Steve Flynn  RE/MAX Crest Realty- Burnaby 

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Premier Christy Clark unveiled a new loan program today to help first-time home buyers come up with their down payment. The BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity (HOME) Partnership program will offer qualifying home buyers loans of up to $37,500, interest and payment free, for five years. The province will begin accepting applications on January 16, 2017. To qualify, buyers must:

 

• be buying their first home;

• obtain a high-ratio, insured first mortgage for at least 80 per cent of the purchase price;  

• have a combined gross household income not exceeding $150,000;

• have saved a down payment amount at least equal to the loan amount;

• be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident for at least five years; and

• have lived in BC for at least the full year preceding their application.


The loans will be due in full if the buyer defaults on a payment, ceases to use the home as a principle residence or resells the home.


Key facts:


• The loans will match a home buyer’s contribution to a down payment up to five per cent of the home’s purchase price. 

• The maximum purchase price to qualify for a loan is $750,000 (excluding taxes and fees).

• After five years, buyers can either repay their loan or enter into monthly payments at current interest rates.

• Loans through the program are due after 25 years.


“This program will boost sales to first-time home buyers. Without question, they’ll take advantage of it wherever they can,” said Helmut Pastrick, Central 1 Credit Union chief economist. The province estimates this initiative will help at least 42,000 buyers or households province-wide over the next three years. About half of these buyers will be in the Lower Mainland, according to Pastrick. Click here for more information.

 

 

 

Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.


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Vancouver, BC – December 15, 2016.


REALTORS® and the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) welcome the announcement by Premier Clark and Minister Coleman of the new BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership program. “The introduction of this program will address the affordability gaps that, as a REALTOR®, I hear about every day,” says BCREA President Deanna Horn. “We thank Premier Clark and Minister Coleman for introducing this valuable program to assist first time home buyers in entering the marketplace.“

 

The province has taken steps to address housing affordability by investing in affordable rental housing and transitional and emergency housing. The BC HOME Partnership will address the impact on the first-time homebuyer with matching dollars and an extended period of time to begin paying back the down payment loan. Many first-time homebuyers struggle to achieve the down payment required to enter the housing market, and BCREA believes this program will help them overcome that barrier.

 

In fact, enabling home ownership benefits the entire BC economy. A 2015 study by Altus Group Economic Consulting found that the average housing transaction on the Multiple Listing Service® generates approximately $63,000 in additional expenditures. BCREA believes additional opportunities exist to help existing homeowners, particularly those looking to buy their second or third homes to accommodate families or significant life changes. Doing so will help to ensure balance in the continuum of housing affordability.

 

 

Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.

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Vancouver, BC – December 15, 2016.


The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that 6,419 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in November, down 20.1 per cent from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $4.02 billion in November, a decline of 25.2 per cent compared to the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $625,871, a decline of 6.4 per cent compared to the same month last year.

 

“Moderating consumer demand in the province's largest population centres continues to trend home sales toward the ten-year average," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist.

 

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of MLS® residential sales was approximately 89,000 units last month. The ten-year average is 83,000 unit sales, while the 15-year average is 85,300 unit sales.

 

“A relatively higher number of transactions outside of the Lower Mainland is largely responsible for pulling the provincial average MLS® price lower," added Muir.

 

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume increased 22.8 per cent to $74.5 billion, when compared with the same period in 2015. Residential unit sales climbed by 12.1 per cent to 107,488 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 9.6 per cent to $692,745.

 

 

 Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.

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Canadian housing starts declined 4 per cent in November to 183,989 total units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts held steady at 199,000 units, which is slightly above average annual growth in Canadian households. 


Housing starts in BC jumped 72 per cent higher to 44,019 SAAR following a dip in October. Starts were up 64 per cent on a year-over-year basis as single detached starts rose 11 per cent and multiple unit starts nearly doubled. Through 11 months of the year, BC housing starts are up 34 per cent compared to 2015. 

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were up 80 per cent year-over-year in November, led by a doubling of multiple unit starts compared to last year. In the Victoria CMA, housing starts more than tripled compared to November 2015 due to strong growth in new multiple unit starts. New home construction in the Kelowna CMA dipped 5 per cent as new mutliple unit construction lagged behind last year's pace. Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA were 82 per cent lower compared to last November as new home construction in the area slows following a frenzy of activity this year that has total starts up 40 year-to-date in the area.



 Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.

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The Bank of Canada announced this morning that it is holding the target for its overnight rate at 0.5 per cent. In the press release accompanying the interest rate decision, the Bank noted that uncertainty in the global economy is undiminished in recent months while Canadian economic growth is evolving as anticipated. On inflation, the Bank cited that although CPI and core inflation have picked up, both measures remain below the Bank's 2 per cent target. 

With long-term interest rates jolted upward by the US election, the Bank of Canada is likely content to keep its overnight rate on hold at 0.5 per cent over the next year.  That said, the stark unpredictability of the incoming Trump administration on everything from trade to taxes to financial markets means that risk in the economy is tilted to the downside.  Therefore, there remains the potential for a rate-cut by the Bank of Canada should economic conditions and the outlook for inflation deteriorate.  



Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.

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Vancouver, BC – December 5, 2016.

 

The BCREA Commercial Leading Indicator (CLI) increased 0.48 index points to 122.7 in the second quarter of 2016, in spite of a modest pull-back in economic activity throughout the third quarter. The CLI index is up 2.4 per cent compared to the third quarter of 2015.

 

“Job growth in key commercial sectors and robust consumer demand led the CLI higher in the third quarter," said BCREA Economist Brendon Ogmundson."A rising CLI points to continued strength in BC commercial real estate activity in 2017."

 

Robust third quarter employment gains offset modest declines in the economic activity and financial components of the CLI. The underlying CLI trend, which smooths often noisy economic data, continues to push higher due to several quarters of strong economic statistics.

 

That uptrend signals further growth in investment, leasing and other commercial real estate activity over the next two to four quarters.

 

 

Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.

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Canadian employment increased by 11,000 jobs in November, the third consecutive month of positive job growth. The national unemployment rate fell 0.2 points to 6.8 per cent and total hours worked, which is highly correlated with economic growth, were up 1.1 per cent compared to this time last year.  In BC, employment posted a monthly decline of 9,300 jobs. In spite of that, the provincial unemployment rate ticked 0.1 points lower to 6.1 per cent. Year-to-date,  provincial job growth remains the strongest in the country at about 3 per cent.

In the US, payrolls increased by178,000 while the unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 per cent. Strong job growth in November and the very low unemployment rate likely mean the US Federal Reserve will go through with its much discussed rate hike in December. 



Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.

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Home sales and listings just below 10-year average.

Home buyer and seller activity remains near historical averages in the Metro Vancouver housing market. Residential home sales in the region totalled 2,214 in November 2016, a decrease of 0.9 per cent from the 2,233 sales recorded in October 2016 and a decrease of 37.2 per cent compared to November 2015 when 3,524 homes sold. 

 

Last month’s sales were 7.6 per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month.  “While 2016 has been anything but a normal year for the Metro Vancouver housing market, supply and demand totals have returned to more historically normal levels over the last few months,” said Dan Morrison, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) president. 

  

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 3,147 in November 2016. This represents a decrease of 20.9 per cent compared to the 3,981 units listed in October 2016 and a 7.2 per cent decrease compared to November 2015 when 3,392 properties were listed. Last month’s new listing count was 1.2 per cent below the region’s 10-year new listing average for the month.

  

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 8,385, an 8.3 per cent decrease compared to October 2016 (9,143) and a 3.6 per cent increase compared to November 2015 (8,096). The sales-to-active listings ratio for November 2016 is 26.4 per cent. This is up two per cent from last month (24.4 per cent). 

  

Downward pressure on home prices can occur when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices can experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

“Demand, relative to supply, for detached homes is lower right now than demand for townhomes and apartments,” Morrison said. “This is causing prices to remain stable, or flat, for townhomes and apartments, while detached homes are seeing modest month-over-moth declines.”

 

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $908,300. This represents a 1.2 per cent decrease compared to last month and a 20.5 per cent increase compared to November 2015.

 

Sales of detached properties in November 2016 reached 638, a decrease of 2.1 per cent from the 652 detached sales recorded in October 2016 and a 52.2 per cent decline over November 2015. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,511,100. This represents a 2.2 per cent decline compared to last month and a 23 per cent increase compared to November 2015.

 

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,200 in November 2016, an increase of 1.9 per cent compared to the 1,178 sales in October 2016 and a 22.7 per cent decrease compared to November 2015.The benchmark price of an apartment property is $512,100. This is unchanged from last month and is an 18 per cent increase compared to November 2015.

 

Attached property sales in November 2016 totalled 376, a decrease of 6.7 per cent compared to the 403 sales in October 2016 and a 40.9 per cent decline compared to November 2015. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $667,100. This represents a 0.3 per cent decrease compared to last month and a 23 per cent increase compared to November 2015.




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




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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.