The May Housing Market issue of The Bulletin

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Canadian Retail Sales – May 2016

After starting the year with two consecutive months of increases, Canadian retail sales declined 1 per cent in March. Sales were lower in  6 of 11 subsectors with the largest declines coming in the motor vehicle sector due to a drop in new car sales. With today’s release, first quarter real GDP growth in Canada is tracking at 3.4 per cent, a significant improvement from just 0.8 per cent growth in the fourth quarter of 2015.

In BC, retail sales declined 1.1 per cent on a monthly basis but were up a 4.9 per cent compared to March 2015. Thanks to strong consumer demand and a blistering pace of residential construction, the BC economy is off to a very strong start in 2016, with growth in the early months tracking at more than 3 per cent on an annualized basis.

For more information, please contact:  Gino Pezzani.


Canadian Manufacturing Sales – May, 2016

Canadian manufacturing sales fell for a second consecutive month, declining 0.8 per cent from February to March Sales were lower in 16 of 21 industries with most of the decline due to weak sales in the transportation equipment and primary metals industries. In inflation adjusted terms, sales were actually up 0.1 per cent, indicating the the unit volume of sales actually increased while dollar sales were impacted by lower prices.

In BC, where the manufacturing sector employs approximately 170,000 people, sales jumped 2.9 per cent on a monthly basis and were up 3 per cent year-over-year. Strong manufacturing sales in March adds further evidence that the BC economy is on track to post significant economic growth this year. Following consecutive years of real GDP growing at 3 per cent or more, we are currently tracking economic growth in the province at a Canada leading 3.3 per cent.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

BC Home Sales Continue to Smash Record Book

Vancouver, BC – May, 2016. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a record 12,969 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April, up 30.3 per cent from the same month last year. Home sales last month beat March’s record of 12,560 units. Total sales dollar volume was $9.64 billion in April, up 52.7 per cent compared to the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was up 17.2 per cent year-over-year, to $743,640.1

“Housing demand is exceptionally strong across the southern regions of the province,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Consumers appear to be particularly active in the Vancouver Island, the Fraser Valley and the Thompson/Okanagan regions.“

“Strong employment growth is helping underpin consumer confidence,” added Muir. The BC economy employed more than 78,000 additional workers during the first four months of the year, an increase of 3.5 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume increased 64.3 per cent to $31.2 billion, when compared with the same period in 2015. Residential unit sales climbed by 36.2 per cent to 28,028 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 20.6 per cent to $761,860.

For more information, please contact:  Gino Pezzani.

BC government announces new contract assignment regulations

The provincial government announced new rules regulating contract assignments earlier today.

The new rules will require real estate contracts to include two terms: one requiring seller’s consent to assign the contract, and one requiring that any profit from an assignment goes to the initial seller.

Clients can instruct REALTORS® to omit or change these clauses.

These regulations will apply to all offers starting May 16, 2016.

The buyer’s Realtor will also be required to inform the seller if one, or both, of these clauses are removed from their offer. The seller’s Realtor must also disclose if the proposed contract is assignable or not – including any conditions that would be applicable to the assignment.

This is done through the new “Notice to Seller Regarding Assignment Terms” created by The Real Estate Council. This notice must be presented at the same time as the contract to either the seller’s Realtor, or directly to the seller.

These regulations apply to both residential and commercial transactions, with the exception of development units as defined by section 1 of the Real Estate Development Marketing Act.

BCREA will update WEBForms® with both the new Notice to Seller Regarding Assignment Terms form and revised Contracts of Purchase and Sale. Updates to PDP courses and an applicable webinar will be coming shortly.

We’ll provide more information on these changes in the next edition of our newsletter.