Steve Flynn  RE/MAX Crest Realty- Burnaby 

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The Canadian economy posted blockbuster monthly growth of 0.6 per cent in January, double the consensus expectations of economists. Growth was lead by higher output in the manufacturing, natural resource extraction, and wholesale trade industries. 

January's outsized GDP number confirms the early tracking data pointing to very strong growth in the first quarter of 2017. The Canadian economy is estimated to have expanded close to 4 per cent in the first quarter of the year.  




Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission. 



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Canadian inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI),  registered 2 per cent in the 12-months to February following a 2.1 per cent increase in January. Excluding the effect of rising gasoline prices, the CPI rose just 1.3 per cent. The Bank of Canada's new core measure of inflation, called CPI-common which it says better tracks the underlying trend in prices, was up 1.3 per cent, matching the rate of inflation in January.   In BC, provincial consumer price inflation was 2.3 per cent in the 12 months to February.

Inflation in Canada continues to trend near the Bank of Canada's 2 per cent target, though largely due to higher gasoline prices. Trend measures of inflation that exclude often volatile energy prices continue to show muted levels of inflation. However, If the Canadian economy continues to grow at an above trend rate, as it has over the past three quarters, then we could see a pick up in inflation by the end of the year.



Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission. 

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I have sold a property at 307 CARDIFF WAY in Port Moody.
LOVELY 1386 sq. ft, 3 bed, 2 bath + rec room, 3-level townhome in beautiful EASTHILL in Port Moody. Perfect for families w/elementary school, parks & transit just a 5-min walk away. Lots of updates incl: new roof, kitchen w/granite & in-floor heating, bathrooms, living room flooring & all windows/patio doors! Main floor has living room, dining room, powder room & big kitchen + access to front deck & rear patio. Upstairs are 3 bedrooms and 4-piece bath. Downstairs is rec room, laundry room, large under-stair storage & access to carport. BONUS: off the carport is a fully-powered 10' x 10' workshop - a carpenter's dream. This home is on the quietest street in Easthill & very private. Amenities incl: playground, basketball crt, indoor pool, sauna! OPEN HOUSE: Sat. Mar 11, 2-4 pm and Sun. Mar 12, 2-5 pm.
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Retail sales started the year strong, rising 2.2 per cent on a monthly basis in January.  That strength was broad-based with 10 of 11 retail sub-sectors reporting higher sales with the largest gains coming from motor vehicle and parts dealers.  Although we have limited information for the first quarter, very strong economic data thus far has growth in the Canadian economy tracking at close to 4 per cent to start the year. 

In BC, a robust labour market continues to fuel consumer spending with retail sales rising 2.9 per cent on a monthly basis and 6.6 per cent year-over-year in January.  R
etail sales grew 6.5 per cent in 2016, the second consecutive year of 6 per cent or greater growth in retail sales. 



 

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A shortage of land and a growing economy fuelled a 47-per-cent surge in the value of commercial real estate sales across British Columbia’s Lower Mainland in 2016, says the head of the region’s real estate board.


Figures released Monday by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver show sales involving commercial real estate reached nearly $13-billion last year compared with $8.8-billion in 2015. The report also measured a 21 per cent spike in the number of sales involving commercial real estate over the same one-year period.


“It’s really the confidence in the B.C. and Vancouver economy,” board president Dan Morrison said. “It’s no surprise that we see the same thing happen with commercial properties as has been happening for residential properties.” Residential real estate prices have skyrocketed across the Vancouver area in recent years, prompting the B.C. government to introduce a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers last summer on homes purchased by anyone who isn’t a citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.


Last week, the government announced it was tweaking the law retroactively so that foreigners who come to B.C. through the provincial nominee program won’t have to pay the tax, which also doesn’t apply to commercial property. Asked if the foreign buyers tax has affected commercial real estate sales, Morrison said it is possible speculators have redirected their investments from residential to commercial properties, but there is no data to back that up. “I would attribute it more to the economy than anything else,” Morrison said.


Land sales led last year’s growth in commercial real estate, the report says. The value of commercial land sales explode to $7.2-billion, an 80 per cent increase over $3.9-billion in 2015, the report says. “That’s the thing that’s the most scarce, especially if you’re looking for new commercial ventures down the road, you want to make sure you’ve tied up the land because that’s often the most important component,” Morrison said. The report says office and retail sales also hit record numbers, reaching $3.6-billion in 2016, 47 per cent more than $2.5-billion in 2015.



© 2017 The Globe and Mail Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

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Vancouver, BC – March 15, 2017.

 

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 6,580 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in February, down 31.7 per cent from the same period last year. Total sales dollar volume was $4.53 billion, down 39.7 per cent from February 2016. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $688,117, an 11.7 per cent decrease from the same period last year.


“Consumer demand has returned to a more typical level over the first two months of the year," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "While the home sales have declined nearly 32 per cent from the extraordinary performance of a year ago, last month's activity reflected the average for the month February since the year 2000."


“The average MLS® residential price for the province was down nearly 12 per cent from a record $779,419 in February 2016. However, this change is largely the result of a decline in the proportion of provincial sales originating from the Vancouver region. Last month, 37 per cent of BC home sales occurred in the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver's area, compared to 44 per cent in February 2016.


Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 38.5 per cent to $7.3 billion, when compared with the same period in 2016. Residential unit sales declined 28.5 per cent to 11,067 units, while the average MLS® residential price was down 14.1 per cent to $660,943.



 

Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.

 




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Please visit our Open House at 307 CARDIFF WAY in Port Moody.
Open House on Sunday, March 12, 2017 2:00PM - 5:00PM
LOVELY 3 bed, 2 bath + rec room, 1386 sq. ft, 3-level townhome in beautiful EASTHILL in Port Moody. Lots of updates incl: new roof, kitchen w/granite & in-floor heating, bathrooms, living room flooring & all windows/patio doors! Main floor has dining room, living room, powder room & large kitchen + access to front deck & rear patio/yard. Upstairs are 3 bedrooms and 4-piece bath. Downstairs is rec room, laundry room, large under-stair storage & access to carport. BONUS: off the carport is a fully-powered 10' x 10' workshop - a carpenter's dream. This home is on the quietest street in Easthill & very private. Perfect for families w/elementary school & parks just a 5-min walk away. Amenities incl. a playground, basketball court, indoor pool & sauna! OPEN HOUSE: Sun. Mar 12, 2-5 pm.
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Canadian housing starts were essentially flat compared to January, albeit up slightly to 210,207 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) in February. The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts continues to rise with new home construction on a 204,700 unit pace


In BC, total housing starts were slowed substantially by snowfall in February which prompted starts to decline 45 per cent year-over-year  Single detached starts were down 24 per cent while multiple unit starts were down 51 per cent year-over-year. We expect that construction will pick up significantly with the onset of spring.

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were down 52 per cent year-over-year as unusually snow conditions slowed the pace of homebuilding. In the Victoria CMA, housing starts fell 5 per cent year-over-year, though starts of single detached units actually increased by 20 per cent. New home construction in the Kelowna CMA declined 29 per cent compared to last year due to a drop in multiple unit starts. Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA fell 89 per cent as weather conditions halted most new construction. 



 

Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.

 



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Low supply continues to limit Metro Vancouver home buyers

Reluctance amongst Metro Vancouver* home sellers is impacting sale and price activity throughout the region’s housing market. 


Residential home sales in the region totalled 2,425 in February 2017. This is a 41.9 per cent decrease from the record 4,172 homes sold in February 2016 and an increase of 59.2 per cent compared to January 2017 when 1,523 homes sold. Last month’s sales were 7.7 per cent below the 10-year February sales average.


“February home sales were well below the record-breaking activity from one year ago and in line with our long-term historical average for the month,” Dan Morrison, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) president said. “Limited supply and snowy weather were two factors hampering this activity.”


New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 3,666 in February 2017. This represents a 36.9 per cent decrease compared to the 5,812 units listed in February 2016 and an 11.4 per cent decrease compared to January 2017 when 4,140 properties were listed. This is the lowest number of new listings registered in February since 2003.


The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver is 7,594, a four per cent increase compared to February 2016 (7,299) and a 4.9 per cent increase compared to January 2017 (7,238).


The region’s sales-to-active listings ratio for February 2017 is 31.9 per cent, a 10-point increase from January. Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.


“While home sales are not happening at the pace we experienced last year, home seller supply is still struggling to keep up with today’s demand. This is why we’ve seen little downward pressure on home prices, particularly in the condominium and townhome markets,” Morrison said. 


The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $906,700. This represents a 2.8 per cent decrease over the past six months and a 1.2 per cent increase compared to January 2017.


Sales of detached properties in February 2017 reached 745, a decrease of 58.1 per cent from the 1,778 detached sales recorded in February 2016. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,474,200. This represents a 6.5 per cent decrease over the past six months and is unchanged compared to January 2017.


Sales of apartment properties reached 1,275 in February 2017, a decrease of 28.8 per cent compared to the 1,790 sales in February 2016.The benchmark price of an apartment property is $526,300. This represents a 2.3 per cent increase over the past six months and a 2.7 per cent increase compared to January 2017.


Attached property sales in February 2017 totalled 404, a decrease of 33.1 per cent compared to the 604 sales in February 2016. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $675,500. This represents a 0.3 per cent decrease over the past six months and a 1.3 per cent increase compared to January 2017.



* 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 Canadian economy expanded at a 2.6 per cent annual rate in the fourth quarter, beating expectations of 2 per cent growth.  Economic growth continues to be led higher by strong household consumption spending, though an uptick in exports was also a significant contributor. Due to a slow start to the year and disruptions caused by the Alberta wildfires,  the Canadian economy grew just 1.4 per cent overall in 2016.
 
There are clear signs of momentum in the Canadian economy, with strong hiring and economic growth over the past six months and we expect the Canadian economy will post significantly stronger growth in 2017 about 2.1 per cent.  That rate of growth should be enough to put the economy on a path toward eliminating excess slack in the economy by mid 2018, pushing inflation back to its 2 per cent target. If so, we expect the Bank of Canada may consider raising its overnight rate early next year while long-term rates and mortgage rates may creep higher in 2017.   



 

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 decision, the Bank noted that growth in the economy is improving and recent higher CPI inflation should be only temporary, reflecting increased energy costs.  The Bank stated that it is remaining attentive to significant uncertainties weighing on its outlook.

While the Canadian economy is showing signs of improving, with strong hiring and faster than expected growth in real GDP, the outlook remains clouded by uncertainty over trade and tax policy in the United States.  If economic growth and inflation evolve as the Bank currently projects,  the Bank would likely be contemplating raising its overnight rate some time in early 2018.  However, given that we have no more clarity now than at the time of the Bank's previous rate decision regarding changes to trade agreements or the stance of US fiscal policy, the Bank will remain sidelined until the path forward becomes more clear.



 

Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.

 



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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.