Canadian Housing Starts – July, 2019

Canadian housing starts surpassed market expectations with a 25% monthly increase in June to 245,657 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The trend in Canadian housing starts was up, averaging 205,838 units SAAR over the past six months, which is a robust trend.

In BC, total housing starts were up by 12% on a monthly basis to 60,023 units SAAR. Compared to the same time last year, total starts were up 76%. On a monthly basis, starts of multi-units and single detached units were up by 13% and 6%, respectively.

Looking at census metropolitan areas in BC:

Total starts in Vancouver were down by 3% in June at 41,504 units SAAR, following a 25% increase in the previous month. The decline in multi-unit starts (-3%) more than offset the increase in single detached starts (1%). Compared to last year in June, housing starts in Vancouver were up 143% driven by the multi-unit segment.

In Victoria, housing starts were up by 6% on a monthly basis to 2,462 units SAAR. Compared to a year ago, housing starts are down by 59%.

In Kelowna, housing starts increased by 177% in June to 2,902 units SAAR, rebounding from low levels the previous month. Year-over-year, total starts were down by 19% as inventory of unsold units accumulate, constraining further new construction projects. This is the risk we outlined when the provincial speculation tax was introduced.

Monthly housing starts in Abbotsford-Mission were down by 55% at 806 units SAAR. However, on a year-over-year basis, new home construction was up by 46% due to strong multi-unit starts.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

Help Children Gain Perspective

Sometimes, a bit of perspective is all that someone needs to overcome conflict in their life. The next time you see a young person you care about struggling with conflict, see if talking it out can help them gain perspective and come up with solutions. Ask them the following and see what comes up in conversation:

• Do you dislike the other person?
• Do you distrust him or her?
• Do you want to “win”?

Answering “Yes” to any of these questions may be a signal that they’re overreacting to personal issues.

Canadian Employment – July, 2019

Canadian employment was essentially unchanged in June after adding 27,000 jobs in May. The unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage points to 5.5 per cent as the number of people looking for work increased. Total Canadian employment was up by 132,000 job in the second quarter, almost all of which was in full-time work.

In BC, employment fell by 3,700 jobs, the first monthly decline in employment since October 2018. The provincial unemployment rate rose 0.2 point higher to 4.5 per cent. Compared to one year ago, employment in BC is up 4.4 per cent or 109,000 jobs.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

The Dog Days Of Summer

The dog days of summer are upon us. The thermometer is creeping up and everyone is hot, and hopefully happy. Those dog days aren’t named for a warm pooch sleeping off the hot day in the shade, however. They’re named for the constellation Sirius, Orion’s dog chasing him across the night sky and bringing the heat of July with him.

Just as those astronomers watched a dog dash through the sky in advance of a heat wave, so can you. However, instead of watching the sky and learning its patterns, what if you watch the sky and chart your own course?

This July is the perfect month for planning. Some people use vision boards; some use a more modern app; some simply leave a few pages torn from magazines up on the refrigerator so that those ideas have to be acknowledged every time they open the door to get a snack. No matter what method you choose, please choose one.

Find the way that you best collect your ideas during these long, warm days. I’m talking about watch-the-clouds, dream big, isolate your deepest wishes for personal and professional fulfillment. Some of the best ideas are born out of doing absolutely nothing. Let the summer heat slow you down to stillness so that all you have to do is focus and see where your imagination takes you.

What better thing could you attribute to the dog days of summer than to look back in six months and observe how you planned your own path for growth back in July? With the need to daydream your best version of your life into existence, I hope that you find time to just sit and be this summer.

Best wishes to you on your path!

Night Owls & Early Birds

The early bird gets the worm… as well as other benefits, according to a story on the New York Post website. A survey of sleep habits involving 2,000 people found that selfidentified early birds generally make more money, are more likely to work in an office setting, and describe themselves as happy. They’re also more likely to be married with children in their home.

On the other hand, night owls are typically shy and sarcastic, more likely to believe in ghosts, and are more often single.
Both groups actually sleep about the same amount— seven hours a night for early birds and six hours for night owls. However, early birds are light sleepers and they tend to feel more well-rested.

Mortgage Rate Forecast (June 2019)

The June issue of Mortgage Rate Forecast is now available on BCREA Online.

•Mortgage rates return to 2017 levels
•Canadian economy falters in first quarter
•Time for the Bank of Canada to cut rates?

Download (PDF, 319KB)

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

Canadian Monthly GDP (April 2019) – June, 2019

There are positive signs that the Canadian economy is bouncing back after six months of  slow growth. Output in the the Canadian economy rose 0.3 per cent in April following growth of 0.5 per cent in March.   The rise in GDP was the result higher output in the mining and oil and gas sectors and well as increasing wholesale trade and construction spending. Output of offices of real estate agents and brokers was up 1.3 per cent in April due to increased resale activity, largely in Ontario.

With today’s GDP report, we are tracking second quarter growth in the Canadian economy at 2.5 per cent, a major improvement from the sub-1 per cent growth of the first quarter.

For more information, please contact:  Gino Pezzani.

Not Your Usual Safe Deposit Box

Looking for someplace to hide a precious heirloom? Try some of these quirky places:

•Bookcases. Many bookcases have a few extra inches of space beneath the bottom shelf, hidden behind some molding. Remove the molding and store valuables there.

•Ironing Boards. You can hide important documents between the board and the padding. Also, the hollow area inside the legs can be used to store rolled-up cash or small items.

•Spice Jars. Pour the spice into a bowl, then coat the inside of the jar with glue. Refill the jar, then empty it again. Make sure the jar looks like it’s full of oregano (or whatever you used) and place money, credit cards or other valuables inside.

•Trash Cans. Place important items at the bottom, then use a liner to conceal them.

•Vents. Your heating and air-conditioning vents can make useful hiding places.

•The Hamper. Nobody likes to dig through dirty laundry… not even thieves.

Unique Vacation Ideas

Thinking of taking a summer vacation? Check out these top trends for vacation plans!

• Unique accommodations, including RVs, castles, luxury tents, islands and treehouses.

• Hotels with unusual offerings such as art classes for guests, outdoor showers and pet-friendly accommodations.

• Food tours of a particular region or type of cuisine with personal instruction from a local chef so you can duplicate delicious dishes when you get back home.

• Wellness vacations with limited access to technology, a focus on personal nutrition rather than indulgence, and scheduled time with a personal trainer.

• Packages that promise a new skill such as learning how to surf or a few weeks dedicated to a language immersion program.

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