The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2017 Third Quarter Housing Forecast update today.



Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province are forecast to decline 10 per cent to 100,900 units this year, after reaching a record 112,209 units in 2016. Strong economic fundamentals are underpinning consumer demand and are expected to keep home sales at elevated levels through 2018. The ten-year average for MLS® residential sales in the province is 84,700 units.


“British Columbia’s postion as the best performing economy in the country is bolstering consumer confidence and housing demand,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Strong employment growth, a marked increase in migrants from other provinces, and the ageing of the millennial generation is supporting a heightened level of housing transactions. However, a limited supply of homes for sale is causing home prices to rise significantly in many regions, particularly in the Lower Mainland condominium market”.


The average MLS® residential price in the province is forecast to increase 3.5 per cent to $715,000 this year, and a further 4.1 per cent to nearly $745,000 in 2018. However, the provincial average price is being skewed lower as the result of a change in the mix and share of homes selling. Fewer detached home sales relative to attached and apartment properties and a larger proportion of home sales occurring outside the Metro Vancouver region are operating to hold back the provincial averge price. Home prices in ten of the 11 real estate board areas are forecast to rise at a higer rate than the provincial average.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) is the professional association for about  22,000 REALTORS® in BC, focusing on provincial issues that impact real estate. Working with the  province’s 11 real estate boards, BCREA provides continuing professional education, advocacy,  economic research and standard forms to help REALTORS® provide value for their clients.

To demonstrate the profession’s commitment to improving Quality of Life in BC communities, BCREA supports policies that help ensure economic vitality, provide housing opportunities, preserve the environment, protect property owners and build better communities with good schools and safe neighbourhoods. For detailed statistical information, contact your local real estate board. MLS® is a cooperative marketing system used only by Canada’s real estate boards to ensure maximum exposure 

of properties listed for sale.



First off, there is the timing. In government, Fridays are usually reserved for bad-news announcements that will, hopefully, fade away over the weekend. Really bad news is relegated to late Friday afternoon, when, again hopefully, coverage will be minimal.


So Premier John Horgan and the BC NDP announcing on Friday that the tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges will be eliminated as of Sept. 1 is a curious thing.



It is, after all, great news for those who have to travel over either bridge on a daily basis. The government estimates it will save daily car commuters $1,500 a year and commercial drivers up to $4,500 a year. That's real money back in the pockets of hard-working British Columbians. I lost track of the number of times Mr. Horgan said eliminating the tolls will "make life more affordable for B.C. families" during the announcement. He said it a lot. But for people who live south of the Fraser – the only people in the province expected to pay tolls – it's a good day.


Read more: B.C.'s New Democrats eliminate tolls on Vancouver-region bridges


It's also a good day to take the focus off the fact that a party that railed against "cash for access" fundraisers continues to line its pockets with corporate and union donations, most recently on Thursday with a $500-a-head golf tournament – literally, pay to play. Yes, it has been a long-standing event, and yes, it was scheduled some time ago. And don't worry, getting rid of that filthy corporate and union money will be the first order of business when the Legislature is reconvened. Until then, the NDP, as the Premier has said so many times, is "playing by the rules."


All of that aside, getting rid of the tolls on the Port Mann Bridge alone will transfer more than $4-billion in debt from the bridge to taxpayer-supported debt. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver immediately criticized the decision as "high cost and low impact," and said the money would be better spent on "high return on investment decisions," for instance, child care, student housing and education. "It is disappointing that the first major measure that this government has taken to make life more affordable for British Columbians will add billions of dollars to taxpayer-supported debt," he said in a statement.


More than that, though, Mr. Weaver said that tolls are an excellent policy tool to manage transportation demand, which is true when they're fairly applied and when alternatives to driving are readily accessible and reliable. "Transport-demand management reduces pollution and emissions, alleviates congestion and helps pay for costly infrastructure. That's why, at the negotiating table when preparing our Confidence and Supply Agreement, we ensured that a commitment was included to work with the Mayors' Council consultation process to find a more fair and equitable way of funding transit in the long term," he said.


That work is, we're told, going on right now with the Metro Vancouver Mobility Pricing Independent Commission, which was created earlier this year. It has been tasked with, according to its terms of reference, "evaluating the viability and acceptability of potential regional-road use charging alternatives for motor vehicles." In the end it is to come up with recommendations on how to implement a co-ordinated regional-road usage charge. In short, you'll pay for every kilometre you drive.


Putting such a system in place will, no doubt, be one of the largest and most complex undertakings in the history of Metro Vancouver transportation. Think about it – transponders in every car, monitors and cameras at key points on bridges and roads throughout the region, a billing system with charges that are fair and equitable, and perhaps the biggest hurdle – convincing the public to accept it.


Other cities have similar systems in place but here we'd be starting from scratch. I would guess that we're at least a decade away from any such thing becoming a reality.


In the meantime, where are we? We have two bridges – both built and financed with the understanding that they would be paid for by tolls, now declared toll-free. We have a 10-year, $7.5-billion Metro Vancouver transportation plan with no sustainable way of financing it in the long term. We have billions of dollars in debt that now belongs to all B.C. taxpayers. And we have taken a step backward on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.


I don't know, maybe Premier Horgan was right in saving this announcement for a Friday.


While it is certainly welcome news to those who will no longer have to pay the tolls, there's not much in it for the rest of us.


Provided by: Stephen Quinn is the host of On the Coast on CBC Radio One, 690 AM and 88.1 FM in Vancouver.

Photo provided by: Klaus Johansson Photography


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Commercial real estate activity in the LowerMainland declined from the record highs of one year ago and returned to more historically typical levels in the second quarter (Q2) of 2017.

There were 595 commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2017, a 32 per cent decrease from the record 875 sales in Q2 2016, according to data from Commercial Edge, a commercial real estate system operated by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

The total dollar value of commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland was $2.886 billion in Q2 2017, a 37.5 per cent decrease from $4.615 billion in Q2 2016.

“Land and industrial sales experienced the largest year-over-year declines last quarter, with salesin both categories down more than one-third compared to 2016,” said Jill Oudil, REBGV president. “Looking back over several years, however, we see that last quarter’s sale and dollar value activity follow more historically normal trend lines.”

Q2 2017 activity by category

Land: There were 227 commercial land sales in Q2 2017, which is a 39.3 per cent decrease fromthe 374 land sales in Q2 2016. The dollar value of land sales was $1.510 billion in Q2 2017, a 28.6 per cent decrease from $2.116 billion in Q2 2016.

Office and Retail: There were 218 office and retail sales in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2017,which is down 23.2 per cent from the 284 sales in Q2 2016. The dollar value of office and retailsales was $0.775 billion in Q2 2017, a 57.7 per cent decrease from $1.835 billion in Q2 2016.

Industrial: There were 114 industrial land sales in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2017, which is down 34.9 per cent over the 175 sales in Q2 2016. The dollar value of industrial sales was $0.243 billion in Q2 2017, a 13.3 per cent decrease from $0.280 billion in Q2 2016.

Multi-Family: There were 36 multi-family land sales in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2017, which is down 14.3 per cent over the 42 sales in Q2 2016. The dollar value of multi-family sales was $0.358 billion in Q2 2017, a 6.8 per cent decrease from $0.384 billion in Q2 2016.

Owned and operated by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Commercial EDGE system includes all commercial real estate transactions in the Lower Mainland region of BC, with the exception of Pitt Meadows and Chilliwack, that have been registered with the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia. Commercial EDGE is updated monthlybased on data originating from the BC Assessment Authority. Commercial EDGE does not include share sale transactions as they are not registered with the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia. Please note that historical data may be subjectto revision as transaction records are received from the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia.

The REBGV is an association representing over 13,500 residential and commercial REALTORS® and their companies. It provides a variety of member services, including the Multiple Listing Service® and the Commercial Edge service. For more information on real estate, statistics,  and buying or selling a property, contact a local REALTOR® or visit


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According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales declined further in July 2017.


  • National home sales fell 2.1% from June to July.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in July stood 11.9% below last July’s level.
  • The number of newly listed homes edged back by 1.8% from June to July.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 12.9% year-over-year (y-o-y) in July 2017.
  • The national average sale price edged down by 0.3% y-o-y in July.

The number of homes sold via Canadian MLS® Systems fell 2.1% in July 2017, the fourth consecutive monthly decline. While the monthly decline was about one-third the magnitude of those in May and June, it leaves sales activity 15.3% below the record set in March.

Sales were down from the previous month in close to two-thirds of all local markets, led by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Calgary, Halifax-Dartmouth and Ottawa.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 11.9% on a year-over-year (y-o-y) basis in July 2017. Sales were down from year-ago levels in about 60% of all local markets, led by the GTA and nearby markets. National sales net of activity in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region was little changed from one year ago.

“July’s interest rate hike may have motivated some homebuyers with pre-approved mortgages to make an offer,” said CREA President Andrew Peck. “Even so, sales activity continued to soften in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region. Meanwhile, sales and prices in Montreal continue to strengthen. All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to.”

“July marked the smallest monthly decline in Greater Golden Horseshoe home sales since Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan was announced in April,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “This suggests sales may be starting to bottom out amid stabilizing housing market sentiment. Time will tell whether that’s indeed the case once the transitory boost by buyers with pre-approved mortgages fades.”

The number of newly listed homes slipped further by 1.8%, led by the GTA. Many other markets in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region have also seen new supply pull back recently after having jumped immediately following the Ontario government’s announcement of its Fair Housing Plan in late April. New listings were also down in Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal and northern British Columbia, with the lattermost region having been hit by wildfires.

With sales down by about the same amount as new listings in July, the national sales-to-new listings ratio was little changed at a well-balanced 53.5%. By contrast, the ratio was in the high-60% range in the first quarter of 2017.

A national sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40 and 60 percent is generally consistent with balanced national housing market, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively.

Considering the degree and duration to which current market balance is above or below its long-term average is a more sophisticated way of gauging whether local conditions favour buyers or sellers. (Market balance measures that are within one standard deviation of the long-term average are generally consistent with balanced market conditions).

Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with its long-term average, more than 60% of all local markets are in balanced market territory. In the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, housing markets that recently favoured sellers have become more balanced, with some beginning to tilt toward buyers’ market territory.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents how long it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 5.2 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of July 2017, the highest level since January 2016. This was up from five months in June and up by more than a full month from where it stood in March.

The number of months of inventory in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region is up sharply from where it stood prior to the Ontario government housing policy changes announced in April 2017. For the region as a whole, there were 2.6 months of inventory in July 2017. While this remains below the long-term average of just over 3 months, it is more than triple the all-time low of 0.8 months reached in February and March.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 12.9% y-o-y in July 2017, representing a further deceleration in y-o-y gains since April. The deceleration in growth from June to July was the result of softening prices in the Greater Golden Horseshoe housing markets tracked by the index.

Price gains diminished in all benchmark categories, led by single family homes. Apartment units posted the largest y-o-y gains in July (+20%), followed by townhouse/row units (+15.9%), two-storey single family homes (+10.7%), and one-storey single family homes (+9.7%).

While benchmark home prices were up from year-ago levels in 12 of 13 housing markets tracked by the MLS® HPI, price trends continued to vary widely by region.

After having dipped in the second half of last year, benchmark home prices in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia have recovered and are now at new highs (Greater Vancouver: +8.7% y-o-y; Fraser Valley: +14.8% y-o-y).

Meanwhile, y-o-y benchmark home price increases were running a little below 20% in Victoria and just above 20% elsewhere on Vancouver Island.

Benchmark price gains slowed again on a y-o-y basis in Greater Toronto, Oakville-Milton and Guelph but remain well above year-ago levels (Greater Toronto: +18.1% y-o-y; Oakville-Milton: +12.7% y-o-y; Guelph: +23% y-o-y).

Calgary benchmark prices further edged into positive territory on a y-o-y basis in July (+1.1%). While Regina home prices popped back above year-ago levels (+3.6% y-o-y), Saskatoon home prices remained down (-2.2% y-o-y).

Benchmark home price growth accelerated in Ottawa (+5.8% overall, led by a 6.8% increase in two-storey single family home prices) and Greater Montreal (+4.9% overall, led by a 7% increase in prices for townhouse/row units). Prices were up 5.4% overall in Greater Moncton, led by one-storey single family home prices which set a new record (+8.9%).

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides the best way of gauging price trends because average price trends are prone to being strongly distorted by changes in the mix of sales activity from one month to the next.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in July 2017 was $478,696, down 0.3% from where it stood one year earlier. This was the first y-o-y decline in the measure since February 2013, reflecting fewer sales in the GTA and Greater Vancouver on a y-o-y basis.

Because these 2 markets nonetheless remain highly active and expensive, Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto upwardly skew the national average price. Excluding these two markets from calculations trims almost $100,000 from the national average price ($381,297).


PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month. 

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types. 

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale. 

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 120,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

Further information can be found at


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It’s probably time for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to tell his young followers that the “Canadian dream” no longer comes with a lawn.


Last week, Statistics Canada reported a big drop in the issuance of building permits for single-family homes in cities with populations greater than 10,000. Municipalities in June granted permissions for such structures at a seasonally adjusted rate that would yield 65,100 units in a year, the slowest pace since April 2009 and one of the weakest on records that date to 1960.


CHART-ONE-Aug14© Used with permission of / © Rogers Media Inc. 2017. CHART-ONE-Aug14 


The decline is noteworthy because you’d think the stars were aligned for a boom in the construction of dream homes: the economy has been churning out jobs steadily for a year, real-estate prices are high, and interest rates are low. There should be lots of incentive for everyone involved to build, borrow, and buy. Yet that’s not what’s happening. Those high prices have become too much for normal people, especially in Vancouver and Toronto. Tighter lending standards are also forcing dreamers out of the market. And perhaps more importantly, city officials remain stingy with land and permits in the places where most people want to live. “Toronto is a gateway for new immigrants,” Quentin D’Souza, who runs a couple dozen rental buildings in the Greater Toronto Area, told me earlier this summer. “We don’t produce enough new housing for all of those people.”


Since housing is mostly a local matter, you might be wondering why we need to drag the Prime Minister into this.


The answer depends on whether you think the federal government can play a catalytic role in forcing local authorities to confront national issues. Most (not all) agree that income inequality is one such issue. Trudeau certainly does. There is little that he or his cabinet ministers do that isn’t justified by supporting the “middle class and those seeking to join it.” More generous childcare benefits, middle-income tax cuts, multi-billion-dollar infrastructure programs, and new free-trade deals all are necessary to keep Canada from becoming an unequal society, the federal government suggests.


All that is fine. Yet the main thing that is turning Canada into a more rigidly class-based society is the real-estate boom. For whatever reason, most Canadians see a mortgage as preferable to paying rent and maxing out their RRSP deductions and TFSA limits. But in most cities, a decent house is now something only rich people can afford. Vancouver is the world’s third-most unaffordable city, after Hong Kong and Sydney, respectively; and Toronto is now the 13th most unaffordable, behind a group of usual suspects such as Auckland (fourth), San Francisco (ninth), and London (12th), according to the latest Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey. This is not the company that a country that believes in spreading the wealth ought to be keeping. If you don’t think the housing boom is causing angst, then you missed the excellent reporting of Joe Castaldo and Catherine McIntyre in Maclean’s earlier this year. As one half of a young couple that had been priced out of Vancouver told them, “You definitely feel like you’ve been left behind.”


Demographia, a St. Louis-based consultancy that opposes top-down urban planning, keeps its analysis of international housing affordability elegantly simple. It creates a “median multiple” by dividing the median house price in a given market by the median household income. Historically, Demographia says a multiple of three or less suggests normal people can afford a home. That’s the base of its affordability scale. The maximum is five or higher, which is the point at which the survey describes housing as “severely unaffordable.”


Vancouver’s multiple is 11.8 and Toronto’s is 7.7; both scores are a point higher than 2015, suggesting median homes prices in each city increased by the equivalent of a full year’s income in the span of 12 months. In fact, none of Canada’s major cities is affordable: Montreal, Calgary, and Edmonton all are “seriously unaffordable,” with multiples higher than four. Demographia says Ottawa is “moderately unaffordable,” with a multiple of 3.9. This represents a “sea change,” according to the report; until recently, affordability outside of Vancouver had been fairly stable since the 1970s. “The health of the housing market has been deteriorating rapidly in Canada,” the report states.


Trudeau and his ministers know the urban middle- and upper-middle-class Canadians that form the core of their political constituency are sensitive about housing. At a semi-private speech in Montreal this spring, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said that as a member of Parliament and a Cabinet minister, he felt Canadians were “counting on you to ensure their home keeps its value.” Recall “David,” the everyman who appeared on the first page of Morneau’s first budget in 2016: “Though he loved the community he lived in as a child, when it came time to buy his own family home, [David] had to look elsewhere. His old neighbourhood simply wasn’t affordable.” Among the highlights of this year’s budget was a promise to spend $11.2 billion on affordable housing.


Still, it’s fair to ask whether Trudeau has any desire to bring real-estate prices back down to Earth.


Doing so would please the men and women Castaldo and McIntyre wrote about, and surely would be welcomed by those “seeking” the trappings of the middle class. At the same time, any attempt to depress prices would anger anyone who already owns a home, a massive voting block, considering ownership rates now approach 70 per cent. That could be why Morneau talks of “protecting” home values, rather than making housing more affordable. The federal government’s housing strategy will help some people, but it will do nothing to alter price dynamics, especially as the money will be spent over a decade. Morneau initiated regulatory changes that make it more difficult to get home loans, but he so far has stayed away from sacred housing sops, such as the capital-gains exemption on primary residences and the ability of first-time buyers to use their tax-protected savings to purchase homes.


Demographia says Singapore and New Zealand are the only two countries that appear to be taking the issue of housing affordability seriously. (The organization’s analysis is based on assessments of those two countries, along with Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.) New Zealand is the more instructive example; its politicians appear to have accepted that home prices are off the charts for lack of supply. Space is dear on a tiny island, but New Zealand authorities have constrained it even more by constraining development. Canada is as guilty of this as any jurisdiction, whether it be restrictive zoning requirements in Vancouver or Ontario’s safeguarding of green space in and around the Greater Toronto Area. The response of governments in Ottawa, Victoria, Vancouver and Toronto to the threat of a housing bubble has been almost entirely focused on gently squeezing demand rather than encouraging more supply.


By no means do I mean to give Demographia the final word on the subject. The outfit submits that sprawling Dallas-Fort Worth is a more livable city than Toronto because Dallas’s inhabitants tend to have shorter commutes to work. That car-loving conclusion gives away Demographia’s ideological bias. No doubt, an interesting argument could be had about whether a future of self-driving, electrically propelled automobiles could be as clean and efficient as better public transit. But only the purest free-market disciples would condemn attempts to make cities denser.


Canada’s bigger municipalities are headed this way. In recent years, they have been encouraging developers to build up, rather than to spread out. Cities issued permits for multi-family dwellings at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 169,600 in June, the fastest since October 2016. If we assume those permits turn into holes in the ground, Canada is putting up apartment complexes at the fastest rate since the early 1970s.


That’s probably a good thing. It will increase the odds that urban Canadians will at least be able to find a suitable place to live. But will it make people happier? Ideology aside, Demographia has a point when it argues that Dallas beats Toronto also because more people in the Texas city can afford to buy a home. Canadians might prefer urban planning that put “people” ahead of “place.” Take another look at the historical pattern for building permits in that chart above. There was a time when Canada built more single-family homes than multi-family units. The relationship has reversed, and the gap between apartment living and the prospect of backyard barbecues has never been wider in Canada’s cities.


Does any of this really matter? Robert Shiller, a Nobel laureate in economics, thinks it does. The Yale University professor says societies could rue allowing people to be priced out of their communities. “With people of various income levels increasingly divided by geography, income inequality can worsen and the risk of social polarization—and even serious conflict—can grow,” Shiller said recently in an op-ed for Project Syndicate. Inequality of income begets inequality of opportunity, which begets societal tension and political volatility. See: Donald Trump’s America.

A generation of Canadians that took space for granted is now discovering that their future will be measured in 900 square feet or less. That needn’t be a big deal, except as Castaldo and McIntyre showed earlier this year, it is a big deal for a lot of people. Will those people adapt and make the most of their lawn-less futures? Or will they grow to resent the lucky ones who owned homes at the beginning of the boom and the politicians who failed to keep prices under control?


At the moment, it appears Trudeau, Morneau and their counterparts in the provinces and on municipal councils are most concerned with helping the lucky ones. That’s good news for the existing middle class. But if you are seeking to join it, you have reason to be disappointed.

Provided by: Kevin Carmichael with MaClean's


The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 9,275 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in July, down 6.3 per cent from the same period last year. Total sales dollar volume was $6.48 billion, down 1.3 per cent from July 2016. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $698,761, a 5.3 per cent increase from the same period last year.

“Strong economic growth, an expanding population base and a lack of supply continue to drive BC home sales and prices this summer,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “However, home sales have edged back 4 per cent since May, with active listings beginning to bounce back from a 20-year low,” added Muir. “If these trends continue, it may signal that more balanced market conditions could emerge before the end of the year.”

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 19.3 per cent to $45.6 billion, when compared with the same period in 2016. Residential unit sales declined 17.0 per cent to 64,107 units, while the average MLS® residential price was down 2.8 per cent to $710,921.


July 2017 Year-to-Date BC Residential Multiple Listing Service® Data by Board

July 2017 Residential Average Price, Active Listings and Sales-to-Active-Listings Data by Board 




Average Price

Active Listings


July 2017 Residential Average Price


July 2016 Residential Average Price




July 2017 Residential Active Listings


July 2016 Residential Active Listings



% change

July 2017 Residential Sales to Active

Listings (%)

July 2016 Residential Sales to Activ

Listings (%)

BC Northern


















Fraser Valley









Greater Vancouver



























Okanagan Mainline









Powell River









South Okanagan









Northern Lights









Vancouver Island


















Provincial Totals*









 *Numbers may not add due to rounding


July 2017 BC Residential Multiple Listing Service® Data by Board



Dollar Volume (000s)


July 2017 Residential Sales ($)

July 2016 Residential Sales ($)


% change

July 2017 Residential Sales


July 2016 Residential Sales



% change

BC Northern














Fraser Valley







Greater Vancouver





















Okanagan Mainline







Powell River







South Okanagan







Northern Lights







Vancouver Island














Provincial Totals*







 *Numbers may not add due to rounding



**NOTE: The Northern Lights Real Estate Board (NLREB) became part of the South Okanagan Real Estate Board (SOREB) on May 1, 2011.


Dollar Volume (000s)

Unit Sales

Average Price






% change









% change

BC Northern




















Fraser Valley











Greater Vancouver








































Okanagan Mainline



















Powell River










South Okanagan










Northern Lights










Vancouver Island




















Provincial Totals*










* Numbers may not add due to rounding


BCREA is the professional association for about 22,000 REALTORS® in BC, focusing on provincial issues that impact real estate. Working with the province’s 11 real estate boards, BCREA provides continuing professional education, advocacy, economic research and standard forms to help REALTORS® provide value for their clients. 

To demonstrate the profession’s commitment to improving Quality of Life in BC communities, BCREA supports policies that help ensure economic vitality, provide housing opportunities, preserve the environment, protect property owners and build better communities with good schools and safe neighbourhoods.

For detailed statistical information, contact your local real estate board. MLS® is a cooperative marketing system used only by Canada’s real estate boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.


















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Being a first time homebuyer can be a scary and overwhelming process. Hafez was recommended to us by a work colleague and after hearing the positive experience ...that they had with Hafez, we decided to contact him. After a little bit of back and forth Hafez was able to build us a customized online portal with places that were within our price range, and in the area (SFU) that we wanted to purchase in. When there were some places that interested us Hafez took us for a showing and went over the entire purchasing process in full detail. Hafez was extremely knowledgable in the SFU (UniverCity) community which helped us immensely during the process. Throughout the time we were looking for places, to when we put in an offer, and finally had an accepted offer, Hafez answered the millions of questions we threw at him in full detail and always encouraged more questions. I can not recommend Hafez enough if you are looking to purchase in the UniverCity area, or anywhere within the lower mainland.

M.B. & C.T.


The trend in housing starts was 217,550 units in July 2017, compared to 215,175 units in June 2017, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.


“In July, Canada’s pace in housing construction ramped up for a seventh consecutive month,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “British Columbia and Alberta were the main contributors to the higher trend in housing starts. While BC’s construction coincides with near-record low completed and unsold units in the past few months, Alberta’s inventory of new unsold homes is ramping up, highlighting the need for managing inventories.”

Monthly highlights


Total housing starts in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area trended lower in July. Lower trending apartment and single-detached starts were mainly responsible for the decline. Overall, total housing starts were still trending close to the average level seen so far this year. Strong increases in semi-detached and town home starts pointed to affordability concerns driving demand for less expensive housing types.


Vancouver CMA housing starts were up slightly in July due to the construction of more townhomes and apartments getting underway. The largest increase in construction activity occurred in Burnaby, New Westminster and Coquitlam, as the relative affordability of more modestly priced townhomes and apartments in these communities supported consumer demand. The number of units under construction in the Vancouver CMA remains near record highs, and developers will be keeping an eye on market conditions as these projects are completed in the coming year.


After a slow start, the trend in new home construction this year has increased, moving closer in line with historical averages. Multiple starts in particular have been strong in recent months, including July, despite inventories sitting at near record highs. If the current pace of production does not ease, there is the possibility that inventories will stay elevated for an extended period of time.


July housing starts trended up on the back of strong multiple construction. Multiple starts this year have been driven by the rise in rental apartment starts, which to July reached about 1.5 times their level for 2016 as a whole. Builders are diversifying high-rise product as a substantial number of completed condominium apartment units remain unsold. In addition, an ageing rental stock, and robust rental demand are contributing to increased building activity for rental units.


With construction getting under way on several large rental projects at the same time, housing starts in the Gatineau area were up considerably in July. The rising demand, supported in part by stronger employment, will help residential construction stay on an upward trend over the coming months.


Single-detached starts in both the City of London and London CMA posted the highest levels for the month of July since 2007. The continued elevated number of single-detached starts is driven largely by demand spillover from the resale market, which has seen a dramatic increase in the sales of homes priced at $500,000 and over. Also, the price gap between single-detached homes in London and comparable homes in Toronto has continued to remain wide, making London an attractive destination for buyers from the Greater Toronto Area.

Greater Sudbury

Housing starts in Greater Sudbury trended lower in July, due to a decline in both single detached and multiple starts. The trend dipped for the seventh consecutive month, reflecting declines in full-time employment and a healthy supply in the resale market.

Nova Scotia

Construction in both the singles and multiples markets in Halifax continues to show strength in July with year-over-year starts increasing by 15% and 31%, respectively. Year-to-date, the singles market has witnessed the strongest number of starts since 2013, while the multiples market continues to be a driver of residential construction, especially on the Halifax Peninsula and Mainland North regions.


CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of Canada’s housing market. In some situations analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading, as they are largely driven by the multi-unit segment of the market which can vary significantly from one month to the next.


The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 222,324 units in July, up from 212,948 units in June. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 5.5 per cent in July to 206,122 units. Multiple urban starts increased by 10.4 per cent to 141,950 units in July and single-detached urban starts decreased by 3.9 per cent, to 64,172 units.


Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16,202 units.


Preliminary Housing Starts data are also available in English and French through our website and through CMHC’s Housing Market Information Portal. Our analysts are also available to provide further insight into their respective markets.


As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

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