Category Archives: economy

Vancouver condo prices go negative

Sales down, inventory up and prices are down for condos in the greater Vancouver area :

The price of a condo in Greater Vancouver is coming down. REBGV reported a benchmark price of $658,600 in January, down 0.8% from the month before. This represents a 1.7% decline compared to the same month last year. In the City proper, condo apartments in Vancouver East fell to $530,500, down 3.9% from last year. In Vancouver West prices fell to $783,400, down 3.6% from last year. Prices are falling, but they still have a long way to go for typical incomes.

Read the full article here.

Liberals could help millennials buy homes

Real estate sales are good for the economy, but what happens when prices get too high for young family incomes and borrowing costs increase?

Perhaps it’s time for the Government to step in?

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said earlier this week Ottawa is exploring measures to make home ownership affordable for more millennials, a generation made up of people who are now in their mid-20s to late-30s.

Morneau didn’t elaborate on what options he’s considering, but Canadians could learn more in the coming weeks when he releases an election-year budget that will also lay out Liberal platform commitments.

Major political parties have already started positioning themselves on the complex area of housing affordability. It will likely emerge as an important campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election, and the challenges of millennials and first-time buyers could attract a lot of attention.

Some lenders have ideas for some helpful changes:

“There’s a lot of folks that just don’t qualify to purchase anymore at the bottom end of that ladder,” said Paul Taylor, president and CEO of Mortgage Professionals Canada.

Taylor said the stress tests have succeeded in taking some of the froth out of the market and he believes the time has come for Ottawa to loosen them. In recent meetings with federal officials, he said he has recommended the reintroduction of insurance on 30-year amortization mortgages as a targeted way to help people at the lower end.

The coming weeks would be a good time for some changes with the busy spring season is approaching, he said.

“If we have another cool spring market, that’s going to have serious knock-on effects to the economy,” said Taylor, who was encouraged by Morneau’s comments.

Read the full article here.

Vancouver Sales hit 18 Year low

If you were hoping 2019 would kick off with a booming real estate market… well, it’s not going so well.

“After three or four years of a very robust market and escalating prices, this certainly seemed to be a year of transition. We went from more of a sellers’ market, to a balanced market, and now — a buyers’ market.”

The drop in benchmark price for a detached home accompanied a drastic slump in sales, year-over-year.

The total number of homes sold across Metro Vancouver in 2018 dropped 31.6 percent from 2017, with 24,619 transactions.

That’s the lowest number recorded in the region since 2000, and 25 percent below its 10-year average.

Read the full article here.