Play Ball!

On January 29, 1936, the U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame elected the very first members: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Matthewson and Walter Johnson. It was actually the Baseball Writers’ Association of America who were tasked with choosing the five greatest superstars of the game as the inaugural 1939 inductees.
According to a article, the Hall of Fame actually had its beginnings in 1935, when plans were made to build a museum devoted to baseball and its 100-year history. A private organization based in Cooperstown, called the Clark Foundation, thought establishing the Baseball Hall of Fame in their city would help build back the area through tourism, as the nation emerged from the Great Depression.

COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard – January, 2021

This month’s COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard shows that home sales staged a remarkable recovery during the pandemic and recession in 2020 that will fuel momentum in 2021. However, record low levels of supply across the province will likely translate into considerable upward pressure on prices until listings pick-up. Consumer confidence is still weak amid rising COVID-19 cases and tightened restrictions, which have reduced movement around the province. Meanwhile, business confidence is up as manufacturing and international trade have recovered from their pre-pandemic levels, and the vaccine rollout has led many businesses to expect a rise in sales in 2021. For a more comprehensive overview of BC’s economic recovery, click here.

About BCREA’s COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard
The BCREA Economics team has created the COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard to help REALTORS® monitor BC’s economic recovery. This dashboard focuses on the sectors and activities that have been most significantly impacted by the pandemic, including:
• Housing Markets
• Retail, Restaurant Reservations and Movement
• Jobs and Hours Worked
• Manufacturing and International Trade
• Business and Consumer Confidences
• Tourism
To monitor the province’s progress, we benchmark each indicator to February 2020, the month before the pandemic was declared. This dashboard is updated each month.

BCREA’s updated COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard is available here.
For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

BCREA 2021 First Quarter Housing Forecast Update

Provincial Housing Market Set Up for Very Strong 2021

Vancouver, BC – January, 2021. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2021 First Quarter Housing Forecast Update today.

Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province are forecast to rise 15.6 per cent to 108,680 units this year, after recording 94,021 sales in 2020. In 2022, MLS® residential sales are forecast to pull back 9 per cent to 98,850 units.

“After an unprecedented and often surprising performance in 2020, the provincial housing market is set up for a very strong year in 2021,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA Chief Economist. “A strong economic recovery and record-low mortgage rates will continue to drive strong demand this year.”

On the supply side, new listings activity recovered through the second half of 2020, but not nearly enough to see any accumulation in overall inventory. As a result, market conditions will start 2021 very tight, with the potential for strong price increases through the spring and summer until new supply comes online. We are forecasting a 7.7 per cent rise in the MLS® average price this year, followed by a further 3 per cent in 2022.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

The Secret Ingredient…

A young apprentice approached the town baker asking to learn the art of baking bread. He promised to work hard and follow instructions precisely. The baker happily accepted the young apprentice.

The baker began by saying, “First, we must prepare our baking room and assemble our ingredients. Today, we will be using ingredients from each of the four elements: wheat from the earth, yeast from the air, and water and salt from the sea. The fourth element of fire will transform these ordinary ingredients and produce something entirely wonderful and new – a rich crusty loaf of bread, which is far grander than any of the ingredients alone.”

The apprentice followed instructions and even worked ahead preparing the area, cleaning without the slightest break. At one point even thinking the old baker may have taken a few too many breaks.

The two had worked from dawn until dusk, the apprentice was exhausted but finally, it was time to take the bread out of the oven. The apprentice noticed his loaf did not rise and expand like the baker’s. “Why is my loaf heavy and flat, and yours is light and airy? I used the same flour, the same water and the same yeast as you, yet your bread is so different from mine.”

The baker said, “I used one more ingredient than you – time! While you were working ahead, I was taking time to relax. But the time was not only for me, it was also for the dough. Only when given undisturbed time will the gas bubbles form inside the dough, which produces both flavor and texture.”

It is equally important to work hard and relax, in order to transform into something greater than we expect.

Canadian Retail Sales (Nov) – January, 2021

Canadian retail sales rose for the seventh consecutive month in November by 1.3% on a seasonally-adjusted basis, defying Statistic Canada’s preliminary estimate of no change. Sales were up in 7 of 11 subsectors, representing 53% of retail sales. The increase was led by higher sales at food and beverage stores. Compared to the same time last year, retail sales were up by 7.5%.

Sales were up in all provinces except for Manitoba. In BC, seasonally-adjusted retail sales were up by 0.8% ($8.0 billion) and by 1.4% ($3.7 billion) in Vancouver. Contributing the most to the increase were sales at electronic and appliance stores, while sales were down at auto dealers and gas stations. Compared to the same time last year, BC retail sales were up by 11.1%.

In November, Canadian e-commerce sales totaled $4.3 billion, accounting for 7.4% of total retails sales, which is up from 5.4% in the previous month. Meanwhile, e-commerce sales were up by 76% from a year ago. This excludes Canadians purchasing from foreign e-commerce retailers.

November was a pleasant surprise in retail sales, as consumers likely pulled forward their purchases in anticipation of the holiday rush, as well as promotional events such as Black Friday. Early estimates from Statistics Canada are showing a December decline, as COVID-19 cases increase and multiple provinces implement stricter lockdown measures. Growth in retail sales is expected to slow until the vaccine becomes more widely available.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.