plunge: report
The fast-paced Vancouver real estate market appears to have come to a screeching halt. The seller’s market saw home prices rise rapidly, leaving first-time homebuyers pulling their hair in many instances. The latest report by Toronto-based Zoocasa, however, suggests the detached market is beginning to plunge in all but one area.
 

Canada News Wire

Canada housing starts trend steady in January
The trend in housing starts was 208,131 units in January 2019, compared to 207,171 units in December 2018, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.
 

North Shore News

Housing 'solutions lab' sought by City of North Vancouver
City of North Vancouver Mayor Linda Buchanan says it’s time for the North Shore’s municipalities to stop trying to tackle the housing affordability crisis in isolation.Buchanan won unanimous support for a motion Monday night calling for a “North Shore Housing Solutions Lab,” modelled on the Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project.

 

Feb 5. 2019

The Georgia Straight

Market rates for social housing: East Vancouver project to take in high-income renters
Half of the units to be owned by B.C. Housing will be rented to low- and moderate-income households, and the other 50 percent will be for higher income tenants, who will pay market rents.
 

The Seattle Times

Big decline in Vancouver, BC, home prices could just be the tip of iceberg
Metro Vancouver’s composite home price, including houses, condominiums and townhouses, fell 4.5 percent in January from a year earlier to C$1.02 million ($780,000), the biggest decline since May 2013 and down about 8 percent from the June 2018 peak, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.
 

The Georgia Straight 

Affordability crunch leads North Vancouver to eye subsidized housing for teachers
For some municipalities in Metro Vancouver, housing has become such an issue that cities are having to brainstorm how to attract and maintain top talent in fields that don’t pay enough to afford decent shelter in the area.
 

Vancouver Courier 

Banking regulator defends mortgage stress test, open to change when warranted
Canada's financial regulator hit back at criticisms of its stress test for uninsured mortgages, which has made it harder for borrowers to qualify and weighed on national home sales, but said it is open to changes when warranted.
 

Vancouver Courier 

Q&A: Pitfalls to avoid in buying a fixer-upper home
With real estate prices through the roof, many potential buyers may be considering a fixer-upper so that they can afford a home in their preferred location. Adding your own “sweat equity” can be a great way to build value – and it also means you get to make your home just the way you want it. But this strategy is not without risks.
 

Jan 28. 2019

 

Business Times 

Housing in HK and Vancouver Tops World's Most Expensive List 

For the 9th straight year, Hong Kong has proven to be a very expensive place to live in, in terms of property market prices. Business Times SG reported that urban planning consultancy Demographia listed the island state as an area where the prices have gone way beyond the reach of most of its residents.
 

Globalnews.ca

Vancouver council to vote on looking at increase to Empty Homes Tax
Vancouver’s EHT currently applies a one per cent tax on the assessed value of homes deemed to be vacant for more than six months per year, barring specific exceptions.
 

Yahoo! Finance Canada

Severe housing downturn in Canada is unlikely: RBC
In its latest Canada Housing Health Check — Royal Bank says the probability is “still low but has increased somewhat in recent months.” RBC says mortgage stress tests and rising rates are making it harder for buyers to get a foot in the door.
 

Times Colonist

Homelessness crisis comes to fore in Nanaimo all-candidates debate
Contenders for the vacant seat in the B.C. legislature shared their vision at a Nanaimo all-candidates debate Thursday, touching on issues such as homelessness, affordable housing and a foot-passenger ferry to Vancouver.
 

CBC News 

False Creek boat-dweller defiant in the face of 16 counts of anchoring without a permit
He's now facing 16 counts of anchoring a vessel in False Creek without a permit. On Thursday, Wilson made a brief court appearance with the assistance of University of British Columbia second-year law student Kes Posgate.