Steve Flynn  RE/MAX Crest Realty- Burnaby 

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Canadian retail sales decreased 5.7% m/m to $54.8 billion on a seasonally-adjusted basis in April. This was the largest monthly decline since April of last year. Sales declined in 9 of 11 sub-sectors, with the largest declines in clothing and general merchandise. Excluding the more volatile sectors like motor-vehicles and gasoline sales, retail sales were down 7.6% in April. Drops in sales were driven by third wave restrictions implemented across the country in April. One in twenty Canadian retailers were closed for at least one business day in April due to lockdowns.  

In BC, seasonally-adjusted retail sales declined just 0.2% m/m as COVID-19 cases peaked in the middle of April. Retail sales rose 0.7% m/m in Metro Vancouver. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, BC retail sales were up by 47% compared to the same time last year.   

In April, Canadian e-commerce sales were up 58.7% year-over-year to $4 billion. E-commerce accounted for 7% of total retail sales, up from 6.6% in March. In April of last year, in the midst of the first wave, e-commerce accounted for 10.2% of retail sales. 



Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.


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Canadian inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose to 3.6% year-over-year in May, up from 3.4% in April. This is the highest level since May of 2011. Much of the increase in inflation was the result of base-year effects, as prices remained depressed in May of last year due to pandemic-induced shutdowns. On a seasonally adjusted month-over-month basis, the CPI was up 0.5% in May. The Bank of Canada's preferred measures of core inflation (which strip out volatile elements) rose an average of 0.2% from April, to 2.3% year-over-year. In BC, consumer prices were unchanged month-over-month and down from 3% year-over-year in April to 2.7% year-over-year in May.

While inflation is currently running higher than the Bank of Canada's 2 per cent target, much of the increase looks to be temporary and is likely to fade as base-year effects become less significant in coming months. Base-year effects are now beginning to fall out of the inflation statistics, as April was the CPI's nadir last year. How inflation evolves over the next 3 to 6 months will be very important for the stance of monetary policy over the next year. If higher inflation is not just a temporary phenomenon but is being driven by an over-stimulated economy, than we could see the Bank of Canada act on interest rates prior to 2023. However, if the uptick in inflation starts to fade in coming months, we expect the Bank will stay its current course.



Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.


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Canadian housing starts increased by 3.2% m/m to 275.9k units in May at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). Starts hit a record in March of 333.3k before declining somewhat in April. Single-detached housing starts declined 12% from April, while all other housing starts rose 11%. National housing starts were up by 41% compared to the same time last year and the six-month moving average level of starts is trending at an elevated level of 281,000 units SAAR. 

In BC, housing starts rose 19% m/m to 45.2k units SAAR in all areas of the province, but remains below a record March that saw new homes constructed at a nearly 71K unit annualized pace. Building activity was up 30% in the multi-unit segment, while single-detached starts were down by 10%. Compared to the same time last year, housing starts were up by 17% in BC. 



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The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 12,638 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May 2021, an increase of 178.2 per cent over May 2020 when the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a lockdown of the provincial economy. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $916,340, a 26.2 per cent increase from $726,335 recorded in May 2020. Total sales dollar volume was $11.6 billion, a 251 per cent increase from last year.

“Provincial housing markets continue to calm after peaking in March,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “The implementation of a stricter mortgage stress test in June may have a minor impact on home sales but we expect strong market activity over the second half of the year."

Total active residential listings were down 17 per cent year-over-year in May and dipped lower on a seasonally adjusted basis following two prior months of rising active listings.

“On the supply side, markets in the Lower Mainland are seeing a strong supply response, with new listings rising,” said Ogmundson, “however, new listings in markets outside of Metro Vancouver have started to flatten out.” 



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The Bank of Canada maintained its overnight rate at 0.25 per cent this morning, a level it considers its effective lower bound. The Bank reiterated what it calls "extraordinary forward guidance" in committing to leaving the overnight rate at 0.25 per cent until slack in the economy is absorbed and inflation sustainably returns to its 2 per cent target. The  Bank projects that will not occur until the second half of 2022. The Bank is also continuing its quantitative easing (QE) program, purchasing at least $3 billion of Government of Canada bonds per week. In the statement accompanying the decision, the Bank expects that growth should pick up considerably after the second quarter in which growth was hampered by renewed lock-down measures.  On inflation, the Bank expects to see headline CPI growing at near 3 per cent for much of the summer, though largely due to "base-year" effects as prices in the recovery are measured against prices, particularly gasoline prices, from last year during the COVID-19 induced recession.  However, the Bank expects inflation will ease later in the year.

The most recent inflation data, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (“CPI”), showed a significant uptick of inflation to its highest level in a decade at 3.4 per cent, though largely due to a jump in energy prices compared to the early months of the pandemic. The question of whether higher than usual inflation is a temporary or more persistent is currently one of the most hotly debated topics in economics. The answer has significant implications for the conduct of monetary policy in Canada and therefore the trajectory of Canadian mortgage rates. The prevailing majority view on inflation seems to be tilted toward recent increases being a temporary phenomenon which should settle over the next year. If so, we should see an orderly unwinding of monetary stimulus with a gradual upward trajectory for mortgage rates beginning next year.



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I have sold a property at 1104 6659 SOUTHOAKS CRES in Burnaby.
IMMACULATE 1160 sq ft, 2 bed/2 bath+den+eating area in Bosa-built Gemini 2 in Highgate. Condo faces south on the quiet side of the building. All rooms are big & bright w/amazing VIEWS! Large, updated kitchen w/granite countertops & new s/s appliances. Gas fireplace in liv room + access to the expansive balcony. Master bedroom is big w/tons of closets. Both bedrooms open onto balcony. Eating area is perfect for future poker nights & the den makes a great home office. Amenities incl: gym, yoga room, steam room, sauna, meeting room & playground. Excellent building, very proactive strata. Great location, 10 min walk to Edmonds Skytrain, Highgate Mall & 10 min drive to Metrotown. 2 parking, 1 locker, 2 pets alllowed, no rentals. 1st showings this Fri. 5-7:30, offers anytime. Check VIRTUAL tour!
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The Metro Vancouver* housing market saw steady home sale and listing activity in May, a shift back from the record-breaking activity seen in the earlier spring months:


The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 4,268 in May 2021, a 187.4 per cent increase from the 1,485 sales recorded in May 2020, and a 13 per cent decrease from the 4,908 homes sold in April 2021. Last month’s sales were 27.7 per cent above the 10-year May sales average.


“While home sale and listing activity remained above our long-term averages in May, conditions moved back from the record-setting pace experienced throughout Metro Vancouver in March and April of this year,” Keith Stewart, REBGV economist said. “With a little less intensity in the market today than we saw earlier in the spring, home sellers need to ensure they’re working with their REALTOR® to price their homes based on current market conditions.”


There were 7,125 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in May 2021. This represents a 93.4 per cent increase compared to the 3,684 homes listed in May 2020 and a 10.2 per cent decrease compared to April 2021 when 7,938 homes were listed. The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 10,970, a 10.5 per cent increase compared to May 2020 (9,927) and a 7.1 per cent increase compared to April 2021 (10,245).


"With sales easing down from record peaks, a revised mortgage stress test that reduces the maximum borrowing amounts by approximately 4.5 per cent, and the average five-year fixed mortgage rate climbing back over two per cent since the beginning of 2021, we’ll pay close attention to these factors leading into the summer to understand what affect they’ll have on the current market cycle,” Stewart said.


For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for May 2021 is 38.9 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 29.8 per cent for detached homes, 53.8 per cent for townhomes, and 43.5 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 seller’s market conditions experienced throughout much of the pandemic highlight the need for increasing the volume and variety of housing supply across our region,” Stewart said. “Doing this requires a more disciplined focus on planning, reducing building costs, understanding demographic changes, and expediting the building approval process.”


The MLS® Home Price Index1 composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,172,800. This represents a 14 per cent increase over May 2020 and a 1.5 per cent increase compared to April 2021.


Sales of detached homes in May 2021 reached 1,430, a 166 per cent increase from the 537 detached sales recorded in May 2020. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,800,600. This represents a 22.8 per cent increase from May 2020 and a 1.7 per cent increase compared to April 2021.


Sales of apartment homes reached 2,049 in May 2021, a 213 per cent increase compared to the 653 sales in May 2020. The benchmark price of an apartment home is $737,100. This represents a 7.9 per cent increase from May 2020 and a 1.2 per cent increase compared to April 2021.


Attached home sales in May 2021 totalled 800, a 168 per cent increase compared to the 298 sales in May 2020. The benchmark price of an attached home is $936,300. This represents a 16.3 per cent increase from May 2020 and a 1.8 per cent increase compared to April 2021.




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 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.