Steve Flynn  RE/MAX Crest Realty- Burnaby 

Cell: 604.785.3977 |

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For the second time this month, the Bank of Canada has lowered its overnight policy rate before its regularly scheduled announcement date, taking the overnight rate down a further 50 basis points to 0.25 per cent.  That level is what the Bank considers its effective lower bound, meaning it can not reduce rates further without potentially disrupting key short-term funding markets.

The Bank also announced two new programs to ensure the continued smooth functioning of credit markets and to promote credit availability.  The first, the Commercial Paper Purchase Program, is targeted at alleviating strains in the short-term funding market  and the second entails the Bank purchasing Government of Canada bonds in the secondary market. The latter program is a type of what is generally called "quantitative easing" though the Bank's program is targeted at all maturities, rather than longer term yields as in traditional quantitative easing.


All of these actions represent a serious and significant amount of firepower aimed at keeping the Canadian financial system and credit markets functioning during this extraordinary time.  If successful, we should see currently elevated risk spreads on mortgage products start to decline, reversing recent increases in Canadian mortgage rates.



Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.


 
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A weak report to start off 2020. Seasonally-adjusted Canadian retail sales were up by 0.4% in January at $52 billion. The rise in January was driven by auto dealers and gas stations. Minus these two sub-sectors and sales were down 0.3% in the month. Sales were up in 4 of 11 sub-sectors, representing 48% of retail sales. The impact of COVID-19 on the retail sector will become more evident in the months to come. Statistics Canada notes that respondent comments for February shows that business activities have been impacted. 

Regionally, 8 of 10 provinces reported monthly increases in January. Notable increases were reported in Quebec (1.7%) and Alberta (1.6%). In contrast, retail sales were down in Ontario (-0.8%).

In BC, seasonally-adjusted retail sales were unchanged at $7.3 billion in January. Looking at the non-seasonally adjusted change shows a different picture. Retail sales in January were down from the previous month in all sub-sectors, except at auto dealers and gas stations. Meanwhile, Vancouver reported a monthly decrease of 1% in retail sales. Compared to the same time last year, BC retail sales were down by 0.4% in January.



Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.


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Canadian inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 2.2 per cent in February year-over-year, down from a 2.4 per cent increase in January. Excluding the impact of gasoline prices, national CPI rose by 2.0 per cent year-over-year, matching last month's increase. Gas prices rose less on a year-over-year basis as a result of lower global demand following the COVID-19 spread, and tensions between oil-producing countries. The Bank of Canada's three measures of trend inflation was unchanged, averaging 2.0 per cent in February. Prices rose in seven of eight major components, led by transportation (4.4%) and shelter (2.3%). 

In B.C., CPI grew to 2.4 per cent year-over-year, slightly above last month's increase of 2.3 per cent. Notable increases in prices were for recreation (2.0%) and gas (1.7%), where the increase for gas was largely due to the regional Pacific Northwest market. In contrast, prices for food was the only componenet to report a price decline (-0.5%). 

Given recent events around the spread and containment efforts of COVID-19 (e.g., temporary closure of stores and service providers), continued tensions between oil-producing countries, the lowering of interest rates, and disruptions to global supply chains, we expect significant impact on prices going forward. 



Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.


 


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I have listed a new property at 705 3520 CROWLEY DR in Vancouver.
OPEN & bright bachelor suite in VANCOUVER! Very efficient 412 sq ft, w/new kitchen w/s-s appliances & granite c-tops + in-suite laundry. Good-sized balcony facing west. Great VIEWS of Gaston Park & city & peek-a-boo mountain view. Very well-maintained building & proactive strata. Amenities incl: gym & lounge & outdoor mini park. Excellent location, everything is within 5-10 min walk: Skytrain, groceries, banks, cafes, parks, etc. Pets & rentals allowed! Viewings by appointment only, no Open Houses, thanks.
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Today, in an emergency inter-meeting policy action, the Bank of Canada again lowered its overnight rate by 50 basis points to 0.75 per cent. This follows the previous cut to 1.25 per cent on March 4, 2020. This move is in response to the spread of COVID-19, which according to the Bank is "having serious consequences for Canadian families, and for Canada's economy". In its statement, the Bank noted that lower interest rates will help to support confidence in households by lowering borrowing costs for new purchases and for those renewing their mortgages. Additionally, lower prices for oil will weigh heavily on the economy. 

We expect this rate cut to be followed by an additional reduction of the Bank's overnight rate at its April 2020 meeting. 



Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.


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Canadian housing starts decreased by 1.9% m/m in February to 210,069 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The decrease was driven by Quebec. The trend in national housing starts fell, averaging about 209,000 units SAAR over the past six months. 

In BC, housing starts rose by 52% m/m to 39,968 units SAAR, which follows last month's 39% decline. Increases were reported in both the single detached (23%) and multi-unit (66%) segments. The value of building permits in the province also increased, suggesting housing starts will continue to pick-up. Compared to the same time last year, provincial starts were up by 3%.  

Looking at census metropolitan areas in BC: 

- Housing starts in Vancouver were up by 56% in February to 20,573 units SAAR. The increase was driven mostly by the multi-unit segment (64%), while singles were also up (27%). Compared to last year in February, housing starts were down by 18%.  

- In Victoria, housing starts were up by 778% m/m to 5,897 units SAAR, which follows last month's very low 672 units. Compared to a year ago in February, housing starts were up by 42%.  

- In Kelowna, housing starts increased by 144% m/m to 3,883 units SAAR. The increase was due to the volatile multi-unit segment. Year-over-year starts were up by 1,129% in the region. 

- Monthly housing starts in Abbotsford-Mission were down by 9% at 2,727 units SAAR. Compared to the same time last year, new home construction was up by 82%.  



Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.



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Canadian employment was little changed in February, increasing by 30,000 jobs (0.2%). The unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 5.6%, as more people searched for work. This report does not yet account for impacts arising from COVID-19 due to the survey's timing. 

Regionally, increases were primarily in Quebec (20,000), Alberta (11,000), Nova Scotia (3,700) and Manitoba (3,200). In February, more people were employed in wholesale and retail trade, in manufacturing, and in information, culture and recreation. Compared to the same month last year, Canadian employment was up by 1.3%.   

Meanwhile, employment in BC fell by 6,500 jobs (-0.3%) in February, following last month's increase of 3,400 jobs. Part-time work was the main driver of the decrease. By industry, employment losses were reported in two-thirds of the sub-sectors. The provincial unemployment rate rose by 0.5 percentage points to 5.0%. Compared to one year ago, employment in BC is down by 0.4% (11,400) jobs. 



Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.



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The Bank of Canada lowered its overnight rate by 50 basis points this morning to 1.25 per cent.  This move is part of a coordinated action by global central banks to guard against the negative consequences of the Coronavirus outbreak.  In its statement, the Bank noted that although the Canadian economy is operating near potential and inflation is at its 2 per cent target, the Coronavirus is a material and negative shock to the Canadian and global outlook.

Economic growth in Canada slowed sharply to end 2019 and supply chain disruptions due to both Coronavirus and interrupted rail service are expected to slow growth further in the first quarter of this year.

Canadian bond yields have  declined significantly with 5-year bond yields falling below 1% for the first time since 2017.  Both variable and 5-year fixed qualifying mortgage rates will likely follow bond yields lower,  though elevated risk spreads may delay banks and other lenders in lowering mortgage rates in the immediate term.



Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.


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Steady demand and low supply benefits home sellers across Metro Vancouver*:

 

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,150 in February 2020, a 44.9 per cent increase from the 1,484 sales recorded in February 2019, and a 36.9 per cent increase from the 1,571 homes sold in January 2020.

 

Last month’s sales were 15.6 per cent below the 10-year February sales average. “Home buyer demand again saw strong year-over-year increases in February while the total inventory of homes for sale struggled to keep pace,” Ashley Smith, REBGV president said. “This was most pronounced in the condominium market.”

 

There were 4,002 detached, attached and apartment homes newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in February 2020. This represents a 2.8 per cent increase compared to the 3,892 homes listed in February 2019 and a 3.4 per cent increase compared to January 2020 when 3,872 homes were listed.

 

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 9,195, a 20.7 per cent decrease compared to February 2019 (11,590) and a 6.7 per cent increase compared to January 2020 (8,617).

 

"Our Realtors are reporting increased traffic at open houses and multiple offer scenarios in certain pockets of the market. If you’re considering listing your home for sale, now is a good time to act with increased demand, reduced competition from other sellers, and some upward pressure on prices," says Smith.

 

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for February 2020 is 23.4 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 17.3 per cent for detached homes, 26.9 per cent for townhomes, and 28.4 per cent for apartments. Generally, analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

 

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,020,600. This represents a 0.3 per cent increase over February 2019 and a 2.7 per cent increase over the past six months.

 

Sales of detached homes in February 2020 reached 685, a 52.9 per cent increase from the 448 detached sales recorded in February 2019. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,433,900. This represents a 0.7 per cent decrease from February 2019 and a 1.9 per cent increase over the past six months.

 

Sales of apartment homes reached 1,061 in February 2020, a 39.8 per cent increase compared to the 759 sales in February 2019. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $677,200. This represents a 0.9 per cent increase from February 2019 and a 3.6 per cent increase over the past six months.

 

Attached home sales in February 2020 totalled 404, a 45.8 per cent increase compared to the 277 sales in February 2019. The benchmark price of an attached home is $785,000. This represents a 0.6 per cent increase from February 2019 and a 1.7 per cent increase over the past six months.



Areas covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, South Delta, Squamish, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver, West Vancouver, and Whistler.



Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.



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I have sold a property at 11 628 MCCOMBS DR in Harrison.
Impressive 1,986 sq/ft of luxury living! 11' ceilings in the Foyer and Great Room featuring a floor to ceiling stone fireplace with wood mantle. Roomy master bedroom boasts walk in with custom closet organizers, & ensuite with double sinks, in floor heat, quartz counters & stylish tile. Custom kitchen cabinetry with under counter lighting, quartz counters and a spacious island. Upstairs offers large bedroom, rec-room & 4 piece bath, perfect for guests. Spacious covered patio for entertaining, and a fully fenced and landscaped yard. Double garage plus 20' driveway. This unit will be completed end of April 2020. Measurements taken from plans, verify if deemed important.
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I have sold a property at 2064 CONCORD AVE in Coquitlam.
LOVELY 5 bed, 3 bath, 2630 sq ft rancher w/carport & full basement on CUL DE SAC. Private & green setting w/lots of trees, gardening spots & patios/decks. All rooms nicely finished & well-maintained! Bright kitchen w/eating area. Din, liv room & mstr bedroom have great views w/access to 53' deck. Wood-burning fireplace in living room & rec room below! Rec room has its own entrance & kitchenette, rent as 1 or 2-bed suite! UPDATES: s/s kitch appliances & quartz countertops, main bathroom redone, ensuite powder room redone, new flooring throughout, new paint throughout, new blinds throughout. Roof is 9 yo, furnace is 12, hw tank is 4, wash/dryer are 2. Schools, shopping, recreation, Hwy 1 & Lougheed very close. Check the virtual tour! OPEN HOUSE: Feb 23, 2-4
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The Canadian economy slowed to 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2019, owing to a decrease in business investment and weak trade. Offsetting these declines were increased household spending. GDP growth ended 2019 with 1.6 per cent, a deceleration from the 2 per cent growth reported in 2018. 

We expect growth in the Canadian economy to continue to slow in the first part of 2020, as temporary factors (CN rail strike and COVID-19) and permanent factors (auto plant shutdowns) work their way through the economy.  



Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.


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Seasonally-adjusted Canadian retail sales were unchanged in December at $51.6 billion, after rising 1.1% in November. Higher sales at building material and garden equipment stores, and at food and beverage stores more than offset lower sales at auto dealers and gas stations. Sales were up in 7 of 11 sub-sectors, representing 49% of retail sales. 

Regionally, 8 of 10 provinces reported monthly increases in December. Notable increases were reported in Saskatchewan (2%) and Alberta (1%). In contrast, retail sales were down in Quebec (-1.4%).

In B.C., seasonally-adjusted retail sales rose by 0.1% to $7.3 billion in December. Increased sales were reported in the majority of sub-sectors with the exception of building material and garden equipment stores, as well as at auto dealers and gas stations. Meanwhile, Vancouver reported a monthly decrease of 1.1% in sales. Compared to the same time last year, B.C. retail sales were up by 1.5% in December.



Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.


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Canadian inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 2.4 per cent in January year-over-year, following a 2.2 per cent increase in December. Excluding the impact of higher gasoline prices, national CPI rose by 2.0 per cent year-over-year. The rise in gas prices in January were largely a function of concerns over global oil supplies in response to international political events. The Bank of Canada's three measures of trend inflation fell to average 2.0 per cent in January.

In B.C., CPI grew to 2.3 per cent year-over-year, above last month's increase of 2.1 per cent. Notable increases in prices were for gas and alcohol, tobacco and cannabis. In contrast, prices for household furnishings fell. 

Although the Bank of Canada has noted that inflation has been close to its target, the Bank will likely continue its cautious approach and look for major deterioration in other key economic indicators before deciding on a course of action at their next  interest rate announcement in March.



Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.




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Please visit our Open House at 2064 CONCORD AVE in Coquitlam.
Open House on Sunday, February 23, 2020 2:00PM - 4:00PM
LOVELY 5 bed, 3 bath, 2630 sq ft rancher w/carport & full basement on CUL DE SAC. Private & green setting w/lots of trees, gardening spots & patios/decks. All rooms nicely finished & well-maintained! Bright kitchen w/eating area. Din, liv room & mstr bedroom have great views w/access to 53' deck. Wood-burning fireplace in living room & rec room below! Rec room has its own entrance & kitchenette, add stove to make full kitchen & rent as 1 or 2-bed suite! UPDATES: s/s kitch appliances & quartz countertops, main bathroom redone, ensuite powder room redone, new flooring throughout, new paint throughout, new blinds throughout. Roof is 9 yo, furnace is 12, hw tank is 4, wash/dryer are 2. Schools, shopping, recreation, Hwy 1 & Lougheed very close. Check the virtual tour! OPEN HOUSE: Feb 23, 2-4
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I have sold a property at 7394 BRANDYWINE PL in Vancouver.
This home offers a great floor plan, an amazing fully fenced yard and a wonderful location in the upgraded Parklane complex. Currently with 2 very spacious bedrooms and big den, this floor plan can be modified for 3 or even 4 bedrooms and an additional bath. With over 2000 square feet on 3 levels this townhome is large and with its unfinished basement has the option for a family room, bathroom and 4th bedroom. Well maintained Parklane has recently been upgraded with new siding, doors and windows for years of carefree maintenance. It’s only minutes walk to downtown bus connections, parks and shopping. Come visit the Champlain Heights and discover it's quiet charm. A family complex with heated outdoor pool.
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Vancouver, BC – February 13, 2020. 


The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 4,426 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January 2020, an increase of 23.7 per cent from the 3,579 units sold in January 2019. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $725,370, a 9.1 per cent increase from $664,633 recorded the previous year. Total sales dollar volume in January was $3.2 billion, a 35 per cent increase over 2019.

“Housing markets in BC are off to a strong start in 2020,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “We expect a much more typical year of home sales in 2020 as markets recover from the policy-induced slowdown of the past two years.”

Total MLS® residential active listings fell 12.6 per cent to 25,790 units compared to the same month last year. The ratio of sales to active residential listings increased to 17.2 per cent from just 12.1 per cent last January. 

“While many markets are showing strong signs of recovery, the struggling forestry sector is having a clear impact on housing demand, particularly in the North and parts of Vancouver Island,” added Ogmundson.



Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.


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Please visit our Open House at 2064 CONCORD AVE in Coquitlam.
Open House on Sunday, February 16, 2020 2:00PM - 4:00PM
LOVELY 5 bed, 3 bath, 2600 sq ft, rancher w/carport & full basement on CUL DE SAC. Private & green setting w/lots of trees & gardening spots. All rooms nicely finished & well-maintained! Bright kitchen w/eating area. Din, liv room & mstr bedroom have great views w/access to 53' deck. Wood-burning fireplace in living room & rec room below! Rec room has its own entrance & kitchenette, add stove to make full kitchen & full 1 or 2-bed suite! UPDATES: s/s kitch appliances, cabinets & quartz countertops, main bathroom totally redone, new flooring throughout, new paint throughout, new blinds throughout. Roof is 9 yo, furnace is 12, hw tank is 4, washer/dryer are 2. City zoning allows for house up to 3200 sq ft. Schools, shopping, recreation & BOTH hwys very close! Check the virtual tour!
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I have listed a new property at 2064 CONCORD AVE in Coquitlam.
LOVELY 5 bed, 3 bath, 2600 sq ft, rancher w/carport & full basement on CUL DE SAC. Private & green setting w/lots of trees & gardening spots. All rooms nicely finished & well-maintained! Bright kitchen w/eating area. Din, liv room & mstr bedroom have great views w/access to 53' deck. Wood-burning fireplace in living room & rec room below! Rec room has its own entrance & kitchenette, just needs stove to make full kitchen & convert to 1 or 2-bed suite! UPDATES: s/s kitch appliances, cabinets & quartz countertops, main bathroom totally redone, new flooring throughout, new paint throughout, new blinds throughout. Roof is 9 yrs old, furnace is 12, hot water tank is 4, washer/dryer are 2. City zoning allows for house up to 3200 sq ft. Schools, shopping, recreation & BOTH highways very close!
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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.