Tag Archives: lower mainland

CMHC: Lower house sales in lower mainland over next 2 years

The CMHC is predicting declining house sales in the lower mainland over the next couple of years due to higher mortgage interest rates.

“Total housing starts will edge higher as resale market conditions remain balanced and the supply of completed and unabsorbed (unsold) new homes trends lower,” said CMHC B.C. regional economist Carol Frketich.

“Housing demand will be supported by employment and population growth, but tempered by gradually rising mortgage interest rates.”

They are predicting price growth of 1.2 and 1.7% (unclear if this is before or after inflation) and they forecast this based on an assumption of a shift to ‘lower cost housing’.

Which might be good news for anyone trying to sell ‘lower cost housing’ since prices on Vancouver homes under $1.1 million have gone essentially nowhere over the last four years.


Hot at the edges

Just in time for the spring buying season the Province newspaper has published a public service announcement about the hottest lower mainland markets.

What do the experts say are the hottest markets in BC?

1. Surrey
2.Maple Ridge / Pitt Meadows
3.Fort St. John
4.Dawson Creek

Surrey seems to do quite well with REIN – they took the number one investment spot in the province last year and also in 2012, 2011, and 2010.

Have you bought your surrey home yet?

All aboard the poverty train.

The middle class in Vancouver is shrinking.

A widening gulf between the rich and the poor makes for a marked shift in demographics over the last 40 years.

And there’s a fascinating difference between Toronto and Vancouver when it comes to distribution of these two classes:

In Toronto high income residents have centered around transit hubs, while in Vancouver the opposite has happened and poverty has spread along the skytrain line.

And numbers from 2010 income tax returns that Ley received this week show accelerated polarization between rich and poor, especially in the Downtown Eastside.

Vancouver’s experience is opposite of Toronto when it comes to transit, Ley said, as high income residents concentrate around transit in Hogtown.

It’s a phenomenon Martin Wyant, CEO of Tri-Cities social services organization the Share Society, can see simply by looking at the increase of residents that need Share’s food bank – a 59 per cent rise since 2007.

In the suburbs, new condo developments hide the poverty, he said, but most people are forced to commute for higher paying jobs.

I guess the question is this: will the recent push to build and sell condo towers at transit hubs shift this trend up or down?

Bear vs. Bull in the Battle of Vancouver

Haven’t you always wanted to see housing market data presented as an exciting battle map?

Somewhat more exciting than your average excel sheet, VMD has started a Battle of Vancouver thread over at Vancouverpeak.com where he’s got maps showing the ups and downs of the market for condos and single family homes.

It’s interesting that you really get a sense of things changing on the periphery first.

There’s a stripe of red in the centre where prices are still up year over year. Here’s the map for Single Family Homes:

There’s a similar thing happening in Condo prices, although more areas are Year over Year negative there.  Oh, and for extra excitement on this map there’s TANKS! (each tank represents a single percent point up or down):

Click here to view the full thread on Vancouverpeak.com

..And if you have stuff to share over there, here are a few more invite codes to register for a user account:


We’re still building leaky condos

We received this PDF from Robert Funk, a building technologist who specializes in four story wood frame envelope failure.

Robert says that despite the Leaky condo crisis across the lower mainland we’re still building condos that will have water problems.

Here’s an excerpt and a few pictures from the PDF, download the full PDF here for the complete story.

“The way we’ve always done it”

Written by Robert Funk

Leaky Condo remediation has come a long way in the last decade. In the last decade we have realized what a mess has been made and covered up in the walls of our homes. There are countless stories of heart break caused by financial devastation. First you purchase a home that you can afford and make payments on for the next 25 years in which time your building falls apart. Then comes the infighting of strata and owners, some for some against remediation. You pay a large sum of money, usually more than your original savings and down payment. Then for the next 18 months you live like a hostage under a tarp with loud apelike construction workers climbing in and out of your windows and banging on your walls. Welcome to Home Owner Hell.

I’m a building technologist and I specialize in Four Story Wood Framed Envelope Failure. This means I take buildings apart for a living. Things have changed allot, Rain screen,we discovered was used on 100 year old houses, (we never had to take them apart so it took a long time to discover this). Many more things have changed but some things have stayed the same and some have gotten even worse.

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