In October, housing starts and new listings in BC were flat, while home sales began rising again. Rising sales in all regions of the province reversed the “calming trend” which had occurred since peaks in March. Rental rates remain elevated and continue to trend upwards in Victoria and Vancouver relative to pre-pandemic levels amid generally high consumer price appreciation.
 
Retail sales in BC rose in September to a fresh record, with sales 6.7 per cent above the same month last year. As of November, restaurant reservations in Vancouver are near the highest level since the onset of the pandemic, at roughly 80 per cent of the pre-pandemic level. This contrasts with a drop in reservations in Montreal and Toronto relative to post-pandemic peaks in late August. In BC, Google’s measure of movement trends remains high, although below the peak in late summer, currently about 14 per cent below pre-pandemic levels. This easing in movement is due in part to seasonality.
 
Although aggregate employment in BC has recovered to pre-pandemic levels, the accommodation and food service sector is about 13 per cent below the pre-pandemic level. The labour market has served high-income workers much better than low-income workers. Employment in high-income industries is about 9 per cent above pre-pandemic employment levels, while employment in low-income industries is about 5 per cent below pre-pandemic employment levels.
 
Manufacturing in BC rose slightly in September but remains below its peak due to a drop in the value of wood product sales. Exports in the province remained flat in September, while imports rose 3 per cent to a new record. Business confidence retreated slightly in October in BC, while consumer confidence rose slightly. Tourists into BC continued to rise after Americans were allowed to enter the country in August, hitting roughly 32 per cent of the February 2020 level in September. 
 
For a more comprehensive overview of BC's economic recovery, click here.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.
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Canadian housin

g starts declined for the fifth consecutive month in October, but remain somewhat strong compared to typical pre-pandemic activity. Housing starts decreased by 13.4k to 236.6k units (-5.3% m/m) in October at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate (SAAR). Comparing year-over-year, starts were up modestly from October of 2020 (4.1% y/y). Single-detached housing starts dipped 3.7% in October to 73.4k, while multi-family and others declined 6% to 163.2k (SAAR). 

In British Columbia, starts were essentially unchanged in October, maintaining the level of 35.9k units SAAR in all areas of the province. Single-detached starts dropped 5.6% m/m to 7.5k units while multi-family starts offset this drop with a 5.9% rise to 25k units. Starts in the province remained 9.2% above the levels from October 2020. BC's six-month moving average for starts declined slightly, but remains elevated by historical standards. 

Link: https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/canadian-housing-starts-october-2021

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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Canadian prices, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose 4.7% on a year-over-year basis in October, rising at the fastest rate since 2003. On a month-over-month basis, the CPI was up 0.7% in October. The Bank of Canada's preferred measures of core inflation (which use techniques to strip out volatile elements) rose an average of 2.7% year-over-year in October. Major drivers of the year-over-year price increase included transportation prices (+10.1%), shelter (+4.8%) and food prices (+3.8%) partly on continuing supply-chain difficulties. In BC, consumer prices were up 0.43% month-over-month, and up 3.8% on a year-over-year basis. 

Inflation continues to run ahead of the Bank of Canada's 2 per cent target. The driving force behind rising prices in October was a 10% increase in transportation costs due to rising gasoline prices. Inflation from shelter costs was up month-over-month as home prices trended higher after flattening out over the summer. Those categories continue to account for about 60% of the year-over-year rise in consumer prices. We expect this elevated level of inflation to persist through next year before prices begin moderating. The Bank of Canada is clearly concerned about rising consumer prices and have signaled that it will begin raising its policy rate in the second or third quarter of 2022.

Link: https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/canadian-inflation-october-2021

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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Vancouver, BC – November, 2021. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total 9,593 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October 2021, a decrease of 13.7 per cent from October 2020. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $964,777, an 18.9 per cent increase from $811,307 recorded in October 2020. Total sales dollar volume was $9.3 billion, a 2.6 per cent decline from the same time last year. 

“The story across the province continues to be the record low number of listings,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “Rising mortgage rates should start to temper sales activity next year, but even with a moderation in demand it will take quite some time for the inventory of homes to return to a healthy level.”

Total active residential listings were down nearly 40 per cent year-over-year in October, falling to an all-time record low for the province. Active listings have now fallen for five consecutive months on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume is up 69.7 per cent to $99.6 billion compared to the same period in 2020. Residential unit sales were up 42.8 per cent to 108,798 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 18.8 per cent to $915,833. 

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

For the complete news release, including detailed statistics, click here.

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