Canadian Housing Starts – December, 2018

Canadian housing starts increased 4 per cent on a monthly basis in November to 215,941 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR).  The trend in Canadian housing starts was also up slightly,  averaging 210,000 units SAAR over the past six months.

In BC, total housing starts rose 22 per cent, the second consecutive monthly increase, to 36,776 units SAAR.  However, total starts were down 17 per cent compared to November of last year.  On a monthly basis, starts of multiple units were up 25 per cent to 27,709 units SAAR while single detached starts rose 14 per cent to 9,067 units SAAR.

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC:

  • Total starts in the Vancouver CMA were up 26 per cent on a monthly basis in November at 17,924 units SAAR, driven higher by a 41 per cent monthly increase in multiple units starts.  Compared to November 2017, total starts in Vancouver were down 28 per cent.  Most new home construction in the Vancouver CMA was concentrated in the City of Vancouver and Surrey, which together accounted for one third of total Vancouver housing starts.
  • In the Victoria CMA, housing starts fell 12 per cent for a second straight month to 2,728 units SAAR. However, on a year-over-year basis, total starts were 34 per cent higher.
  • The Kelowna CMA saw a significant increase in multi-unit construction in November, particularly for new apartment condos and rental projects. Total starts were up 59 per cent year-over-year, driven by more than 300 new multiple unit starts.
  • Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA were down close to 70 per cent compared to this time last year with just 53 total starts in November.  Both single and multiple unit starts were down significantly on a year-over-year basis.

For more information, please contact:  Gino Pezzani.

Stats Centre Reports November 2018 for Housing in Great Vancouver

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The Whole Truth

A sailor had a good time visiting pubs in the port city while on shore leave. He was tipsy when he made his way back to the ship and stumbled up the gangway. The captain noted in the log: “First mate drunk tonight.”

The sailor learned of the log entry and complained to the captain. “This isn’t fair. I was still on leave when I returned to the ship. We were moored, and I wasn’t on duty. This account makes me sound like I’m always drunk.”

“This is the official account of all happenings on this vessel,” the captain replied. “The truth is the truth. The log may not be altered.” Days later the captain was looking at the log and saw an entry written by his first mate. It read: “The captain was not drunk today.”

The captain’s face went red, and he turned to the first mate, demanding “What is this?”

The first mate looked at the log and then back at the captain and said, “This is the official account of all happenings on the ship.”

“You know what I’m talking about!” the captain shouted. “Anyone reading this will get the impression that I’m not always sober … Oh, I see.” He paused, then said “Shall we make two annotations to the log?” The first mate agreed.

Canadian Employment – December, 2018

Total Canadian employment surged 94,000 jobs in November, almost all in full-time work. The national unemployment rate fell 0.2 points lower to 5.6 per cent, the lowest it has been since 1976. Total employment was up 1.5 per cent, or 227,000 jobs compared to this time last year.
In BC, employment grew by 16,000 in November, though full-time employment declined.  On a year-over-year basis, employment was up 1.7 per cent and the provincial unemployment rate rose 0.3 points to 4.4 per cent as the number of people looking for work expanded faster than those finding employment.

For more information, please contact:  Gino Pezzani.


Commercial Leading Indicator Signals Modest Growth

Vancouver, BC – December, 2018. The BCREA Commercial Leading Indicator (CLI) was essentially unchanged from the second to the third quarter of 2018. Compared to this time one year ago, the index is 1.3 per cent higher.

“Slowing activity, particularly in the retail sector, led to a flattening of the CLI last quarter,” says BCREA Deputy Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “A flattening index tends to point to a slower, yet still positive growth environment over the next year.”

While overall economic activity supportive of increased demand for commercial real estate has moderated, the third quarter did see a significant jump in office employment. If that increase is sustained, it would reflect an increased need for office space in the future, leading to increased investment and leasing activity in the office sector.

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For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

Just Part Of Growing Up

Your little one has just started kindergarten and is being exposed to all sorts of new exciting things. Children begin to notice toys, books, and other items their classmates have and realize they want these things, too.

One day you’re going through your child’s school bag and discover a bounty of other children’s belongings. Gasp! You’re the parent of thief! Relax. This is not altogether an uncommon stage of development for some 5- and 6-year-olds. However, you shouldn’t ignore what’s happening. It is a serious issue. What should you do?

Talk to them. They’re just little kids. They’re impulsive and don’t fully realize the implications of their actions—until you teach them right from wrong.

The best way to do that is with a calm but firm demeanor. Let your child know that when they take something that doesn’t belong to them, without permission, it is considered stealing. Explain to them that stealing is wrong and a serious offense. The child should return the item to its owner and apologize to them for taking it.

It may happen a few more times. When it does, your response needs to remain consistent. Children must be reminded that such actions are unacceptable, and be held accountable for what they’ve done. They must always apologize to those they’ve wronged, no matter how embarrassing or untimely it may be. Children will eventually begin to understand right from wrong. When they do, this behavior will come to an end.

Bank of Canada Interest Rate Decision – December, 2018

The Bank of Canada left its target for the overnight rate unchanged at 1.75 per cent this morning. In the statement accompanying the decision, the Bank noted that growth in the Canadian economy will be challenged by Alberta’s cutbacks in oil production but investment outside of the energy sector is expected to strengthen.  On inflation, the Bank judges that prices in the economy are evolving in a way consistent with an economy operating at full capacity.  Given the Bank of Canada judges the economy is currently acting at full capacity and inflation is running slightly above its 2 per cent target, its bias remains tilted towards “normalizing” its policy rate back to its estimated neutral level of between 2.5 and 3.5 per cent.  With that bias in place, the timing of rate increases, rather than their direction, is the more pertinent issue.

However, the deep discount for Canadian Western Select oil, and the ramifications of limited Alberta oil production, is one reason to be skeptical that the Bank will accomplish its objective to return to a neutral 3 per cent rate over the medium term. However, other cracks in the economy are starting to appear as well, including the highly publicized closing to GM’s Oshawa plant which will have a material impact on growth in Ontario.  Those factors, along with a slowing housing market across Canada and a potentially sharp slowdown in US economic growth next year, may give the Bank pause.  For those reasons, our baseline forecast is that the Bank will only be able to bring its overnight rate to 2.5 per cent during this tightening cycle.

For more information, please contact:

Eric’s Christmas List

Karen was just gathering her purse and keys to head out the door when her son stopped her. “You’ll need this if you’re planning on doing some Christmas shopping,” Eric said, handing his mother an envelope.

“What is this?” Karen asked.

“My list for you,” he answered. Before she could question him further, he ran out of the door, on his way to his after school job.

Karen was confused. Eric knew they didn’t have a lot of money, and today’s trip to the store was to buy supplies to make a few gifts for other family members. She’d already told Eric there would only be one gift, which she’d already bought. Eric knew this, so why would he give her a list?

Karen opened the envelope and five $20 bills fell out, along with a list. She picked up the list and read, her eyes filling with tears:

Mom’s to-do list:

• Get a mani/pedi
• Treat yourself to lunch
• Buy that bath oil you love
• Buy a pair of earrings

Love, Eric

Fake It ‘Til You Make It

A friend of mine once said that the way you become good at something in life is by faking your way through it the first few times, until you learn how to do it without faking. That makes sense. Even as adults, there are many first times… a first time you run a meeting at work, a first networking event, a first sale, a first party in your home, etc.

In many of life’s public situations, you don’t want to look new and green; it’s embarrassing, and messing up could prove costly. Even if you explain that it’s your first time and ask others to cut you a little slack, there are still plenty of first, second, third times that you’ll just need to push on.

Fortunately, most people are willing to accord you with the authority you are taking on. If you’re running the meeting, you are probably the right person to run the meeting. If you’re making the sale, you’re probably the person with the knowledge to help them make a decision. If you’re at a networking event, you probably have something to contribute. And, nervous as you might be that no one will show up, if you throw the party just the way the experts say to do it, you’ll probably have a great crowd.

People tend to expect that you belong in the role you are taking on at any given moment. Once you know that, you can be powerful in just about any new endeavor. If you don’t let on—by apologizing, hiding out, or calling attention to your own mistakes—then they probably will never realize it either. If you step into the role you’re taking on, almost as an actor, and pretend to be experienced at it, they’ll go right along with you.

It may feel like you’re faking it the first few times, but eventually you realize you’re not faking it anymore, because you’ve made it!

British Columbia Q3, 2018 Residential Sales Summary

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