Metro Vancouver housing prices will continue to rise after the COVID-19 pandemic, creating a drag on sales growth as homebuyers’ budgets shrink, according to the Canada Mortgage Housing Corp.’s spring outlook Thursday.

CMHC senior analyst Braden Batch predicted that Metro’s housing market will face the same housing affordability and supply-shortage challenges that existed pre-pandemic.

He said demand for housing in Vancouver last year went in two different directions: demand for home ownership expanded, and demand for rental housing receded.

The COVID-19 lockdown resulted in a major decline in the typical flow of migrants into the Vancouver region, especially very young adults and students, while lower mortgage rates triggered a burst of move-up and first-time buyers entering a market that was already experiencing dwindling inventories before 2020, added Batch.

“Vancouver’s housing market will adjust to reopening borders and development in fu...

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One third of BC residents live in a strata home, whether it’s a condo, townhouse, or multi-plex unit.

Strata homes are usually more affordable than their single-family counterparts. They can also lessen the burdens of home ownership, with strata residents sharing responsibilities for things like maintenance, snow shoveling, and security. And while these homes tend to be smaller, they may also have access to amenities like a pool or gym. 

If you’re looking to own a strata home, make sure you’re familiar with related terminology. Here’s a guide to some of those terms.

Strata

In a strata development, the parts created for individual ownership are called “strata lots.” Informally, these lots are referred to as a “strata unit” or a “condominium.” The rest of the development consists of common property. Strata housing can include: condos, townhouses, and multiplexes.

Strata corporation

Strata owners own their individual strata lots...
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Metro Vancouver’s real estate market has been picking up steam since last fall, culminating in record sales and new listing activity last month. In an active market like this, seeking professional advice from a REALTOR® is more important than ever.

With this in mind, the Real Estate Council of BC (Council) and the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) released a joint statement advising home buyers and sellers to seek professional advice, do their research, and understand the risks involved before buying or selling a home.

Seek professional advice about potential home-buying risks

Today’s market is marked by subject-free offers, intense competition for properties via multiple offers, and properties selling faster than usual. 

Under these conditions, home buyers may feel the need to make quicker and perhaps riskier decisions.

Council and OSRE are advising home buyers...

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Tony Gioventu doesn’t like referring to surging insurance costs facing B.C. strata corporations and condo owners as a perfect storm.

“It’s a bad description,” said the executive director of the Condominium Home Owners Association of BC.

Instead, Gioventu said a series of factors – many of which are global – have been compounding since late 2019 to create what he describes as a “nasty little storm” for British Columbians.

A February report from LowestRates.ca, which allows users to compare insurance, mortgage, credit card and loan rates, revealed condo insurance premiums in B.C. increased 18% between 2019’s fourth quarter and 2020’s fourth quarter.

According to LowestRates.ca’s estimates, about half of British Columbians live in strata housing, which can cover everything from condos to townhouses (the provinces pegs it closer to just under one-third of the population).

A December 2020 BC Financial Services Authority report...

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VANCOUVER -- The province announced the "first steps" of its plan to address B.C.'s rising strata insurance rates Tuesday morning.

The changes are meant to bring transparency to the industry, close loopholes surrounding depreciation reports and help strata owners and corporations more information when it comes to making decisions, the province says.

Rising strata insurance rates are a major financial pressure during what is an already challenging time, Finance Minister Carole James said.

"This is an extremely complex issue playing out in the private insurance industry, but that doesn't lessen our government's commitment to doing what we can to make the situation better," James said.

She said the province first became aware of "significant shifts" in insurance premiums late last year, that went "well beyond...

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Experts in the real estate industry say CMHC’s new, strict lending measures will trigger a surge in home purchase volume as potential home buyers rush to the mortgage market before July 1, when these policies take effect.

“Whenever there has been a deadline given for a major mortgage rule change,” Ron Butler, mortgage broker at Butler Mortgage, told Yahoo Finance Canada “there has been a distinctly accelerated pace of transactions prior to that change.” Butler described that this has been the case with any rule change that was not immediately invoked.

CMHC’s new measures, which include at least one applicant having a minimum credit score of 680 and a maximum debt service ratio of 44 and gross debt service ratio of 35, mean that prospective home buyers who don’t meet the new requirements have a tight deadline to meet.

It’s an issue that resonates with Jivan Sanghera, mortgage broker at Circle Mortgage Group. Sanghera described a family...

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The British Columbia Real Estate Association estimates that economic growth will remain strong enough to support a boost in sales next year after a substantial decline in 2018, according to its latest forecast.

When the dust settles at the end of this year, association chief economist Cameron Muir expects sales recorded through the Multiple Listing Service will have fallen 23 per cent to 80,000 transactions, compared with 103,768 in 2017.

“However, continuing strong performance in the economy combined with favourable demographics is expected to push home sales above their 10-year average in 2019,” Muir said Thursday in releasing the forecast.

Province wide, Muir’s forecast is for sales to rise 12 per cent to almost 90,000 units, but with a record number of new homes under construction and high levels of inventory, home prices will be more in keeping with inflation.

In Metro Vancouver, that is likely to mean sales in the region covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater...

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B.C.'s provincial government says the constitutional challenge put forward by a foreign homebuyer on Metro Vancouver's 15 per cent foreign homebuyers tax is "of questionable merit" and can be resolved without undertaking a full trial.

The provincial government has responded to the potential class action lawsuit launched  last September by lead plaintiff Jing Li, a university student from the People's Republic of China now living in Burnaby.

Li says she was caught by the 15 per cent foreign buyers tax — which the province implemented last August to slow down the region's red-hot real estate market — which added $84,000 to the price of a townhouse she had attempted to buy in Langley.

In her claim, Li alleged the province had acted beyond its powers by applying the tax and alleged it had violated foreign treaties and international obligations the federal government had made to other nations.

In an amended claim submitted...

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The Bank of Canada held the target for the overnight rate at ½% Wednesday.

Canada’s economy shrank in Q2, according to the BoC; however it’s still predicting a bounce back by the end of the year.

“Second-quarter GDP was pulled down by the Alberta wildfires in May and by a drop in exports that was larger and more broad-based than expected,” the Bank of Canada said in its announcement. “Exports disappointed even after accounting for weaker business and residential investment in the United States, adjustments in the resource sector, and cutbacks in auto production.”

Oil production is expected to rebound and rebuilding within Alberta is predicted to start in Q3

“As federal infrastructure spending starts to have more impact, growth in the fourth quarter is projected to remain above potential,” the Bank said. “While the strength in exports during July was encouraging, the ground lost over previous months raises the possibility that the...
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VANCOUVER – Home sales in the Vancouver area posted their second-highest ever November sales as they climbed 40.1 per cent compared with a year ago.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says home sales on the Multiple Listing Service in Metro Vancouver totalled 3,524 last month.

That was up from 2,516 a year ago and down slightly from 3,646 in October.

“The ratio of sales to home’s available for sale reached 44 per cent in November, which is the highest it’s been in our market in nine years.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver amounted to 3,392 in November compared with 3,016 in the same month last year.

The strength in the Vancouver market has continued even as the housing market in many areas of the country has cooled with the economy.

The sales for November...

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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.