About BCREA’s Housing Monitor Dashboard

The BCREA Economics team has created the Housing Monitor Dashboard to help REALTORS® monitor BC’s housing market. This dashboard, which is updated monthly, provides up-to-date data on key variables for public education and use. Focuses include: 

  • Resale Home Market

  • Construction

  • Rental Market

  • Borrowing Costs

  • Other BCREA Dat

In the dashboard, the image and data are available for download under each chart, where possible.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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Canadian retail sales rose 0.9 per cent in December to $67.3 billion. Excluding volatile items, sales were up 0.5 per cent month-over-month. In volume terms, retail sales rose 0.8 per cent in December. Retail e-commerce trade fell by 3.6 per cent to $3.7 billion in December, amounting to 5.5 per cent of total retail sales. 

Sales in BC rose 1.5 per cent in December. BC retail sales are up 2.8 per cent from the same time last year. In the CMA of Vancouver, retail sales were up 1.5 per cent from last month and 5.4 per cent from December of 2022.

Link: https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/canadian-retail-sales-december-2023-february-23-2024

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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Finance Minister Katrine Conroy introduced the provincial government’s Budget 2024. The budget unveiled several new housing related measures, including the BC Home Flipping Tax and various property transfer tax exemptions.

While BCREA commends the provincial government’s renewed commitment and efforts to improve housing attainability for British Columbians, the budget’s introduction of a “flipping tax” is unlikely to have a meaningful impact on housing attainability.  

Flipping Tax 

The BC Home Flipping Tax is a 20 per cent tax on the gain from sale of a home within a one-year time horizon and a pro-rated tax on sales up to within a two-year period. The tax will apply to both properties and assignments of contracts and is in addition to any existing federal or provincial income taxes incurred from the sale of the property, including the federal anti-flipping tax. Exemptions will be available for certain life circumstances that might motivate the sale of a property within two years, including for added supply through the creation of rental accessory dwelling units. 

The BCREA Economics Department’s preliminary analysis estimates the flipping tax will decrease home sales by between 1-2 per cent over a three-year period. Given the relatively small impact, prices and housing attainability are essentially unchanged by the tax. This is unsurprising, given that short-term flipping represents a low share of sales activity (less than 2 per cent in both Vancouver and Victoria). 

However, because the government has now implemented a disincentive to sell within a two-year period after purchasing, there will be some potential sellers that are prompted to delay listing, resulting in a lower level of listings inventory than without the tax. As a result, home prices may increase with the flipping tax compared to a no-tax baseline. Ultimately, the only way to prevent harmful short-term speculation in the housing market is to ensure housing is abundant. Our team plans to continue to analyze the flipping tax and provide updates when available. 

Property Transfer Tax Exemptions 

In principle, BCREA supports reduced property transfer taxes for first-time home buyers and people purchasing newly constructed homes. However, while we're in favour of measures that increase first-time home buyers’ abilities to purchase properties, it's critically important that housing supply is increased so they aren’t caught in bidding wars to acquire those homes. More detail is needed on property transfer tax exemption for purpose-built rentals to understand its impact on housing attainability for British Columbians. 

BCREA will continue to advocate for more thoughtful and evidence-based policies that can genuinely move the needle on housing attainability and alleviate the housing crisis facing British Columbians. 

In early March, BCREA and delegates from real estate boards across the province will be taking part in our annual Government Liaison (GL) Days in Victoria. During this time, we will be meeting with MLA’s representing all parties and advocating for the establishment of a permanent housing roundtable where stakeholders such as BCREA can advise on housing policy prior to its introduction and implementation. Stay tuned to BCREA channels for more details about GL Days. 

If you have any questions or comments, please please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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Canadian prices, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose 2.9 per cent on a year-over-year basis in January, down from a 3.4% increase in December. Month-over-month, on a seasonally adjusted basis, CPI declined by 0.1 per cent in January, the first decline since May of 2020. Gasoline base-year effects contributed to the decline. Excluding energy costs, CPI rose 3.3 per cent year-over-year in January, down from 3.7 per cent in December. Decelerating food costs also contributed to the slowing in the CPI, with food prices rising by 3.4 per cent in January compared to 4.7 per cent in December. Shelter costs, however, continue to be a major driver of inflation, with mortgage interest costs up 27.4 per cent and rent up 7.9 per cent from last year in January. Excluding shelter, consumer prices rose 1.5 per cent, year over year. In BC, consumer prices rose 3 per cent year-over-year. The Bank of Canada's preferred measures of core inflation, which strip out volatile components, fell to between 3.3 and 3.4 per cent per cent year-over-year in January. 

January's CPI report contained unexpectedly good news, with the annual change in prices technically falling within the Bank of Canada's 1 to 3 per cent target range and declining month-over-month on a seasonally adjusted basis for the first time since the start of the pandemic. While volatile gas prices contributed to the decline, easing price pressures in other areas also reduced pressure on the CPI. Food price appreciation has been easing over the past 12 months and is now not far above historical norms. The category that remains the most challenging is shelter, with rents in particular so far showing no sign of slowing. Overall, January was an encouraging report, and markets shifted their expectations of rate cuts forward slightly, with cuts expected to begin in Q2. However, the Bank of Canada will be looking to see a sustained trend in inflation in the coming months before they will be comfortable initiating rate cuts.

Link: https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/canadian-inflation-january-2024-february-20-2024

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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Canadian housing starts fell 10 per cent to 223,589 units in January at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). Starts were up 7 per cent from the same month last year. Single-detached housing starts rose 4 per cent from last month to 54,248 units, while multi-family and others fell 14 per cent to 169,341 units (SAAR). 

In British Columbia, starts fell 50 per cent from last month to 31,088 units SAAR in all areas of the province. In areas in the province with 10,000 or more residents, single-detached starts rose 3 per cent to 4,742 units while multi-family starts shrank 56 per cent to 24,206 units. Starts in the province were 39 per cent below the levels from January 2023. Starts fell from last month by 22.3k units in Vancouver, 5.5k in Victoria, and 2.8k in Kelowna while rising by 1.0k in Abbotsford. The 6-month moving average trend in BC fell by 5.8 per cent from last month to 46,902 SAAR. 

Link: https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/canadian-housing-starts-january-2024

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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Vancouver, BC –  February, 2024. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 3,979 residential unit sales were recorded in Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) systems in January 2024, an increase of 29.4 per cent from January 2023. The average MLS® residential price in BC in January 2024 was up 10.5 per cent at $957,909 compared to an average price of $866,922, the low-point for average prices over the past two years. The total sales dollar volume was $3.8 billion, an increase of 42.9 per cent from the same time in the previous year. 


"Home sales are on a clear uptrend to start 2024," said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. "A sharp decline in fixed mortgage rates and expectations for future Bank of Canada rate cuts is driving sentiment in the market and bringing pent-up demand off the sidelines."   The total number of active listings, though up year-over-year, remains relatively low by historical standards. New listings activity has shown signs of normalizing following a down year in 2023. A steady pace of new inventory will be crucial in keeping markets balanced as sales accelerate. 

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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Canadian employment rose by 0.2 per cent in January to 20.362 million. The unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage points to 5.7 per cent. Average hourly wages rose 5.3 per cent year-over-year to $34.75 last month, while total hours worked were up 1.1 per cent from January of last year.

Employment in BC fell 0.1 per cent to 2.84 million, while employment in Metro Vancouver fell 0.4 per cent to 1.61 million in January. The unemployment rate fell 0.1 points in BC to 5.4 per cent while falling in Metro Vancouver at 5.5 per cent. 


For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

Link: https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/canadian-employment-january-2023-february-9th-2024

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Canadian real GDP grew 0.2 per cent in November, following three consecutive months of essentially zero growth. The growth was driven by the goods-producing sectors, which rose by 0.6 per cent. Manufacturing jumped 0.9 per cent in November, led by growth in chemical manufacturing as a number of plants resumed production following maintenance. The resilience of the US economy, as well as the end of a strike by Saint Lawrence seaway employees, likely buoyed exports. Construction activity fell by 0.2 per cent overall, while residential construction rose by just 0.3 per cent, slowing from a burst of construction over the summer and fall. Offices of real estate agents and brokers fell for the fifth consecutive month, dropping 1.3 per cent as home resales remained soft amid elevated borrowing costs. Preliminary estimates suggest that output in the Canadian economy rose 0.3 per cent in December.

Following a period of essentially zero growth in real GDP from the early spring to late fall, November's GDP read, alongside December's preliminary estimate, offers hope that the Canadian economy can find its footing and resume growth. If the December preliminary estimate is accurate, real GDP will have expanded by 0.3 per cent in the fourth quarter and by 1.5 per cent in 2023 as a whole. Although growth remains slow, it is encouraging to note that the economy is still growing in contrast to widely held expectations of a recession. Financial markets continue to expect that rate cuts will begin in the spring and accumulate into the summer. The next rate announcement is on next Wednesday, March 6th. Link:

https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/canadian-real-gdp-growth-november-2023

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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