Steve Flynn  RE/MAX Crest Realty- Burnaby 

Cell: 604.785.3977 |


Vancouver, BC – May 30, 2016.

The BCREA Commercial Leading Indicator (CLI) increased for the fifth consecutive quarter, rising 0.5 index points from the fourth quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017. The index now sits at 128.0, a 4 per cent increase from a year ago and a 0.4 per cent gain on a quarterly basis.

“The rising CLI mirrors the overall robust trend in the provincial economy," says BCREA Economist Brendon Ogmundson. "The commercial real estate sector stands to benefit from BC's strong economic growth through increased demand for commercial space and the attraction of invesment dollars."

The underlying CLI trend, which smooths often noisy economic data, continues to push higher due to ongoing strength in economic activity, particularly from the retail and wholesale trade sectors.

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. 



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 inflation is broadly in line with the Bank's projection, though intense retail competition is pushing inflation temporarily lower.  The Bank also noted that the tightening of mortgage regulations implemented in the Fall of 2016 have yet to have a substantial cooling effect on markets but it does expect those measures will contribute to a more sustainable debt profile for Canadian households.

Although the Canadian economy has expanded well above the Bank's estimate of potential growth for three consecutive quarters, including a first quarter that is tracking at close to 4.5 per cent growth in real GDP, the Bank is not optimistic that the economy will sustain that level of growth for much longer.  Moreover,  despite faster growth, a significant amount of slack remains in the economy and there is therefore very little pressure on inflation. Without a signal that inflation is going to push higher, the Bank will remain sidelined at least until early 2018 when it expects remaining slack in the economy will be eliminated.

Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission. 


Canadian retail sales increased 0.7 per cent on a monthly basis in March and were almost 7 per cent higher year-over-year. Sales were higher in 6 of 11 retail sub-sectors with new car sales leading the way. With today's strong retail sales data, we are tracking first quarter Canadian real GDP growth at a very strong 4.3 per cent. 

In BC, retail sales jumped 2.3 per cent on a monthly basis and were up nearly 9 per cent year-over-year. That continues a string of positive economic data in BC and puts our tracking measure for BC real GDP growth at 3.8 per cent through the first 3 months of the year. 


Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission. 


Canadian manufacturing sales increased 1 per cent from April to March, as sales of transportation equipment and food sales flourished. Overall, sales were higher in 16 of 21 manufacturing sub-sectors, reflecting broad-based strength in the Canadian economy. 

The BC manufacturing sector continued to be a significant driver of provincial growth in March, posting a 2.9 per cent increase in sales, led by a 10.5 per cent jump in wood products. On a year-over-year basis,  total manufacturing sales were up 4.7 per cent.  While manufacturing has been one of the stand-out sectors in the BC economy since last summer, headwinds from US trade policy, particularly new tariffs on softwood lumber, could take the air of the sectors in coming months. 


Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission. 


Vancouver, BC – May 15, 2017.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) that a total of 9,865 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April, down 23.9 per cent from the same period last year. Total sales dollar volume was $7.19 billion, down 25.4 per cent from April 2016. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $728,955, a 2 per cent decrease from the same period last year.

“BC home sales are on an upward trend this spring, led by a sharp increase in consumer demand in the Lower Mainland," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of home sales was over 106,000 units in April, significantly above the five-year SAAR for April of 89,000 units.

The supply of homes for sale declined 17 per cent from April 2016. On a seasonally adjusted basis, active residential listings have declined 50 per cent since 2012 and are now at their lowest level in over 20 years. The imbalance between supply and demand is continuing to drive home prices higher in most regions, further eroding affordability.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 31.8 per cent to $21.3 billion, when compared with the same period in 2016. Residential unit sales declined 25.0 per cent to 30,757 units, while the average MLS® residential price was down 9.2 per cent to $692,220.


Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission. 



The total value of Canadian building permits declined 5.8 per cent to $7 billion in March, the second consecutive monthly decline.

BC posted the largest decrease at the provincial level due to fewer permit applications for multiple family residential projects, slowed perhaps by the record number of units already under construction.  The total value of permits fell 21.4 per cent on a monthly basis and 11.4 per cent year-over-year. Residential permits were down close 26 per cent on both a monthly basis and 14 per cent lower year-over year while non-residential permits were down 4 per cent on a monthly basis and 2.5 per cent year-over-year.

Construction intentions were actually higher across three of BC's four census metropolitan areas (CMA). Permits in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA increased 53 per cent from February to March and were up 29 per cent year-over-year. The Victoria CMA saw permit values increase 10 per cent on a monthly basis but were 6 per cent lower year-over-year. In the Kelowna CMA, permits rose 60 per cent on a monthly basis were more than triple the value in March 2016. Conversely, the Vancouver CMA, where construction is probably at capacity, posted a 40 per cent monthly decline in permit activity on a monthly basis and was down 32 per cent year-over-year.  

Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission. 


Canadian housing starts declined to 214,098 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) in April following a surge in new home construction in March that saw a pace of over 250,000 units SAAR.  The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts continues to trend higher at about 214,000 units SAAR.

In BC, total housing starts were 44,604 units SAAR, a 1 per cent dip from the previous month and 1 per cent higher compared to April 2016.  Single detached starts declined 9 per cent month-over-month but were 16 per cent higher year-over-year. Multiple unit starts increased 2 per cent month-over-month and were down 3 per cent year-over-year.

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC: 

  • Total starts in the Vancouver CMA were flat month-over-month and down 7 per cent year-over-year with declines posted in both single and multiple units starts. 

  • In the supply constrained Victoria CMA market, housing starts jumped 25 per cent from March as new multiple unit projects broke ground. However new home construction was well off the pace set in 2016 with total starts down 26 per cent year-over-year . 

  • New home construction in the Kelowna CMA dropped 24 per cent on a month-over-month basis after a strong March. However, year-over-year, total housing starts were four times higher than April 2016.

  • Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA were down 26 per cent from March but were up close to 60 per cent compared to April 2016 due to a stronger pace of multiple unit starts.

Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission. 

Canadian employment was essentially flat from March to April, though compared to April 2016, employment is 1.5 per cent higher.  The national unemployment rate moved 0.2 points lower to 6.5 per cent, the lowest level since October 2008.

While employment across Canada was little changed, job growth in BC continues to surge. The province posted 11,300 new jobs in April BC and has added 80,000 jobs in the past 12 months, largely in full-time work. The provincial unemployment rate remained at 5.5 per cent in April as new additions to the labour force kept pace with employment gains.

Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission. 


Demand for condominiums and townhomes continues to drive the Metro Vancouver* housing market:

Residential property sales in the region totalled 3,553 in April 2017, a 25.7 per cent decline compared to April 2016 when 4,781 homes sold and a 0.7 per cent decrease from the 3,579 sales recorded in March 2017. April sales were 4.8 per cent above the 10-year average for the month.

For the first four months of the year, condominium and townhome sales have comprised a larger percentage of all residential sales on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver. Over this time, they’ve accounted for 68.5 per cent, on average, of all residential sales. This is up 10 per cent from the 58.2 per cent average over the same period last year.

“Our overall market is operating below the record-setting pace from a year ago and is in line with historical spring levels. It’s a different story in our condominium and townhome markets," Jill Oudil, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) president said. “Demand has been increasing for months and supply is not keeping pace. This dynamic is causing prices to increase and making multiple offer scenarios the norm.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 4,907 in April 2017. This represents a decrease of 19.9 per cent compared to the 6,127 units listed in April 2016 and a three per cent increase compared to March 2017 when 4,762 properties were listed.

The total number of residential properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 7,813, a 3.5 per cent increase compared to April 2016 (7,550) and a three per cent increase compared to March 2017 (7,586).

The sales-to-active listings ratio for April 2017 is 45.5 per cent for all property types. This is two per cent below March 2017 and is indicative of a sellers’ market. 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. 

By property type, the sales-to-active listings ratio is 26 per cent for detached homes, 58.2 per cent for townhomes, and 82.2 per cent for condominiums. “Until more entry level, or ‘missing middle’, homes are available for sale in our market, we’ll likely continue to see prices increase,” Oudil said. “There’s been record building this past year, but much of that inventory isn’t ready to hit the market.”

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $941,100. This represents a five per cent increase over the past three months and an 11.4 per cent increase compared to April 2016.

Over the last three months, the benchmark price of condominiums has seen the largest increase in the region at 8.2 per cent, followed by townhomes at 5.3 per cent, and detached homes at 2.8 per cent.

“Home buyers are looking to get into the market and they’re facing fierce competition,” Oudil said. “It’s important to work with your local Realtor to help you navigate today’s marketplace.”

Sales of detached properties in April 2017 reached 1,211, a decrease of 38.8 per cent from the 1,979 detached sales recorded in April 2016. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,516,500. This represents an 8.1 per cent increase over the last 12 months and a 1.8 per cent increase compared to March 2017.

Sales of apartment, or condominium, properties reached 1,722 in April 2017, a decrease of 18.3 per cent compared to the 2,107 sales in April 2016.The benchmark price of an apartment property is $554,100. This represents a 16.6 per cent increase over the past 12 months and a 3.1 per cent increase compared to March 2017.

Attached, or townhome, property sales in April 2017 totalled 620, a decrease of 10.8 per cent compared to the 695 sales in April 2016. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $701,800. This represents a 15.3 per cent increase over the past 12 months and a 2.4 per cent increase compared to March 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 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.