BC Home Sales Decline 25% in 2018

Vancouver, BC – January, 2019. TThe British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 78,345 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in 2018, a decline of 24.5 per cent from the 103,758 units sold in 2017. The annual average MLS® residential price in BC was $712,508, an increase of 0.4 per cent from $709,601 recorded the previous year. Total sales dollar volume was $55.8 billion, a 24.2 per cent decline from 2017.

“BC home sales fell below the 10-year average of 84,800 units in 2018,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “The sharp decline in affordability caused by the B20 mortgage stress test is largely to blame for decline in consumer demand last year.”

A total of 3,497 MLS® residential unit sales were recorded across the province in December, down 39.1 per cent from December 2017. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $695,647, a decline of 5.2 per cent from December 2017. Total sales dollar volume was $2.4 billion, a 42.3 per cent decline during the same period.

Total active residential listings were up 33.3 per cent to 27,615 units in December, the highest December inventory since 2014 when 33,995 active residential listings were recorded.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

December 2018 Housing Market Video Update – Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

REBGV President Phil Moore provides a summary of the December 2018 housing market statistics.

Stats Centre Reports December 2018 for Housing in Great Vancouver

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Canadian Building Permits – January, 2019

The total value of Canadian building permits rose 2.6 per cent on a monthly basis in November to $8.3 billion. The increase was driven by higher construction intentions for commercial buildings.

In BC, the total value of permits increased 14.3 per cent to $1.7 billion. That increase was primarily the result of record high commercial permits due to a $240 million office project in the Vancouver CMA.  Total non-residential permits were up close to 80 per cent on a monthly basis and 68 per cent year-over-year. Residential permits fell 7.4 per cent compared to October but exceeded the $1 billion mark for a second consecutive month and were 33 per cent higher year-over-year.

Construction intentions in November were mostly higher in BC’s four census metropolitan areas (CMA):

  • Permits in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA increased 4 per cent on a monthly basis to $34 million. Year-over-year, permit values were down 21 per cent.
  • In the Victoria CMA, total permit values rose 36 per cent on a monthly basis to $131.2 million, a 73 per cent increase year-over-year.
  • In the Kelowna CMA, permits values decreased by 10 per cent from a strong October to a still robust $111 million, a 45 per cent increase compared to November 2017.
  • In the Vancouver CMA, the value of permits rose 15 per cent to $1.1 billion. On a year-over-year basis, the value of permits was 73 per cent higher.

For more information, please contact:  Gino Pezzani.

Bank of Canada Interest Rate Announcement – January, 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 the outlook for the Canadian economy is moderating due to  falling oil prices and mandatory production cuts in Alberta and a slowdown in global demand due to US-China trade tensions. As a result, the Bank has trimmed its forecast for Canadian economic growth in 2019 from 2.1 per cent to 1.7 per cent.  Total inflation is being dragged lower by falling gasoline prices, though core inflation remains near the Bank’s 2 per cent target.

While the direction of future monetary policy remains tilted toward higher interest rates, our baseline forecast is for a single rate hike as the most likely outcome for 2019. With a housing market battered by the stress test and signs of slowing growth elsewhere in the economy, it will be difficult for the Bank to accelerate monetary tightening beyond a gradual pace.  A less hawkish Bank of Canada, along with a steep fall in Canadian bond yields, should translate to mortgage rates flattening out or even moving slightly lower in 2019.

For more information, please contact:  Gino Pezzani.