Category Archives: Canada

Toronto #1 (in empty homes)

You were feeling all proud about the number of empty homes in Vancouver weren’t you?  25 thousand, that’s a lot, but Toronto just had to outdo us:

Hold my beer Vancouver, we got this. The newly released 2016 Census numbers from Statistics Canada, show the City of Toronto saw Vancouver’s 25k+ unoccupied homes, and trumped it by another 74k units. Now with over 99k unoccupied homes in the city, speculation of Toronto real estate might be worse than previously thought.

Read the full article here.

Three unaffordable real estate markets, number 3 will shock you!

Vancouver has just been ranked the #3 least affordable housing market in the world behind Hong Kong and Sydney according to a survey by Demographia.

This is the second year in a row Vancouver ranked third after hitting second place in 2015. The city has been ranked with the worst housing affordability in Canada in all previous Demographia surveys since 2004.

Demographia reported Vancouver’s year-over-year price growth was equal to a year of household income in the city. It also mentioned the city experienced a “modest” net domestic out-migration in 2016, meaning more people left the city than moved in.

Which city do you think those people that left Vancouver are moving to: Hong Kong or Sydney?

Read the full article here.

This is a real estate province

The new BC government interest free loans program for first time buyers might help to get some more condos sold.  Certainly real estate developers in this province tend to be in agreement with government policies, showing their appreciation by holding 8 of the top 10 liberal donor spots:

Eight of the 10 top donors to the B.C. Liberal party in 2016, and so far in 2017, are involved in the province’s property development and construction industries.

Combined, the eight donors contributed nearly $1.5 million of the $12.5 million collected by the Liberals during the period, an analysis by Postmedia News of the donor list released by the Liberals last week shows.

Some of the real estate development and construction sector donations came in six-figure instalments.

At least this booming real estate market is creating lots of jobs right?

Well, not as many as Quebec which created more full time jobs than any other province and accounts for 42% of national labor growth in 2016.

Realtors expect decline in 2017

Praising a forecast market correction in Vancouver as a return to sanity:

Vancouver’s long-awaited housing correction may be around the corner: prices are headed for a double-digit decline in 2017 as buyers drop out of the market, according to the head of Canada’s largest real estate services company.

“Home prices had gotten so out of whack with the growth in underlying wages and salaries that there had to be a correction,” said Phil Soper, chief executive officer of Royal LePage, a unit of Brookfield Real Estate Services Inc. “And it’ll happen in 2017.”

Royal LePage is preparing a formal forecast for release in early January based on data from Brookfield, which also runs the nation’s biggest property valuation company. Those appraisals are used by banks, insurance companies and mortgage underwriters.

Read the full article here.

Can we fix affordability with more debt?

Most people agree that there’s a problem with the BC real estate market, and that problem is usually called ‘affordability’.

Affordability usually means what you’re buying is too expensive, but it can also mean that you just can’t afford the monthly payment.

Interest rates look at risk of rising, but have been at rock bottom levels for years.  That means there’s not much room to move on ‘affordability’ when it comes to interest rates.

So we’re stuck with two options: price comes down or government starts giving away money.

Important announcement” for first time home buyers from the BC government.

Daily Hive says they know what this announcement will be.

Update: They were correct, here are some details:

The B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership program will provide a maximum of  $37,500 — or up to 5 per cent of the purchase price — with a 25-year loan that is interest-free and payment-free for the first five years.

“The dream of home ownership must remain in the grasp of the middle class here in British Columbia,” said Premier Christy Clark.

The intention of the program is to assist people who can afford the mortgage payments on a new home but are challenged to make the down payment.

The province will start accepting applications for the program on Jan. 16, 2017.

Homebuyers will pay no monthly interest or principal payments over the first five years as long as the home remains their principal residence.

After the first five years, homebuyers begin making monthly payments at current interest rates.

If too much debt got us into this problem, surely it can get us out of it right?

Meanwhile the Bank of Canada is warning again about huge mortgages and growing household debt.