Sales across all major markets in the province in July 2018 decreased significantly compared to July 2017, with Metro Vancouver notably hitting an 18-year low for real estate sales.  Active listings increased across much of the province, resulting in greater supply and choice for potential homebuyers. Mortgage delinquency in Vancouver is the lowest in the country despite some of the highest average mortgage payments.

IN THE NEWS

Vancouver has the lowest property tax rate in both Canada and the USA, of the 25 Canadian and 100 US cities the study looked at. Vancouver’s 0.25% rate makes the cost of owning a home in Vancouver significantly cheaper than other places such as Toronto, with a 0.64% rate.

Thomas Davidoff, a housing economist at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business says, “If somebody who wanted to park cash somewhere and just wanted low carrying costs, Vancouver has historically been a great place.”

Home sales in July across Metro Vancouver hit their lowest level in 18 years but prices remained steady according to the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board. Board president Phil Moore says the sales to active listing ratio was almost 10% last month. Experts normally expect downward pressure on prices when the ratio falls below 12%, so there is a possibility of a downturn for prices of homes in the Vancouver area.

Vancouver homeowners have the lowest mortgage delinquency rate in the country. The delinquency rate in Vancouver is 0.08%, one of the lowest ever recorded. The federal government’s stress test was expanded in January to protect homeowners from becoming overextended, particularly in Vancouver. The delinquency rate has fallen from the peak in the third quarter of 2014 when it reached 0.6% despite the average monthly mortgage payment rising by 6.3% from the first quarter of 2017.

Housing starts in Vancouver trended lower in July with fewer projects of both the single-detached and multi-family segments beginning. Densification in Vancouver, Burnaby, and North Vancouver was the focal point of new multi-family housing starts during the month. Through the first seven months of 2018, new home construction has remained equal to 2017.

Canadian retirees are driving up prices in the recreational property market. The average price of recreational properties across the country has increased 13.2% in the past 12 months. According to a Re/Max Recreational Property Omnibus Survey retirees are driving 91% of the market compared to last year when they accounted for only 55% of the market. Canada’s senior population is the largest its ever been and for the first time in Canadian history, seniors outnumber children in the country.


STATS AT-A-GLANCE


BC UNEMPLOYMENT RATES

RegionsRate from July to August 2018Rate from June to July 2018
Northern B.C.10.0%10.4%
Southern Coastal6.8%6.8%
Southern Interior8.2%7.9%
Vancouver4.4%4.2%
Victoria5.2%4.8%

Table source: http://srv129.services.gc.ca/ei_regions/eng/rates_cur.aspx

REAL ESTATE ACTIVITY BY REGION

Greater Vancouver

  • Units sold: 30.1% decrease from July, 2017
  • Active listings: 32.0% increase from July, 2017
  • New listings: 9.2% decrease from July, 2017
  • Benchmark price: $1,588,400 (0.8% decrease over last 6 months)*

Victoria 

  • Units sold: 17.6% decrease from July, 2017
  • Active listings: 35.7% increase from July, 2017
  • Benchmark price: $880,000 (5.5% increase from July, 2017)*

Kamloops

  • Units sold: 16.3% decrease from July, 2017
  • Active listings: 7.5% decrease from July, 2017
  • New listings: 4.8% decrease from July, 2017
  • Average residential price: $406,768 (10.6% increase from July, 2017)

Fraser Valley

  • Units sold: 33.4% decrease from July, 2017
  • Active listings: 23.9% increase from July, 2017
  • New listings: 11.5% decrease from July, 2017
  • Benchmark price: $1,017,400 (5.3% increase from July, 2017)*

Central Okanagan

  • Units sold: 30.0% decrease from July, 2017
  • Active listings: 22.4% increase from July, 2017
  • New listings: 3.6% increase from July, 2017
  • Average residential price: $641,006 (17.1% increase from July, 2017)

*Benchmark based on the MLS HPI® benchmark for single family detached homes.

Sources:

  1. https://business.financialpost.com/real-estate/vancouvers-homes-may-be-costly-to-buy-but-theyre-cheap-to-own
  2. https://theprovince.com/business/real-estate/fewer-buyers-more-choice-push-vancouver-home-sales-to-lowest-level-in-18-years/wcm/cb3fcf85-c24d-4848-bf51-257c32f0b331?video_autoplay=true
  3. https://biv.com/article/2018/08/vancouver-mortgage-defaults-plunge-home-prices-increase
  4. https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/housing-observer-online/2018-housing-observer/canadian-housing-starts-trend-decreases-july
  5. https://vancouversun.com/real-estate/cottage-craze-retirees-are-now-using-recreational-properties-as-their-primary-residences/wcm/b00cdd36-698c-4f45-a9b0-65f82aa44903
  6. https://www.vreb.org/monthly-reports/june-2018
  7. https://www.vreb.org/current-statistics
  8. http://www.kamloopsrealestateblog.com/category/kamloops-real-estate-statistics/
  9. http://www.fvreb.bc.ca/stats/
  10. https://www.omreb.com/files/06-CO%20Statistics-Jun-2018.pdf

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