Friday, May 30, 2014

Canadian Real GDP Growth - May 30, 2014


The Canadian economy expanded at a disappointing 1.2 per cent at an annual rate in the first quarter or 2014. Growth was dragged lower by a slowing in household consumption as well as a decline in business investment and exports. The latter was at least in part caused by a sharp slowdown in the US economy in the first quarter. 

In spite of a weak start to 2014, we expect the Canadian economy will accelerate this year.  The setback in the US economy in the first quarter was largely the result of severe winter weather, and recent job growth and other indicators point to a sharp reversal in growth in the second quarter.  As the US economy expands, the Canadian economy should gain momentum, fueled by higher exports and business investment. For now, weakness in first quarter economic growth likely offsets the recent rise in inflation in the minds of policymakers at the Bank of Canada.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Housing demand forecast to rise through 2015


chartBC Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales are forecast to increase 5.2 per cent to 76,700 units this year, before increasing a further 6.7 per cent to 81,800 units in 2015. The five-year average is 75,400 unit sales, while the ten-year average is 84,800 unit sales. A record 106,300 MLS® residential sales were recorded in 2005.
“BC home sales are expected to trend higher this year and in 2015, as stronger economic conditions both at home and abroad bolster consumer demand,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “While historically low mortgage interest rates are a key market driver, population growth led by a strong upturn in net migration and more robust employment growth are expected to generate additional housing demand.
“The average MLS® residential price for the province is forecast to increase 4.3 per cent to $560,500 this year and a further 2 per cent to $571,500 in 2015. Increasing consumer demand combined with fewer homes for sale has created balanced market conditions in most BC regional markets, resulting in home price appreciation more in line with overall consumer price inflation.”

Scotiabank offers 5-year fixed mortgage at 2.97 per cent

Scotiabank has lowered its five-year mortgage rate to 2.97 per cent, beginning a new sally in the war to win business.
The rate, effective until June 7, is the lowest among the big banks for a fixed five-year rate.
Two weeks ago Investors Group unveiled a three-year variable rate of 1.99 per cent. Variable rates often are lower than fixed rates, as the consumer takes the chance that interest rates will rise and cause higher payments.
In 2012, a number of Canadian banks offered five-year mortgage rates below three per cent — something that earned them a stern rebuke at the time from then Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. The banks quickly dropped the offer.
Flaherty tightened the country’s mortgage insurance rules in July 2012, in a bid to curb the rapid growth of consumer debt and soaring house prices. Although the measures briefly cut down on the number of people applying for mortgages, Canada’s housing market remains hot.
However, current Finance Minister Joe Oliver has said he has no intention of wading into the debate over setting mortgage rates.
In March, Bank of Montreal again offered a fixed five-year rate of 2.99 per cent, but Scotiabank’s 2.97 per cent is a shade lower.
There is fierce competition among the banks for mortgage business, considered a secure form of consumer loan.
This summer, Royal Bank will offer real estate agents $1,000 for referring five first-time homebuyers.
First-time buyers are particularly desirable because they need a large sum of money and are likely to become bank clients for life.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

BC Commercial Leading Indicator Edges Lower, but Trend Still Points to Growth


Vancouver, BC – May 27, 2014. The BCREA Commercial Leading Indicator (CLI) declined 0.4 points to an index level of 114.5 in the first quarter of 2014, breaking a string of four consecutive quarterly increases. On a year-over-year basis, the CLI was 1.5 per cent above the first quarter of 2013. The index reached an all-time high of 116.2 in the second quarter of 2007.
In spite of last quarter’s dip, the trend underlying the CLI continues to signal growth for the commercial real estate market. An upturn in the CLI trend is historically a good signal of expanding commercial real estate activity in the following two to four quarters.
"Although the CLI posted a modest decline in the first quarter, momentum in the underlying trend is still signalling a positive economic environment for the commercial market,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA Economist. “Moreover, an expected acceleration in the BC economy this year means that the first quarter decline should be temporary."

Friday, May 23, 2014

Hey Vancouver, there are affordable homes – 20 minutes away

The tiny old city of New Westminster just might be the answer to the high price of Vancouver real estate.
Last year, Rick Vugteeven and his wife, Lana, were renting a Kitsilano apartment when they decided to go shopping for a house. After quickly discovering that Vancouver house prices were impossible, they decided to look in New Westminster, only a 20 minute SkyTrain or car ride away, if the traffic is kind.
Because it’s a historic city, the oldest in B.C., it’s got neighbourhoods that are packed with sleepy tree-lined streets and houses that ooze charm – Queen’s Park being the most famous among them. But it’s also one of the most walkable cities in the province, unlike surrounding suburbs, which were built for cars.
“We wanted to stay in an area that was very walkable, and had a sense of history and character,” says Mr. Vugteeven.
Last fall, he and his wife purchased a 1,900-square-foot character house in good condition for $583,000, on a lot that is 55 by 100 feet. The asking price was $585,000. It needs a new furnace and some of the windows need to be replaced, but otherwise it’s a solid and charming house.
The house, built in 1926, is in a part of New Westminster called Brow of the Hill, which is a mix of old fixer-uppers and rental buildings, with a commercial area nearby. It is, like other parts of the city, an area in transition, changing from a rundown and depressed neighbourhood to a place where young families want to fix up their houses and raise their kids. It’s also a short walk to the SkyTrain station, which is another major draw. New Westminster has five rapid transit stations.
“The only reason the price is what it is, is that it’s in an area mixed with apartments, and historically, is on the wrong side of the tracks. But many of the older houses have now been restored, and there are still plenty awaiting restoration,” says Mr. Vugteeven, who is 31, and works at home, for a Boston-based start-up.
“I’d imagine that much of the change is due to the relative affordability of homes here, compared to Vancouver.”
He is one of a growing group of former Vancouver residents who’ve been drawn to the city that sits on the north bank of the Fraser River, across the river from Surrey, sandwiched between Burnaby and Coquitlam.
“The fact is, New West has character and the surrounding areas don’t,” says real estate agent James Garbutt. Mr. Garbutt is also owner of the Steel & Oak Brewing company, which will open in five weeks in New Westminster. It is a joint venture with business partner Jorden Foss. Both men are typical of the urban-dwelling young person drawn to the city to lay down some roots.
Mr. Foss recently tweeted: “A guy is pushing a fixie up 3rd. With a baby on the back. That’s dedication to a lifestyle. #New West: where hipsters go to have kids.”
With a population of 70,000 and a land area of only 15.6 square kilometres, it’s not just a hilly city, but also a dense city – with a rapidly growing condo market of about 20,000 units and a couple more thousand on their way, according to Mr. Garbutt. But the housing stock, at around 8,000 to 9,000 houses is fixed, which means house prices will go up with demand.
“Eventually, all those condo people are going to want to live in houses,” he says.
Mr. Garbutt was raised in Burnaby and lives with his wife and kids in a 120-year-old fixer-upper in Queens Park.
“It seems like 75 per cent of the traffic at my open houses is Vancouver people. This year it’s stood out that Vancouver people are moving to New West. We are more on the map than before, that’s for sure. We’re getting more attention than we ever have before.”
Landcor Data Corp., which happens to be based in New Westminster, provided The Globe and Mail with all the sales for detached homes in the city for the past year. The median price was $650,000. The lowest priced house was for $179,906 and the highest was for $1.7-million. Of 254 sales, only eight of them were for more than $1-million.
In Vancouver, the median price of a detached house is $1.29-million, according to Landcor.

CMHC Rule Changes for Second Homes

Effective May 30,2014 CMHC rule changes for second homes take effect.  CMHC introduced the second home product in 2005 to offer borrowers more financing options when purchasing an owner-occupied second home located anywhere in Canada.  The recent changes will limit the availability of homeowner mortgage loan insurance to only one property (1-4) units per borrower or co-borrower at any given time.
Therefore any homeowners wishing to purchase a second property and require mortgage loan insurance will be unable to do so unless they refinance their existing home into a conventional mortgage.
These changes will not impact the number of rental properties currently owned with previous mortgage loan insurance in place through CMHC.

Canadian Consumer Price Inflation - May 23, 2014


Canadian inflation accelerated in April as consumer prices rose 2 per cent in the twelve months to April, a 0.5 point increase from March's inflation reading of 1.5 per cent and nearly a full percentage point higher than February. The increase was largely explained by rising energy prices, including a 6.6 per cent gain in gasoline prices and a 26 per cent gain in the price of natural gas.  The Bank of Canada's index of core inflation, which strips out the most volatile components of the CPI, such as food and energy prices, increased 1.4 per cent in April, a modest increase from 1.3 per cent in March. As noted in the Bank of Canada's most recent forecast, higher energy prices are expected to push headline CPI inflation higher in coming months. Therefore, the current pick-up in inflation is unlikely to sway the Bank toward a more hawkish stance as long as core inflation remains muted.

The impact of the elimination of the HST is finally starting to fade from inflation measured in BC. Consumer prices in the provinces rose 1.5 per cent in the 12 months to April. That increase follows several months of inflation reading at close to, or even below, zero.  

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Canadian Retail Sales - May 22, 2014


Canadian retail sales edged 0.1 per cent lower in March, following advances in both January and February. Sales were lower in 7 of 11 subsectors, with the biggest declines occurring in the auto sector and clothing stores. In inflation-adjusted terms, retail sales fell 0.2 per cent.  

Retail sales in BC continued to grow in March, rising 1.1 per cent on a monthly basis and 3.6 per cent on a year-over-year basis.  Year-to-date, retail sales are up 3.7 per cent compared to just 2.4 per cent growth for all of 2013. 

BCREA ECONOMICS NOW


Canadian Retail Sales - May 22, 2014
Canadian retail sales edged 0.1 per cent lower in March, following advances in both January and February. Sales were lower in 7 of 11 subsectors, with the biggest declines occurring in the auto sector and clothing stores. In inflation-adjusted terms, retail sales fell 0.2 per cent.  

Retail sales in BC continued to grow in March, rising 1.1 per cent on a monthly basis and 3.6 per cent on a year-over-year basis.  Year-to-date, retail sales are up 3.7 per cent compared to just 2.4 per cent growth for all of 2013. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Real estate near Vancouver’s new transit line is on track for a boom


As the date for the Evergreen Line launch grows nearer, Coquitlam and Port Moody are increasingly becoming affordable and convenient home buying options for Vancouver buyers.
The new rapid transit line, which will link to the SkyTrain at Lougheed station, will take Port Moody and Coquitlam commuters to downtown Vancouver in less than an hour. It will also link the region with Simon Fraser University.

“Coquitlam condo product is selling less per square foot than it is in Surrey,” says Urban Analytics’ Michael Ferreira. “That’s one of the better places to buy right now.”
But while a lot of buyers hope to see their property investments increase once it’s launched in 2016, there’s debate as to whether a transit line actually translates into dollars. Condos around proposed stations in Coquitlam have mostly flat-lined over the past five years, according to Landcor Data Corp., which tracks the B.C. real estate market. Houses, on the other hand, have gone up. In 2009, the average sale price for a condo in Coquitlam around Burquitlam station, for example, was $211,970. In 2013, the average sale price was $255,815. In 2009, a single-family detached house in the area averaged $720,000 while this year it has averaged $963,000, according to Landcor.
Real estate analyst Richard Wozny, of Site Economics, says that, based on dozens of studies, there’s a hard and fast rule. For existing buildings, such as condo towers in the area, the price will go up about 5 per cent when a rapid transit station enters the picture. For a single-family home that needs to be rezoned, the price will double. For a vacant lot that’s already zoned for multiple families, the price increases about 25 per cent.
“There are tons of existing condo units and they will pour them on like crazy,” says Mr. Wozny. “Brentwood has 10,000 new condo units coming — that’s expressed intention to build. Surrey is going to get 16 stations and offer the same thing. Try to make money in that market as an end user. The supply is overwhelming you.”
Mr. Ferreira says with houses, it’s difficult to differentiate increases that are a result of the transit line and what’s happening in the market in general.
“It’s largely dependent on what the market conditions are around that time,” he says. “If they are strong, demand for housing is strong and prices are typically on the rise, which corrals people towards higher density neighbourhoods and rapid transit lines, that kind of thing.
“I think what you’ll see with the Evergreen Line is not much happening until it’s actually finished. It’s been delayed and talked about for so long that it will just take some time to for people to realize that it’s actually up and running.”
Mr. Ferreira agrees that condo owners could expect to see increases of around 5 per cent. Not that 5 per cent is a bad thing, adds Mr. Wozny. “That’s $25,000 on a $500,000 investment, and that’s a lot, in my opinion.”
Software developer Joe Parkinson lives in a two-level, 1,100-square-foot condo near Coquitlam Centre, overlooking an Evergreen station under construction. He purchased his condo three years ago, after he decided he wanted a better lifestyle than he had in downtown Vancouver. Now he pays $160 per month in condo fees instead of the $400 he was paying downtown. And he is living in a condo that would cost three times the amount in Vancouver. He paid about $450,000 for his Coquitlam condo.
“I was renting a shoebox in Vancouver,” he says. “It would be $2.5-million for this condo. And I can take the West Coast Express 30 minutes to work in Gastown.”
Mr. Parkinson wasn’t influenced by the Evergreen Line when he purchased his condo, and he’s not convinced it will go up in price when the line is finished.
“It didn’t influence my decision, but I think it’s influencing everybody else’s decision,” says Mr. Parkinson. “The detached housing in Coquitlam has done quite well, and it’s nowhere near the line. But for condos, it’s apples and oranges. It’s much different than in the city, where almost everything moves.”
Marketing director Jo Faloona purchased her two-level, 1,100-square-foot Port Moody townhouse for $245,000. Her home is just a five minute walk from the Inlet Centre station.
“Most people in my complex believe that their values are going to go up when SkyTrain comes. We are living in a spot where it’s perfect for young families.
“It’s a house and most of what is coming is condo living, and there are people who don’t want to go into a tower. There will be fewer and fewer walk-ups and that will be beneficial to us. I’m in the sweet spot – close enough to have the convenience of it, and just far enough away to not have anybody walking through my property to get to it.”
Bosa Properties is one of the early developers to build towers around the Coquitlam Evergreen Line. It has sold 70 per cent of one tower at itsUptown project, with construction set to start June 1. The 450 condo project, located a half block from the Evergreen station, includes a new Safeway store. Bosa has plans for two more towers for the area still in the approvals stage. Because the Evergreen Line will connect to Simon Fraser University on the east side, by a five-minute bus ride, he says he’s been getting a lot of interest from parents of university age children.
“We’ve been involved in that property for years, prior to the Evergreen being confirmed there,” says senior vice-president Daryl Simpson. “We would have been involved either way, line or not. But it’s unlikely we would be involved this soon, at this level, without the Evergreen Line happening.”
Once the line is up and running, Mr. Simpson says he can see the surrounding single-family homes rezoned for higher density. “Certainly the prospect of a single-family land assembly will increase as property values go up.”
As for crime, he says that the Evergreen won’t suffer from the poor public image that made it undesirable to live close to a SkyTrain station in the early days.
“In the last decade, that certainly was true, where you wanted to be two or three blocks away. That has changed. There have been a number of very popular, successful urban mixed-use projects that are literally right on top of the station or in the same block. And that market has placed a premium on those. It’s really inverted. Now, generally speaking, the closer you are the better.
“There is a critical mass of ridership that creates a certain comfort level and security and peace of mind at the station that wasn’t there before. I also think we’ve learned a lot since development of those old stations. The new ones are far more open, transparent, brighter, less confined. They just feel more welcoming and as a result don’t attract that same element that you’re talking about.”
That would apply to condos more than houses, however. Houses that are close to the line could potentially decrease in value, due to noise and traffic. But if you’re within walking distance, that’s a good thing.
“If you can walk from your home to the station, that determines the price of your house,” says Landcor’s Rudy Nielsen. “It’s based on walking not driving – about 15 minutes at most would be a comfortable distance.”

Friday, May 16, 2014

mortgage news


As of May 30, 2014, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is discontinuing mortgage loan insurance for buyers of second homes and making it harder for self-employed home buyers to qualify for mortgage loan insurance.
In Canada, home buyers with less than a 20 per cent down payment are required to buy mortgage insurance. The largest provider of mortgage insurance in Canada is the CMHC.
Second home buyers: this program offered mortgage loan insurance to second home buyers with less than a 20 per cent down payment. The program ends May 30 and could affect parents helping children buy their first home.
Self-employed buyers: this program previously allowed self-employed buyers to prove their income without traditional third-party validation. Starting June 1, 2014, the program will require self-employed buyers to prove their income with copies of their Canada Revenue Agency Notice of Assessment, audited financial statements, or unaudited financial statements prepared by an independent third party, for the previous two year period.

Both programs available until May 30

Regardless of the closing date of the home purchase, both programs are available for new mortgage loan insurance applications received by CMHC on or before May 30, 2014.
CMHC is reviewing its mortgage loan insurance business and making changes to reduce taxpayers’ exposure to risk.
Private insurers such as Genworth will still offer mortgage insurance to buyers of second homes and to self-employed borrowers unable to provide traditional sources of income validation.
BCREA ECONOMICS NOW
US Housing Starts - May 16, 2014
US housing starts jumped in April, reaching their highest level since November of last year. Total housing starts increased 13.2 per cent from March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 1.07 million units. 
Shipments of lumber and other manufactured wood  products have struggled to start the year as severe winter weather in the United States slowed new home construction.  An increased pace of US housing starts should help to get BC's wood products sector back on track, boosting BC's export sector and associated employment. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Housing Demand Forecast to Rise Through 2015


BCREA 2014 Second Quarter Housing Forecast
Vancouver, BC – May 15, 2014. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2014 Second Quarter Housing Forecast today.
BC Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales are forecast to increase 5.2 per cent to 76,700 units this year, before increasing a further 6.7 per cent to 81,800 units in 2015. The five-year average is 75,400 unit sales, while the ten-year average is 84,800 unit sales. A record 106,300 MLS® residential sales were recorded in 2005.
"BC Home sales are expected to trend higher this year and in 2015, as stronger economic conditions both at home and abroad bolster consumer demand,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “While historically low mortgage interest rates are a key market driver, population growth led by a strong upturn in net migration and more robust employment growth are expected to generate additional housing demand."  
The average MLS® residential price for the province is forecast to increase 4.3 per cent to $560,500 this year and a further 2 per cent to $571,500 in 2015. Increasing consumer demand combined with fewer homes for sale has created balanced market conditions in most BC regional markets, resulting in home price appreciation more in line with overall consumer price inflation.

Canadian Manufacturing Sales - May 15, 2014


Canadian manufacturing sales rose for the third consecutive month, edging up 0.4 per cent in March.  Sales were higher in 11 of 21 manufacturing sub-sectors.

In BC, manufacturing sales fell 0.6 per cent on a monthly basis, but were 0.6 per cent higher than March 2013.   Through the first quarter of the year, manufacturing sales are 3.1 per cent higher than the first quarter last year. The durable goods sector, which includes wood products, mineral products and machinery and equipment manufacturing, continued to be a drag on manufacturing output as previous sources of strength such as 
wood products have struggled to start the year. Non-durable goods like paper, clothing, and food manufacturing, were also lower in March, but have posted a 9 per cent gain in the first quarter when compared to 2013.  

The manufacturing sector employs approximately 170 thousand people in British Columbia, or roughly 7.5 per cent of the BC workforce.  Therefore, growth in manufacturing output should help spur job growth which would support the BC housing market,  particularly in regions with a high concentration of manufacturing activity.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Record Low Mortgage Rates Push Home Sales Higher


Vancouver, BC – May 13, 2014.  The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 7,730 residential sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April, up 12 per cent from April 2013. Total sales dollar volume was $4.3 billion, an increase of 19 per cent compared to a year ago. The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $561,613, up 6.3 per cent from the same month last year.

"BC home sales trended higher in April as the typically robust spring market unfolds,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Rising consumer demand coupled with fewer homes for sale has most BC housing markets now exhibiting balanced conditions, where neither buyers nor sellers have any particular advantage."
"Housing affordability improved last month as intensifying completion for new business by financial institutions pushed the posted five-year fixed mortgage rate to a record low of 4.79 per cent” added Muir.
During the first four months of the year, BC residential sales dollar volume was nearly 28 per cent to $13.9 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales were up 18 per cent to 24,165 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 8.3 per cent at $573,965.

Canadian Employment - May 9, 2014


Canadian employment declined by 29,000 jobs in April and the national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.9 per cent. Since the beginning of 2014, the Canadian economy has added an average of 9,100 jobs per month.

After gaining an impressive 18,300 jobs in March, the BC economy shed 3,700 jobs in April. The provincial unemployment rate remained at an over 5-year low of 5.8 per cent. Total employment in the province is up 0.5 per cent in 2014 following a 0.2 per cent decline in 2013. 

Canadian Housing Starts - May 8, 2014


Canadian housing starts jumped 24 per cent in April to 194,809 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR).  The six-month trend in Canadian new home construction is more or less stable at 183,000 units SAAR. That level of construction is in-line with Canadian household growth. 

New home construction in BC urban centers dipped slightly in April, falling 5 per cent to 24,976 units SAAR. On a year-over-year basis, housing starts were up 9 per cent compared to April 2013. Single-detached starts rose 34 per cent while multiple units were down 1 per cent. 


Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were down 2 per cent year-over-year in April. The decline was led by a 6 per cent decrease in multiple units while single-detached units rose 12 per cent. In the Victoria CMA, total starts fell 46 per cent compared with April 2013 due to a steep decline in multiple units starts. New home construction in the Kelowna CMA continued to enjoy solid growth in April, rising 13 per cent due to a 27 per cent rise in multiple starts. Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA were up considerably from very weak construction levels in April 2013. Total starts rose to 103 units from just 12 in the previous April. 

Canadian Building Permits - May 7, 2014


Canadian building permits declined 3 per cent in March, following an 11.3 per cent decline in February.  Lower construction intentions in the non-residential sector overwhelmed smaller gains in residential permitting activity. 

Construction intentions in BC rose 9.4 per cent month-over-month and 16.5 per cent year-over-year in March. The dollar value of residential permits rose 12.1 per cent on a monthly basis and 8.9 per cent year-over-year while non-residential permits were up 4.5 per cent over February and 34.2 per cent year-over-year. In unit terms, residential permits rose from 1,511 total units in February to 2,305 in March due to a jump in permits for apartment units. 
 

Building permit activity was up in three of BC's four census metropolitan areas (CMA) in March. In the Abbotsford-Mission CMA, permits more than doubled on a monthly basis and were up 91.8 per cent year-over-year.  Construction intentions in the Victoria CMA also more than doubled from February and were up 29.3 per cent year-over-year. In the Kelowna CMA, permits increased 8.4 per cent on a monthly basis and but were down 7.6 per cent from March 2013.  Finally, in the Vancouver CMA, permits fell 3.1 per cent from February but rose 14.4 per cent year-over-year. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Housing market in Greater Vancouver/ April 2014

Spring buyers and sellers emerge in the Greater Vancouver housing market

Home buyers and sellers became more active in the Greater Vancouver housing market in April.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 3,050 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April 2014. This represents a 16.1 per cent increase compared to the 2,627 sales recorded in April 2013, and a 15.5 per cent increase compared to the 2,641 sales in March 2014.
Last month’s sales were 5.2 per cent below the 10-year sales average for April of 3,217.
The sales-to-active-listings ratio currently sits at 19.7 per cent in Greater Vancouver, which is the highest this measure has been since June 2011.
“We saw steady increases in home seller and buyer activity in April, which is typically the case in the spring months,” Ray Harris, REBGV president said. “People often look to buy or sell their home this time of year as the school year draws to a close and the summer holiday season is still a few months away,” Harris said.
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,950 in April. This represents a 1.3 per cent increase compared to the 5,876 new listings in April 2013 and a 12.7 per cent increase from the 5,281 new listings in March. Last month’s new listing count was 1.2 per cent higher than the region’s 10-year new listing average for the month.
The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Greater Vancouver is 15,515, a 7.3 per cent decline compared to April 2013 and a 7.2 per cent increase compared to March 2014.
“Home prices in the region continue to show steady, yet modest, increases when compared to last year,” Harris said.
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $619,000. This represents a 3.6 per cent increase compared to April 2013.
Sales of detached properties in April 2014 reached 1,336, an increase of 25.6 per cent from the 1,064 detached sales recorded in April 2013, and an 18.7 per cent increase from the 1,126 units sold in April 2012. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 4.7 per cent from April 2013 to $956,700
Sales of apartment properties reached 1,172 in April 2014, an increase of 11.4 per cent compared to the 1,052 sales in April 2013, and a 1.5 per cent decline compared to the 1,190 sales in April 2012. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 2.6 per cent from April 2013 to $375,500.
Attached property sales in April 2014 totalled 542, a 6.1 per cent increase compared to the 511 sales in April 2013, and a 12.2 per cent increase over the 483 attached properties sold in April 2012. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased two per cent between April 2013 and 2014 to $464,400. 

BCREA ECONOMICS NOW/ May 2014


US Employment - May 2, 2014
The US economy seems to have shaken off the impact of severe winter weather that depressed first quarter GDP growth.  US non-farm payrolls rose by an impressive 288,000 jobs in March while the US unemployment rate fell 0.4 points to 6.3 per cent.  Over the past three months, US job growth has averaged 238,000 jobs per month.  

We expect that the US economy will continue to accelerate in 2014.  That acceleration in growth should provide a significant boost to BC's export sector and the wider provincial economy.