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Retail sales rose for the third consecutive month in July by 0.6% on a seasonally-adjusted basis, close to Statistic Canada's preliminary estimate of 0.7%. This marks a deceleration from the 23% rise in June and a 21% rise in May, as stores were reopening. Sales were up in 6 of 11 subsectors, led by higher sales at auto dealers and at gas stations. Excluding these two subsectors, retail sales declined by 1.2%. Compared to the same time last year, retail sales were up by 5%.    

Sales were up in five provinces in July, the most notable increases were in BC, Manitoba, and Alberta. In BC, seasonally-adjusted retail sales were up by 2.1% ($7.6 billion) and by 0.9% ($3.4 billion) in Vancouver. Retail sales were up in the majority of subsectors, except in electronics/appliances and at auto dealers.  

Growth in e-commerce sales continued to slow in July, up by 63% year-over-year, following a 71% rise in the previous month. The slowdown is a result of the expansion of the reopening of physical stores. In July, e-commerce sales totaled $2.8 billion, accounting for 4.8% of total retails sales, down from 5% in the previous month. This excludes Canadians purchasing from foreign e-commerce retailers.  
    
Early estimates provided by Statistics Canada for August suggest that retail sales increased by 1.1%. Overall, the recovery in retail sales has been V-shaped with pent-up demand largely dissipated. Government support programs and low interest rates will continue to support retail spending. However, elevated unemployment levels, uncertainty around the continuation of deferral programs, and rising COVID-19 cases could also pose challenges going forward. 



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Canadian inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 0.1% in August year-over-year, matching last month's increase. Excluding gasoline, the CPI rose by 0.6%. Prices rose in five of eight components year-over-year with notable increases in food, shelter, and personal care, while prices continued to fall for transportation, clothing and footwear, and recreation. The Bank of Canada's three measures of trend inflation rose by 0.1 percentage points, averaging 1.7% in August. 

Regionally, the CPI was positive in five provinces. In BC, CPI rose by 0.2% in August year-over-year, matching last month's increase. Prices continued to rise for alcohol/tobacco/cannabis, food, shelter, household furnishings, and personal care. The increase in personal care was mainly due to higher prices for haircuts. In contrast, downward price pressures were ongoing in recreation, gas, transportation, and clothing and footwear.

As some provinces begin to re-visit containment measures seen earlier in the pandemic, inflation is expected to continue to be weak. In this environment, the Bank of Canada will keep interest rates low. 



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The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 10,172 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in August 2020, an increase of 42.8 per cent from August 2019. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $771,309, a 12.7 per cent increase from $684,093 recorded the previous year. Total sales dollar volume in August was $7.8 billion, a 61.1 per cent increase over 2019.

“Very strong provincial home sales continued in August,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “While pent-up demand from the spring is driving much of the increase, we anticipate a sustained strong level of sales through the fall.”

Total provincial active listings are still down more than 10 per cent year-over-year, with some markets even more under-supplied as the pandemic continues to keep listings low. As a result, prices are sharply rising around the province.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 15.8 per cent to $40.4 billion, compared with the same period in 2019. Residential unit sales were up 4.9 per cent to 53,336 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 10.4 per cent to $757,504. 



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Canadian housing starts increased by 7% m/m to 262,396 units in August at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). This represents the fourth consecutive monthly increase and the fastest pace of national homebuilding since 2007, pushing up the six-month average to 213,144 units SAAR. August's increase was driven primarily by the multi-units segment in Ontario, marking the province's strongest pace of homebuilding since 1990. 

In BC, housing starts increased by 6% m/m to 44,883 units SAAR in August, following an increase of 42,883 in July. The increase was primarily driven by the multi-unit segment. Housing starts in August were above the pre-COVID level. In the near term, we can expect housing activity to continue to be supported by sales that occurred prior to the pandemic and historically low borrowing rates. Meanwhile, the value of residential building permits was down sharply in July by 34%. Compared to the same time last year, housing starts were up by 23%.  

Looking at census metropolitan areas in BC: 

- Housing starts in Vancouver were up by 22% m/m to 29,754 units SAAR in August. Both multi-units (25%) and singles (1%) were up. Compared to last year, housing starts were up by 50%, marking the first notable year-over-year increase in 2020.  

- In Victoria, housing starts were down by 34% m/m to 2,732 units SAAR. Compared to a year ago in August, housing starts were up by 64%.  

- In Kelowna, housing starts decreased by 24% m/m to 2,629 unit SAAR. Starts were down by 55% in the region compared to the same time last year. 

- Monthly housing starts in Abbotsford-Mission were up by 195% at 1,431 units SAAR. Compared to the same time last year, new home construction was up by 27%.




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The Bank of Canada held its overnight rate at 0.25 per cent this morning, a level it considers its effective lower bound. The Bank is also continuing its quantitative easing (QE) program, with large scale asset purchases of at least $5 billion per week in Government of Canada bonds. In the statement accompanying the decision, the Bank noted that the Canadian economy is evolving broadly in line with expectations, with a strong re-opening phase to be followed by slower, uneven growth and heavily reliant on policy support. 


Inflation remains close to zero, with downward pressure from energy prices and travel services, and is expected to remain below the Bank's 2 per cent target for some time.  The Bank re-emphasized its commitment to keep its policy rate at its effective lower bound of 0.25 per cent until slack is absorbed in the economy and inflation stabilizes around its 2 per cent target. Its QE program will continue until a recovery is well underway. Given the Bank's' current projections, that means rates could be on hold until 2022.

A recovery in the housing market is well underway with sales in BC surpassing their pre-COVID-19 level.  With the Bank committing to holding its policy rate at 25 basis points until slack in the economy is absorbed, and continuing its quantitative easing program of asset purchases, Canadian mortgage rates should remain at current historical lows for quite some time, providing a significant boost to the BC housing market.



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Canadian employment gained 246,000 jobs in August (1.4%, m/m), following a gain of 419,000 in July. Combined with gains in May and June, national employment is now within 1.1 million of its pre-COVID February level. The national unemployment rate fell by 0.7 percentage points to 10.2% from the previous month. August gains were driven by full-time work, wherein the previous month it was in part-time work. Employment continued to increase at a faster pace in the services sector with the help of growth in educational services, accommodation and food services, and in other services sectors. Compared to the same month last year, Canadian employment was down by 5.3% (-1 million). 

Regionally, employment increased in all provinces except in Alberta and in New Brunswick, with the largest gains in Ontario (142K) and Quebec (54K). In BC, employment grew by 15,000 (0.6%,m/m) in August, which follows a 70,000 gain in July. The province is now at 94% of its pre-COVID February employment level. The gain in August brought down BC's unemployment rate by 0.4 percentage points to 10.7%. Meanwhile, in Vancouver, employment decreased by 2,300 jobs in August. Compared to one year ago, employment in BC was down by 6.6% (-170K) jobs. 

Canadian employment grew for a fourth consecutive month, but the pace of growth is slowing. This was expected as containment restrictions were lifted in the early summer months, but have since halted in an effort to contain rising virus infections. Employment recovery is expected to continue to slow from here on, as many of the hardest-hit industries have reopened and educators start to return to school. 



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Home buyers and sellers remained active across Metro Vancouver* in August, with home sale and new listing activity outpacing the region’s historical averages:

 

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 3,047 in August 2020, a 36.6 per cent increase from the 2,231 sales recorded in August 2019, and a 2.6 per cent decrease from the 3,128 homes sold in July 2020.

 

Last month’s sales were 19.9 per cent above the 10-year August sales average. “People who put their home buying and selling plans on hold in the spring have been returning to the market throughout the summer,” Colette Gerber, REBGV Chair said. “Like everything else in our lives these days, the uncertainty COVID-19 presents makes it challenging to predict what will happen this fall.”

 

There were 5,813 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in August 2020. This represents a 55.1 per cent increase compared to the 3,747 homes listed in August 2019 and a 2.3 per cent decrease compared to July 2020 when 5,948 homes were listed. This was 34.8 per cent above the 10-year August new listings average. The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 12,803, a 4.4 per cent decrease compared to August 2019 (13,396) and a six per cent increase compared to July 2020 (12,083). 


For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for August 2020 is 23.8 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 23.7 per cent for detached homes, 30.5 per cent for townhomes, and 21.6 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.

 

“Low interest rates and limited overall supply of homes for sale are creating competition in today’s housing market,” Gerber said. “Your local REALTOR® can help you navigate today’s market and ensure that the latest public health requirements are followed at every step of the process. Above all, safety has to remain our top priority during this pandemic.”

 

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,038,700. This represents a 5.3 per cent increase over August 2019 and a 0.7 per cent increase compared to July 2020.

 

Sales of detached homes in August 2020 reached 1,095, a 55.1 per cent increase from the 706 detached sales recorded in August 2019. The benchmark price of a detached home is $1,491,300. This represents a 6.6 per cent increase from August 2019 and a one per cent increase compared to July 2020.

 

Sales of apartment homes reached 1,332 in August 2020, a 19.4 per cent increase compared to the 1,116 sales in August 2019. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $685,800. This represents a 4.5 per cent increase from August 2019 and a 0.5 per cent increase compared to July 2020.

 

Attached home sales in August 2020 totalled 620, a 51.6 per cent increase compared to the 409 sales in August 2019. The benchmark price of an attached home is $806,400. This represents a 4.4 per cent increase from August 2019 and a 1.1 per cent increase compared to July 2020.



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.



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The Canadian economy contracted by 11.5 per cent from the first to the second quarter, or 38.9 per cent on a quarterly annualized basis, the steepest quarterly decline on record going back to 1961. Consumer spending fell 13.1 per cent as the start of the COVID-19 pandemic caused record job losses and prompted stores to close.  Business investment was down 16.2 per cent and exports fell 18.4 per cent as our trading partners dealt with the fallout of COVID-19 in their own economies.

The good news in an otherwise historically bad GDP report was that positive economic growth resumed with vigor following the record decline in April. The Canadian economy grew 4.8 per cent in May and 6.5 per cent in June, the highest monthly growth on record.  We are currently tracking third quarter real GDP growth at close to 8 per cent, or more than 30 per cent on a quarterly annualized basis. While that is a sharp and welcome rebound in economic activity, there is still quite a way to go before the Canadian economy is fully recovered. In fact, we do not expect real GDP to return to its pre-COVID-19 level until 2022.  That means that the current near-zero Bank of Canada policy rate and the resulting historically low 5-year fixed mortgage rates will be around for quite some time to come.



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Canadian inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 0.1% in July year-over-year, down from a 0.7% rise in the previous month. Excluding gasoline, the CPI rose by 0.7%. Inflation grew at a slower pace than in June due to a broad-based slowdown in price growth. Prices rose in five of eight components year-over-year, while prices fell for air transportation (-8.6%) and accommodations (-27%). This is the first year-over-year price decline in the transportation component since December 2015. Meanwhile, the Bank of Canada's three measures of trend inflation fell by 0.1 percentage points, averaging 1.6% in July. 

Regionally, the CPI was positive in five provinces. In BC, CPI rose by 0.2% year-over-year, following a 0.5% rise in June. Prices for food, alcohol/tobacco/cannabis, and health and personal care continued to rise in July, while downward pressure on gas prices eased up as people were using their vechicles more.

The impact of COVID-19 on some of the hard hit components are beginning to dissipate, excluding the transportation and accommodation sectors, which usually see a rise in the summer months. The path of inflation going forward will be a constant tension between various incentives such as reduced fees, discounts and promotions, against lower revenues due to physical distancing measures.



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Canadian housing starts increased by 16% m/m to 245,604 units in July at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), which was well above pre-COVID levels . This brought up the national housing starts six month average to 204,376 units SAAR. Housing starts were up across the country with notable growth in the Prairies and Atlantic Canada.  

In BC, housing starts was up 9% m/m to 42,381 units SAAR in July, following an increase of 38,840 in June. The increase was primarily driven by the multi-unit segment. Housing starts in July are back at pre-COVID levels. That being said, housing starts in the province showed resilience during the height of the pandemic when restrictions were the tightest. In the near term, we can expect housing activity to continue to be supported by pent-up demand and historically low borrowing rates. Compared to the same time last year, housing starts are down by 16%. Meanwhile, the value of residential building permits for June was up by 20% in the province.  

Looking at census metropolitan areas in BC: 

- Housing starts in Vancouver were up by 4% m/m in July to 24,395 units SAAR. Multi-units were up by 5%, while singles were down by 4%. Compared to last year in July, housing starts were down by 23%, which marks the fourth consecutive month of negative year-over-year growth.  

- In Victoria, housing starts were up by 77% m/m to 4,161 units SAAR. Compared to a year ago in July, housing starts were up by 14%.  

- In Kelowna, housing starts increased by 21% m/m to 3,457 unit SAAR. Starts were up by 138% in the region compared to the same time last year. 

- Monthly housing starts in Abbotsford-Mission were down by 18% at 479 units SAAR. Compared to the same time last year, new home construction was down by 84%.



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Home buyer and seller activity in Metro Vancouver* exceeded historical levels in July:

 

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 3,128 in July 2020, a 22.3 per cent increase from the 2,557 sales recorded in July 2019, and a 28 per cent increase from the 2,443 homes sold in June 2020. Last month’s sales were 9.4 per cent above the 10-year July sales average.

 

“We're seeing the results today of pent up activity, from both home buyers and sellers, that had been accumulating in our market throughout the year,” Colette Gerber, REBGV Chair said. “Low interest rates and limited overall supply are also increasing competition across our market.”

 

There were 5,948 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in July 2020. This represents a 28.9 per cent increase compared to the 4,613 homes listed in July 2019 and a 2.8 per cent increase compared to June 2020 when 5,787 homes were listed.

 

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 12,083, a 15.1 per cent decrease compared to July 2019 (14,240) and a 5.8 per cent increase compared to June 2020 (11,424).

 

“Safety remains the top priority for our REALTOR® community,” Gerber said. “We continue to limit in-person interactions with clients and employ different technology solutions to ensure home buyers and sellers can get as much information as possible in a virtual setting.”

 

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for July 2020 is 25.9 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 25.1 per cent for detached homes, 31.1 per cent for townhomes, and 24.7 per cent for apartments. Generally, analysts say that 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 $1,031,400. This represents a 4.5 per cent increase over July 2019 and a 0.6 per cent increase compared to June 2020.

 

Sales of detached homes in July 2020 reached 1,121, a 33.3 per cent increase from the 841 detached sales recorded in July 2019. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,477,800. This represents a five per cent increase from July 2019 and a 0.9 per cent increase compared to June 2020.

 

Sales of apartment homes reached 1,400 in July 2020, a 12.6 per cent increase compared to the 1,243 sales in July 2019. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $682,500. This represents a 4.2 per cent increase from July 2019 and a 0.3 per cent increase compared to June 2020.

 

Attached home sales in July 2020 totalled 607, a 28.3 per cent increase compared to the 473 sales in July 2019. The benchmark price of an attached home is $797,700. This represents a 3.7 per cent increase from July 2019 and a 0.9 per cent increase compared to June 2020.



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.



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Canadian real GDP grew 4.5  per cent on a monthly basis in May. May's increase follows an 11.6 per cent contraction in April, the largest monthly decline in GDP since the series started to be recorded in 1961. Despite the rise in GDP in May the Canadian economy is still 15 per cent below its February, pre-COVID-19 level. Statistics Canada's preliminary estimate for second quarter GDP is a decline of 12 per cent from the first quarter, or an annualized decline of close to 50%.

With an increase in GDP in May and a preliminary estimate of 5 per cent growth in June, it would appear that the Canadian economy is recovering from the COVID-19 induced recession. That recovery is already well underway in BC housing markets, with home sales recovering pre-COVID-19 levels in early summer.



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A good news report. The easing of pandemic restrictions across the country led to an 18.7% surge in seasonally-adjusted Canadian retail sales in May to $42 billion. Leading the growth was motor vehicle and parts dealers, followed by an increase in sales in almost all other subsectors. Although sales increased in May, retail sales remain 20% below pre-pandemic levels.  

Sales were up in all provinces in May, the most notable increases were in Quebec (33%), Manitoba (24%), New Brunswick (21%) and Nova Scotia (20%). In BC, seasonally-adjusted retail sales were up by 12% ($6.4 billion) and by 14% ($2.8 billion) in Vancouver. Retail sales were up in all subsectors as brick and mortar stores begin to reopen, with the largest comebacks reported in clothing, and sporting and hobby. Despite the growth, sales at clothing stores are 55% below pre-pandemic levels and -24% at sporting and hobby stores. 

E-commerce sales were still strong in May, up by 113% year-over-year at $3.8 billion. E-commerce comprised 8% of total retail sales in May, down from 10% in the previous month. This excludes Canadians purchasing from foreign e-commerce retailers.  
    
Advance estimates provided by Statistics Canada for June suggest that retail sales increased by 24.5%. This reflects the gradual reopening of the majority of provinces in the country with the exception of Ontario, which was still in the early stages of reopening in June. The magnitude and consistency of recovery in Canada's retail sector will continue to depend on consumers' willingness to venture out given that confirmed COVID-19 cases are back on the rise, including in BC. Also, on how quickly individuals can return to work, and for those unemployed, to find new employment. 



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I have sold a property at 3305 RAKANNA PL in Coquitlam.
PRIDE OF OWNERSHIP IS EVIDENT THROUGHOUT! ORIGINAL OWNER, 2-level Beauty is lovingly maintained, boasts 2,830 SF & sits on a generous 5984 SF flat lot. It’s SUPER CLEAN & ideally located on a great CUL-DE-SAC in the family friendly HOCKADAY NEIGHBOURHOOD! The Large TOP FLOOR has 1,646 SF, 3 Bedrooms, 2 full Baths, Family Room, Living-Dining Rooms, & a well appointed NEW KITCHEN with a full Stainless Steel Appliances Package. The ground level MAIN FLOOR offers a Bedroom, Den, full Bath, Laundry & you’ll love the HUGE REC ROOM & Gas Fireplace. The fully fenced back yard offers excellent treed privacy. MANY MANY UPDATES: New Kitchen & side fence (‘15), Window Coverings (‘15), Grass (‘17), BR Carpet (‘18), Roof (‘19). Nearby Trails, Recreation, minutes from Coquitlam Center, Skytrain...
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Canadian inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 0.7% in June year-over-year, up from a 0.4% decline in May. June saw the fastest rise in the CPI since March 2011. Prices rose in five of eight components year-over-year, with food and shelter prices driving the increase. Rents rebounded in June, rising 0.6% from the previous month, coinciding with the easing of some pandemic related restrictions and the warmer summer months. Mortgage interest costs continued to fall in June due to declining bond yields and the Bank of Canada's low policy rate set in March. Meanwhile, the Bank of Canada's three measures of trend inflation rose by 0.1 percentage points, averaging 1.7% in June. 

Regionally, the CPI was positive in all provinces except for Prince Edward Island. In BC, CPI rose by 0.5%, following a 0.2% decline in May year-over-year. Prices for food, alcohol/tobacco/cannabis, and health and personal care continued to rise in June, while downward pressure on gas prices eased up as reopening measures had people using their vehicles more.

Prices for the hardest hit components are beginning to recover, but the rising numbers in COVID-19 cases in Canada and in the US, and the high unemployment rate will likely keep price pressures stunted. This will also likely leave the Bank of Canada's policy rate low.



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I have sold a property at 110 2418 AVON PL in Port Coquitlam.
FAMILY FRIENDLY! Lovely END UNIT, 1513 sq ft, 3 bed/3 bath townhouse is located on quiet side of complex with no neighbours across/behind. OPEN concept main floor w/gourmet kitchen & bright living/dining rooms. 2 BIG bedrooms upstairs, the master has spacious ensuite & great closet space. 4-piece 2nd bath & w/d complete the upper floor. Downstairs has 3rd bed & 3rd bath, perfect for teenager or guests! Great o/d space incl: deck for morn coffee or eve bbq & lovely, shaded front yard. LINKS is a very desirable complex w/Clubhouse & serene park-like setting w/treed pathways & 4 private mini-parks, 1 w/playground! Close to schools: Blackburn Elem, Terry Fox Sec & Archbishop Carney. Walk to Fremont Village, Costco, Home Depot, Walmart, etc. Bus stop is 2 min walk. Easy drive to Lougheed & Hwy 1.
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The Bank of Canada held its overnight rate at 0.25 per cent this morning, a level it considers its effective lower bound. In addition, the Bank is continuing its quantitative easing program, committing to large-scale asset purchases of at least $5 billion per week of Government of Canada bonds along with continued purchases of provincial and corporate bonds.  In the statement accompanying the decision, the Bank noted that the economic outlook remains extremely uncertain, but global economic activity is picking up. Financial conditions have improved, oil prices have rebounded, and pent-up demand in the Canadian economy has lead to a bounce in output and employment. The Bank expects that the Canadian economy will contract close to 8 per cent this year, but will build momentum into the second half of this year, leading to the economy growing 5.1 per cent in 2021.  The Bank further noted that the economy will require extraordinary monetary policy support and the Bank will hold its policy rate at its effective lower bound until slack in the economy is absorbed and inflation has returned to its 2 per cent target.

Like the Bank, BCREA is projecting that the Canadian, and BC economy will start to recover in the third quarter.  Positive signs of recovery are emerging in the housing market, with sales in BC recovering their pre-COVID-19 level in June.  With the Bank committing to holding its policy rate at 25 basis points until slack in the economy is absorbed, and continuing its quantitative easing program of asset purchases, Canadian mortgage rates should remain at current historical lows for quite some time, providing a significant boost to the BC housing market.



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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.