April 27, 2011
Vancouver Real Estate versus Calgary!
Vancouver versus Calgary:
The average price of a house in the Vancouver area (East & West) is $786,000 - in Calgary it is just under $400,000
The resale value of a home in Vancouver increased 13% since March 2010 - in Calgary it has dropped 1.7%
Information from the Canadian Real Estate Association
April 20, 2011
Vancouver Downtown Eastside - City votes to allow taller buildings in Chinatown area
The decision was not unanimous with the two Cope Councillor's voting against the "Historic Height Review."
The Downtown East Side Neighbourhood Council representative Ian Drury says it's clear the other councillor's weren't willing to listen to residents who oppose increasing building heights,"I really do believe city council see's the downtown east side as a chess board and they are moving gentrification shock troops in from the west end of the area. Woodwards is where they landed gentrification in the western district in the downtown east side and it's been radiating out from there and now it's encroaching from the south."
Drury says the taller buildings will increase real estate speculation driving the poor out of the neighbourhood.
He says with the decision his group will now be going straight to the developer's asking them who will be the first to risk building a condo in a hostile environment.
April 15, 2011
RE/MAX Housing Barometer Report 2000-2010
Over the past decade, Greater Vancouver saw one of the most heated housing markets in the country, with conditions fi rmly in favour of the seller during the vast majority (55 per cent) of the 11-year period.
The stretch running from 2001 to 2007 was even tighter, when purchasers vied for properties 76 per cent of the time, with little relief from the supply crunch. Buyers took the helm in only 13 per cent of the decade, while balance characterized the remainder.
In fact, all but three of the last 11 years measured up as seller’s markets. It took a full-scale recession to ease conditions signifi cantly; with 2008 the only year buyer’s ruled Vancouver real estate. As a result, it comes as little surprise that returns from 2000 to 2010 in this housing hot spot exceeded the national average. Values rose from $295,978 in 2000 to $675,853 in 2010—for a compounded rate of return of 7.8 per cent. Canada earned a 6.8 per cent return over the same duration. Its price growth helped position the city in the
top tier, out-performing two-thirds of Canadian markets, ranking six nationally and fi fth in Western Canada for return on investment.
While balanced conditions provided some relief for purchasers in Greater Vancouver in 2010, the market was relatively short-lived. Seller’s conditions began to take shape once again in the latter months of 2010, with the sales-to-new listings ratio reaching 82 per cent in November and 110 per cent in December.
The demand for single-family homes, in particular, picked up steam in early January. Builders and new immigrants are snapping up properties two at a time, in cash purchases, for future development. Most of these homes are older, on larger lots, and will be torn down to make way for custom-built homes. With competition underway once again, multiple offers have reemerged, especially for homes that represent land value in well-established neighbourhoods.
Activity was solid out of the gate in Vancouver West, East Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond and the North Shore. Most sought after are single-family homes, priced between $1 million and $2 million. Days on market has been falling steadily, as move-up purchasers re-enter the market en masse.
In Canada’s priciest market, affordability remains top of mind, with reasonably-priced units in good neighbourhoods snapped up quickly. Momentum continues unabated in the upper end, although confidence is building at all price points, setting the stage for a solid 2011.
April 13, 2011
Key Notes from Bank of Canada Monetary Policy Report
13 April 2011
• Today’s report brings the Bank of Canada almost exactly in-line with our own expectations for annual
Canadian economic growth in both 2011 and 2012. Moreover, the economic assessment suggests that it is
only a matter of time before the Bank resumes raising interest rates. Given the prospects for the output gap to
be eliminated in mid-2012, the Bank will want monetary policy at close to a neutral setting at that time –
although strength in the Canadian dollar will temper the level to which rates rise.
• We anticipate the Bank to raise the Overnight Rate to 2.00% by the end of this year, and gradually continue
tightening in 2012. This would represent a gradual rebalancing of policy, which will temper consumer
spending and constrain real estate, but will leave economic growth advancing at a healthy clip of around 2.5%.
• There were no surprises in today’s Monetary Policy Report (MPR)
• As cited in the communiqué accompanying the rate decision yesterday, the Bank of Canada upgraded its
outlook for Canadian economic growth. The Bank now expects real GDP growth in 2011 to be 2.9% relative to
its 2.4% expectation in January. However, 2012 was downgraded marginally by 0.2 percentage points from
2.8% to 2.6%.
• Very little was changed regarding the domestic outlook. There were two key factors behind the overall upgrade
to 2011. First, consumer spending showed stronger resilience than they had originally anticipated (annualized
growth in the fourth quarter was very robust at 4.9%). Second, higher commodity prices are driving up
Canada’s terms-of-trade and leading to much stronger personal wealth gains that would support a slightly
higher profile for consumer spending.
• Accordingly, the Bank is tracking economic growth of 4.2% annualized in Q1, slightly above the most recent
TD Economics forecast for 3.8%. However, the Bank and TD Economics both agree that this will be the
strongest quarterly performance, and the pace of growth will slow to below 3% over the remaining quarters of
• On the global front, the laundry list of risks to the outlook has lengthened considerably in recent months. In
addition to sovereign debt and banking problems in Europe and broad inflationary pressures in emerging
markets, we now add potential supply chain disruptions due to the Tohoku earthquake and elevated
geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and Northern Africa. However, the Bank ultimately judges the global
economic recovery to be more firmly entrenched and expects global growth to continue at a steady pace.
• The Bank also raised its profile for Canadian inflation. The Bank conceded that higher food and energy prices
will likely push total CPI inflation higher by the second quarter to 2.7%, which is already partially mitigated by a
higher Canadian dollar. However, this is likely to be only temporary, as the Bank expects total CPI inflation to
return to 2.0% by the second quarter of 2012. Underlying inflationary pressures are slightly higher than their
January projection, but still remain well contained and are in-line with the Bank’s comfort level. Core inflation is
now expected to reach 2.0% by the middle of 2012, up from the end of 2012.
• The output gap closes two quarters earlier than the Bank projected in January, now by the middle of 2012.
Francis Fong, Economist Toronto Dominion Economics
April 12, 2011
Myths about Vancouver
Vancouver is Canada's rainiest City!
In fact, Vancouver doesn’t even rank among the country’s top-eight cities when it comes to the most rainfall in a day. The city is eclipsed by Halifax, Regina, Oshawa, Kingston, Toronto, St. John’s, Edmonton and Hamilton.
But we do rank third among Canada’s 24 largest urban centres for the number of rainy days each year, behind only Abbotsford and St. John’s
Stanley Park is North America's Largest urban park!
At 1,000 acres, it’s big, sure, and it’s 10 per-cent larger than Central Park in Manhattan, but there are a list of parks around Canada (the 10,000-acre Rouge Valley Park in Markham, Ontario) and the United States (Phoenix’s South Mountain Park, at 16,283 acres) that trump our beloved park in size.
Beneath Chinatown lies a maze of tunnels
Wrong. The Vancouver Police Museum’s Chris Mathieson, who conducts a “Sins of the City” tour, hears this one a lot. It’s easy for anyone to get confused, particularly history buffs who may have happened upon the 100-year-old Vancouver Sun article headlined “Vancouver police explore Chinatown tunnels …” Not that Chinatown doesn’t have any juicy stories in its underbelly. Opium dens, brothels, gambling hangouts — they’re all there, sure. But they’re basement rooms with connecting doors. No funky mysterious tunnels, sorry to say.
The East Side has always been less prosperous side of the City
If that were true, the Victoria Drive and Commercial Drive environs wouldn’t be lined with big ol’ beautiful homes. For those with cash to spare, Victoria between Venables and 1st Avenue was the place to be. The movers and shakers of early Vancouver, such as the Bell Irvings, Mayor McLean and R.H. Alexander, all took up residence in the 10 tony waterfront areas along Cordova, Powell and Dunlevy, east of Main. Eventually, the building of the Shaughnessyneighbourhood around 1909 killed the east side money vibe.
Vancouver Sun Article April 2011
April 12, 2011
March 2011 Real Estate Sales Statistics from REBGV
Here are the Sales Statistics from the REBGV (Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver) for March 2011. Each is broken down into the HPI (Housing Price Index - benchmark price for a property) value for each of the catagorries - Detached, Attached and Apartments - and the % increase from March 2010 to March 2011
||HPI value March 2011
||% increase 2010 to 2011 (March)
April 12, 2011
April 12, 2011 Bank of Canada Interest Rate Decision
As was widely expected, the Bank of Canada continued to hold its benchmark overnight rate target at 1.00% where it has been since September of last year. With Bank prime at 2% over, prime remains at 3% (prime changes affect floating rate: Variable rate mortgages and Home Equity Lines)
In its communiqué, the Bank noted a laundry list of risks currently facing the global economy: the Tohoku earthquake, geopolitical risk in the Middle East and Northern Africa, European sovereign debt, and broader global inflationary pressures due to rapid emerging market growth. Ultimately, the Bank judged that despite these risks, the global economic recovery was becoming more firmly entrenched and is expected to continue at a steady pace
Despite the upgrade to Canada’s economic performance, today’s even-handed statement suggests that the Bank of Canada does not appear to be feeling enormous pressure to resume interest-rate hikes at this point in time.
We still believe that a July rate hike is the best bet. Notably, by that time the U.S. Federal Reserve will have completed its second round of quantitative easing, reducing the risk of further upward pressure on the Canadian dollar. The Bank today served up a reminder of the downside risks to growth and inflation surrounding the elevated Loonie