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Monday, February 19, 2018

BC attorney general reacts to real estate money laundering report

A report in the Globe and Mail over the weekend claims that the real estate industry is being used for money laundering by those connected with drug-related crime in British Columbia.
The report claims that money from drug dealing and other crimes is being used by certain unlicensed private lenders who issue mortgages and short-term loans in cash.
The province’s attorney-general David Eby has reacted to the report and other recent media coverage, calling them “very serious and deeply troubling.”
“The nature of these allegations, that this money-laundering activity is actively influencing our real estate market and is connected to the sale of life-destroying fentanyl, underlines the critical importance of addressing money laundering urgently and not ignoring it. This story confirms our government’s commitment to taking action to crack down on money laundering and criminal activity in B.C.,” he said.
He added that he has extended the scope of the review being carried out by Peter German, who was hired to look into money-laundering rules for the casino industry; to assess any connection between money-laundering and other parts of the province’s economy, including real estate.
“Our government will work to determine the scope of this issue, and what must be done to appropriately address it. We will ensure our investigation into money laundering in B.C. casinos is informed by these disturbing revelations,” concluded Mr Eby.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Canadian Manufacturing Sales - February 16, 2018

Canadian manufacturing sales ended 2017 on a down note, declining 0.3 per cent on a monthly basis after a nearly 4 per cent increase in November. The decline was the result of lower sales in the energy sector as well as declining sales in food manufacturing.  Sales were down in 11 of 21 manufacturing sub-sectors, representing 57 per cent of the manufacturing sector.  On a year-over-year basis, Canadian manufacturing sales were up 3.7 per cent over December 2016. 

In BC, manufacturing sales dipped 0.7 per cent on a monthly basis but were up close to 9 per cent year-over-year. For all of 2017, BC manufacturing sales rose 8.1 per cent with significant contributions from a diverse array of industries, most notably the the forestry sector where sales of paper and wood products were up more than 9 per cent on an annual basis. Those gains helped drive employment and housing demand around the province as BC posted another stellar year of economic growth.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

No new condos in Vancouver for $500K or less

A national survey of what $500,000 buys in newly built condos was unable to find a single example in Vancouver proper – the only city in the survey to have zero stock of new units under $500K.
The latest condo market survey from real estate data company Altus Group said that buyers would have to go to a nearby city such as Burnaby to find any new condos priced at less than half a million, and even those would only be around 450 square feet.
The report also looked at new-build condo sales over 2017 in major urban markets, and found that Vancouver was an “outlier” with a significant decline in sales of new units – “impacted by the sharp drop in new condominium supply coming onto the market,” according to Altus Group.
It added, “Vancouver is the tightest new condominium apartment market in the country and sales levels are not reflective of underlying demand, which remains very strong.”
 Vancouver Courier

Friday, February 9, 2018

Canadian Employment - February 9, 2018

A slow start to the year as Canadian employment fell by 88,000 jobs in January. On the bright side, the losses were entirely due to declining part-time work while full-time jobs actually grew by 49,000 and total hours worked were up 2.8 per cent. The national unemployment rate ticked up 0.1 points to 5.9 per cent.
In BC, employment was down by 5,100 jobs although full-time employment was up by 4,100 while part-time work declined.   Despite those losses, the level of employment was still 2.5 per cent higher than January last year. The provincial unemployment edged up by 0.2 points in January to 4.8 per cent.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Vancouver not keeping up with affordable housing demand, says CMHC

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Vancouver and Toronto are not moving fast enough to supply affordable housing. That’s the key finding in a new report from a federal agency responsible for ensuring housing is accessible.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation also found low mortgage rates, paired with strong population and economic growth, are driving up house prices.
Research dating back to 2010 — the year Vancouver hosted the Olympics- – shows the cost of an average home in Vancouver jumped 48 per cent over six years. The average cost rose 40 per cent in Toronto.
About 75 per cent of the growth here is thanks to low mortgage rates, buyers having more disposal income, and more people choosing to live in the Lower Mainland.

The CMHC’s Aled ab Iorweth says it’s not clear why Vancouver and Toronto are not meeting demands as fast as other urban areas.
“Supply responses have been stronger in Montreal, Calgary, and Edmonton. There are significant data gaps in this area.”
He admits examining the extent of foreign investment is a challenge because non-Canadians own less than five per cent of Vancouver homes, but 52 per cent of buyers believe prices are influenced by foreign investors.
The 225-page report found prices for single-detached homes are consistently higher than prices for condos. But investment demand for apartments is rising, and that’s driving up prices for rental homes.
news 1130

Canadian Building Permits - February 7, 2018

The total value of Canadian building permits increased 5 per cent on a monthly basis in December.  The increase was primarily the result of higher construction intentions in the residential sector. For all of 2017, the value of building permits across Canada rose 10.4 per cent.  

The total value of permits issued in BC broke a string of consecutive down months, rising 27 per cent on a monthly basis and 55.5 per cent year-over-year to 1.5 billion.  Residential permits accounted for all of the increase, rising 51 per cent on a monthly basis and 60 per cent over December last year. Non-residential permits declined 17.5 per cent on a monthly basis but were 42 per cent higher year-over-year. Building permits were up 22.9 per cent for all of 2017, the largest increase of all the provinces.

Construction intentions in December were higher in only three of BC's four census metropolitan areas (CMA):
  • Permits in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA  rose 167.1 per cent on a monthly basis to just under $80 million. Year-over-year, permit values were more than triple the value from December 2016.
  • In the Victoria CMA, total construction intentions increased 69.2 per cent to $81.5 million and were up 13.7 per cent year-over-year.
  • In the Kelowna CMA, permits were down 31.6 per cent monthly basis to $52 million, a 16.1 per cent decline from  December 2016.
  • The Vancouver CMA recorded permit activity valued at $976.3 million, an increase of 39 per cent over November and up 71 per cent over the last year.  For the year as a whole, Vancouver permits rose 14.2 per cent to $9.4 billion with all components except single detached dwellings posting increasing permit values.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Vancouver home prices rise as sales fall . January 2018

The Metro Vancouver housing market remained stable in January with the average home price rising 0.6%, compared with December, to  $1,056,500. This came as sales fell 9.8%, compared with December, to 1,818.
Apartments, or condominiums, were responsible for the entire price increase given that those homes rose in value by 1.5%, compared with December, to $665,400.
In contrast, detached homes fell in price by 0.3%, compared with December, to $1,601,500 while attached home prices were largely unchanged at $803,700.
“Demand remains elevated and listings scarce in the attached and apartment markets across Metro Vancouver,” said Jill Oudil, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver president.
“Buyers in the detached market are facing less competition and have much more selection to choose. For detached home sellers to be successful, it’s important to set prices that reflect today’s market trends.”
Last month’s sales were 7.1% more than the 10-year average for home sales in January. By property type, detached-home sales were down 24.8% compared with the 10-year average for January home sales, while attached-home sales increased 14.3% and apartment sales were up 31.6% compared with that same 10-year average for January home sales.
The total number of properties listed for sale on the multiple listing service (MLS) system in Metro Vancouver is 6,947 – a 4% decrease compared to January 2017, when there were 7,238 homes listed for sale, and and a 0.2% decrease compared to December 2017, when 6,958 homes were listed for sale.
The sales-to-active-listings ratio for all Metro Vancouver homes in January was 26.2%.
Real estate insiders tend to describe the market as a “buyers’ market” when the sales-to-active-listings ratio is less than 13%, and a “sellers’ market” when that ratio is above about 20% for several months in a row.
Using that guide, the Metro Vancouver residential real estate market is still considered a sellers’ market.
By Glen Korstrom BIV