Canadian Inflation – January, 2019

Canadian inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), registered 2 per cent in the twelve months to December, a slight uptick from 1.7 per cent in November. Lower energy prices were offset by an increase in air transportation, and telephone services. Excluding the impact of falling gasoline prices, consumer prices were up 2.5 per cent. The Bank of Canada’s three measures of trend inflation were all unchanged, averaging 1.9 per cent. In BC, provincial consumer price inflation was 3 per cent in the 12 months to December.

With core inflation trending sideways and the economy expected to slow this year, the odds of further Bank of Canada tightening this year are diminishing, which is being reflected by lower 5-year yields in the Canadian bond market. That should result in a dip in Canadian mortgage rates relatively soon, which would provide a much needed boost to a housing market still struggling with the impact of the mortgage stress test.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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.