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Canada’s housing markets remain highly vulnerable1 with evidence of moderate overvaluation and price acceleration, according to  Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). After a boost in residential construction in 2017, housing starts are projected to decline by 2019, but to remain close to the average level from the last 5 years.


This analysis is from two key CMHC reports released today: the Housing Market Assessment (HMA) and Housing Market Outlook (HMO).


CMHC’s HMA continues to find housing markets in Toronto, Hamilton, Vancouver, Victoria and Saskatoon highly vulnerable. There is low evidence of overbuilding overall at the national level but there are growing concerns surrounding overbuilding in Calgary, Edmonton and St. John’s. In these markets, the supply of new and unsold homes outweighs the demand for housing.

Housing Market Assessment (HMA) highlights

  • Despite the recent easing in Toronto’s resale market, we continued to detect moderate evidence of price acceleration with strong growth in home prices among all housing types. High house prices could not be explained by fundamental economic drivers such as income and population growth.
  • Hamilton’s housing market remained highly vulnerable for the fifth consecutive quarter. House prices continued to grow more quickly than levels supported by economic and demographic fundamentals.
  • Vancouver’s housing market remained highly vulnerable, with evidence of moderate overheating and price acceleration, and strong overvaluation. Imbalances remained between demand and supply in the resale home market, especially for multi-family units.
  • Victoria’s overheating persisted due to continued elevated sales for apartments and townhomes in the resale market, but very low inventories in the new home market of unsold homes to support the strong demand.
  • The Quebec CMA market is now reported to have low levels of vulnerability. However, overbuilding remains an area of concern as we continue to see vacancy rates increasing for conventional rental housing.

CMHC’s HMO provides a forward-looking analysis anticipating emerging trends in Canada's new home, resale and rental housing markets. Variables covered include housing starts, MLS® sales, and vacancy rates. Other economic factors considered in our analysis include economic and employment growth, migration, population and mortgage rates.

After the expected boost in residential construction for 2017, housing starts are projected to decline by 2019. Sales in the existing-homes market are expected to decline relative to the record level of more than 535,000 MLS® sales registered in 2016.

The average MLS® price should increase over the forecast horizon, but at a slower rate than in the past four years. The average should lie between $493,900 and $511,300 in 2017 and between $499,400 and $524, 500 by 2019.

Housing Market Outlook (HMO) regional highlights

British Columbia

Housing starts and MLS® sales in B.C. are expected to decrease in 2018 and 2019, but will remain above historical levels, while MLS® prices will continue to grow at a slower pace as the housing market moves towards more balanced conditions. Rental demand will continue to be strong through the forecast period, with vacancy rates remaining tight and average rents rising.


Alberta and Saskatchewan’s gradual recovery from the oil-price shock that started in 2014 will likely contribute to positive net interprovincial migration flows, supporting housing markets. Housing market conditions are expected to continue to slowly transition from a buyer’s market to a more balanced one in 2018 and 2019. However, the overbuilding in many CMAs is expected to put downward pressure on new housing construction. Manitoba has a more diversified economy compared to the other two provinces, which has allowed it to mitigate the risk of large economic swings that the oil-producing provinces experience when oil prices move significantly.


Ontario MLS® sales and starts will trend lower over the forecast horizon, with modest growth in home prices expected relative to the recent past. Rising mortgage carrying costs will exert downward pressure on housing demand and shift demand to multi-unit homes which includes condominium and rental units. Housing demand will hold up better in eastern and southwestern Ontario centres given higher affordability levels, fewer market imbalances and generally better economic conditions.


Stronger employment growth will stimulate housing demand in 2018 and 2019. As a result, the province’s resale markets will continue to tighten and prices are projected to rise. Meanwhile, population aging will continue to provide support to residential construction in the apartment segment.

Atlantic Canada

Housing starts, MLS® sales and prices are expected to rise gradually over the forecast period, but continued economic growth will rely heavily on boosting exports.


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.














The Bank of Canada today maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 3/4 per cent.

Inflation has picked up in recent months, as anticipated in the Bank’s July Monetary Policy Report (MPR), reflecting stronger economic activity and higher gasoline prices. Measures of core inflation have edged up, in line with a narrowing output gap and the diminishing effects of lower food prices. The Bank projects inflation will rise to 2 per cent in the second half of 2018. This is a little later than anticipated in July because of the recent strength in the Canadian dollar. The Bank is also mindful that global structural factors could be weighing on inflation in Canada and other advanced economies.

The global and Canadian economies are progressing as outlined in the July MPR. Economic activity continues to strengthen and broaden across countries. The Bank still expects global growth to average around 3 1/2 per cent over 2017-19. However, this outlook remains subject to substantial uncertainty about geopolitical developments and fiscal and trade policies, notably the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Canada’s economic growth in the second quarter was stronger than expected, and was more broad-based across regions and sectors. Growth is expected to moderate to a more sustainable pace in the second half of 2017 and remain close to potential over the next two years, with real GDP expanding at 3.1 per cent in 2017, 2.1 per cent in 2018 and 1.5 per cent in 2019. Exports and business investment are both expected to continue to make a solid contribution to GDP growth. However, projected export growth is slightly slower than before, in part because of a stronger Canadian dollar than assumed in July. Housing and consumption are forecast to slow in light of policy changes affecting housing markets and higher interest rates. Because of high debt levels, household spending is likely more sensitive to interest rates than in the past.

The Bank estimates that the economy is operating close to its potential. However, wage and other data indicate that there is still slack in the labour market. This suggests that there could be room for more economic growth than the Bank is projecting without inflation rising materially above target.

Based on this outlook and the risks and uncertainties identified in today’s MPR, Governing Council judges that the current stance of monetary policy is appropriate. While less monetary policy stimulus will likely be required over time, Governing Council will be cautious in making future adjustments to the policy rate. In particular, the Bank will be guided by incoming data to assess the sensitivity of the economy to interest rates, the evolution of economic capacity, and the dynamics of both wage growth and inflation.

The next scheduled date for announcing the overnight rate target is December 6, 2017. The next full update of the Bank’s outlook for the economy and inflation, including risks to the projection, will be published in the MPR on January 17, 2018.

Provided by the: Bank Of Canada


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After back-to-back interest rates hikes, the Bank of Canada can stay on the sidelines for longer than first anticipated, with tighter mortgage rules slowing the housing market and uncertainty about NAFTA clouding the outlook.


While more rate increases are on the horizon, possibly before the end of the year, the central bank is expected to hold rates at 1 percent on Wednesday as the list of unknowns and a moderating economy force policymakers to watch and wait.

© REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo FILE PHOTO - A sign is pictured outside the Bank of Canada building in Ottawa 


The unknown fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement, a stronger Canadian dollar and yet more housing regulation are conspiring to weigh on consumption and exports, slowing what had been an unexpectedly strong economic spurt early in the year.


Moreover, the Bank of Canada needs to assess how hikes in July and September play out, particularly since new mortgage regulations finalized last week by Canada's banking regulator add to the overall tightening effect on indebted households.


"Really, they're in uncharted territory," said David Madani, senior Canada economist at Capital Economics. "They've never really had to raise interest rates in an environment where housing regulation has been tightening."


The rules from the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) come on top of separate moves by provincial government authorities to cool housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver.


"My philosophy right now is that (housing) rules are the new rates when it comes to housing," said Adam Button, currency analyst at ForexLive.


"Central banks have washed their hands of managing housing market inflation and have passed it onto governments and regulators."


Analysts will comb through Wednesday's policy statement for the bank's outlook on the housing market and how risks around trade policy have increased after an acrimonious end to recent NAFTA talks.


Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said earlier this month that while there would be a negative shock to the economy if talks collapse, the bank would wait to see what happened before deciding how to react.


Madani said that before the OSFI rules and the deterioration in the NAFTA talks, he had expected another rate hike in December. But he now sees the bank on hold into next year.


Others see a hike sooner, with third-quarter growth on track to match the central bank's 2 percent forecast and inflation ticking up.


"Core inflation is going to keep firming over the next few months just in response to the growth we've had over the last year, so that will support a couple more rate hikes," said Robert Both, macro strategist at TD Securities. He sees a hike in December and one more in March before the bank pauses.


Markets see 47.2 percent odds of a third rate hike in December, while the median forecast in a Reuters poll also predicted another hike before the year is out. [CAD/POLL]


(Reporting by Leah Schnurr in Ottawa; Additional reporting by Fergal Smith in Toronto; Editing by Dan Grebler)


The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 8,340 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in September, an increase of 9.9 per cent from the same period last year. Total sales dollar volume was $5.8 billion, up 30.2 per cent from September 2016. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $693,774, up 18.5 per cent from September 2016.

“BC home sales rose nearly 5 per cent from August on a seasonally adjusted basis,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Total active listings on the market continue to trend at ten-year lows in most BC regions, limiting unit sales and pushing home prices higher. While the economic fundamentals support elevated housing demand, rising home prices are eroding affordability, particularly for first-time buyers.”

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 12.8 per cent to $57.6 billion, when compared with the same period in 2016. Residential unit sales declined 13 per cent to 81,608 units, while the average MLS® residential price was down 0.2 per cent to $705,501.





BCREA is the professional association for more than 20,000 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.


Vancouver’s skyline.

Vancouver’s skyline.

Darrryl Dyck/For The Globe and Mail 


Court records and advertisements reveal several ways potential buyers and realtors are eyeing as ways around the 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers, reports Xiao Xu

British Columbia's introduction of a foreign-buyer real-estate tax dumped a bucket of icy water on Vancouver's smoking hot market just over a year ago. Average house prices immediately fell, declining for six months before showing signs of renewed vitality in April and May.

A Globe and Mail examination of court records and advertisements reveals several ways potential buyers are being told they can avoid the 15-per-cent tax. The analysis shows the methods can be straightforward but sometimes messy as they often rely on the quiet participation of friends, relatives or businesses with roots in British Columbia.

And such avoidance, as NDP Attorney General David Eby pointed out when he was the opposition housing critic, is extremely difficult to stop.

Related: Scenes from the wildest real estate frenzy Canada has ever seen

Related: Vancouver home sellers take a wild ride

"They have absolutely no way of enforcing those rules," Mr. Eby said of the Liberal government. "They have no auditors available, they have no capacity to enforce this law. What they are relying on is people to act in good faith."

Mr. Eby is no longer in charge of the housing file and now that his party is in government, NDP ministers have declined to say what they plan to do to either strengthen enforcement, broaden the tax's reach or potentially kill it entirely. The housing ministry directed calls about the tax this week to the finance ministry. Finance officials said they cannot talk about potential future tax changes.

So, for the time being, the tax remains in place. The Ontario government has introduced a similar one for foreign buyers in an effort to calm the Toronto market.

Before the B.C. tax took effect in August of last year, foreign activity was estimated to account for about 10 per cent of sales in the Vancouver region. After the tax took effect, the percentage dropped to almost zero, but it has since increased to about 3 per cent. In Richmond, it has bounced between 8 and 12 per cent.

The province hasn't released data since June, a period that has seen prices for condos and townhouses recover and set records every month, although the average price of a detached home – at $1.67-million –was lower than the $1.76-million seen in July, 2016.

The lack of recent data means it's impossible to know whether foreign buyers have once again returned to the Vancouver market, rendering the tax ineffective.

Several sources told The Globe and Mail that the most common way of avoiding the tax is for a buyer to put the property's title under the names of family members or friends who are Canadian residents.

Disputes documented by the Supreme Court of B.C. show that real estate deals can be easily done between relatives and friends without written agreements but only based on trust, which can eventually result in unclear and hidden ownership of properties. Last month, a Hong Kong businesswoman filed a lawsuit against her ex-boyfriend over ownership of a home in Richmond.

Jennie Wu and Johnny Chu, a Canadian resident, were in a romantic relationship from last November to this summer. While they were dating, Ms. Wu decided to purchase a property in British Columbia because of her frequent business dealings here.

But as a Hong Kong resident, she was required to pay the foreign-buyer tax. To avoid the tax, the pair agreed to put the title under Mr. Chu's name, although Ms. Wu paid all the costs of the property.

The court document from B.C. Supreme Court notes that Mr. Chu knew that the home would be the sole property of Ms. Wu's, and Gary Ma, who was Ms. Wu's realtor, was "fully aware of the intention" of the two parties.


The lawsuit noted Ms. Wu paid cash for all the transactions, but after they broke up, Mr. Chu refused to move out and transfer the property back to her. Ms. Wu's allegations haven't been proven in court and Mr. Chu has not filed a response with the court.

Royal Pacific realtor Sunny Lee said any foreign investor with a relative in Canada can easily avoid the 15 per cent tax.

"It's hard for foreigners [to avoid the tax] if they want to buy a house. But if this foreigner has relatives in Canada, closely related, then things will be very easy," Mr. Lee said.

Mr. Lee said some foreign investors purchase properties in Vancouver in the name of their children, who came to Canada as international students first and then became Canadian residents. He added these students can afford a house within a few years after graduation, but whether it's for their own residence or whether it is to hold as an investment for their parents, is impossible for authorities to know.

"They got help from their parents, and it's legal," Mr. Lee said.

Among the 50 most expensive properties in Vancouver in 2016, The Globe found that two were owned by students and three were owned jointly by a student and a "housewife" or "businesswoman," as noted on the property title.


Kenneth Pazder, lawyer and owner of Pazder Law in Vancouver, said it's difficult to distinguish between who is on a property's title and who really owns the property, because the whole system "is predicated on people being truthful."

"Some of these things are sort of difficult to prove unless somebody took the person to court or made an assessment and the person had to challenge it," Mr. Pazder said.

For prospective foreign buyers without a local connection, Chinese-language online advertising has offered some solutions, but the advice can be questionable.

One ad, since taken down, suggested creating a legal partnership, registered in British Columbia.

Sutton Premier Realty agent Zheng Zhao had an ad on for months, maintaining the foreign-buyer tax doesn't apply to partnerships. Mr. Zhao said he could form a B.C.-registered partnership with a foreign buyer and then purchase a property in the name of the partnership without the obligation to pay the tax. The buyer pays the full price of the home with the right to lease and sell the home later, while Mr. Zhao and the partnership do not shoulder any legal or financial responsibility.

In exchange for entering into the partnership, Mr. Zhao required payment of 3 per cent of the property's purchase price and an annual partnership fee of $1,000. He maintained in several media interviews that the practice was legal.

Now, though, the agent says he will not offer the service since receiving advice not to do so, although he wouldn't say from where.

"I've taken a renewed look at my partnership agreement and have indeed come to the realization that there are flaws in the legal aspects of my original plan," he said in an interview this week. "Knowing what I know today, I would have had second thoughts about the soundness of my whole idea."

A Craigslist ad posted in May, now deleted, also alleges that business partnerships can be a way around the foreign-buyer tax. The ad said: "We offer entering into business partnerships with British Columbia based business and getting into contractual relationships for buying residential property." The ad noted that it is "completely legal."

The Globe tried to reach the publisher of the ad, but didn't receive a response.

A spokeswoman with the Ministry of Finance declined to comment specifically on whether such partnerships are legal, but said in a statement that "the government takes tax avoidance attempts extremely seriously."

"We will ensure that anti-avoidance rules carefully applied to ensure the appropriate tax is applied."

Alexander Ning, a Vancouver notary public, said he has heard of people attempting to use partnerships to avoid the tax but the scheme is absolutely illegal because it involves hiding who the beneficial owner of the property actually is. "It's definitely not legal by the actual law and also the spirit of the law."

All kinds of people put all sorts of stuff on the Internet which is not true or correct.

Kenneth Pazder, lawyer

The Globe uncovered other types of ads using tax avoidance as a selling point for foreign investors, such as that of Apex Western Homes Ltd., which notes its exclusive rent-to-own program is a way for overseas buyers to avoid the tax. In this case, foreign investors can be renters first and, ultimately, own the property.

The Vancouver company's program, which launched in February, requires investors to sign a five-year contract with a fixed purchase price. The potential buyers pay the seller a one-time, 5-per-cent non-refundable down payment, which grants the buyers the right to purchase the property at any time in the five years. Following the down payment, the buyer pays monthly rent, which includes payment toward loan principal and interest. If the potential buyers are newcomers to the country, they can use the five years to become a Canadian resident, and then they will no longer be subject to the tax when purchasing the home.

"It delays that time so you can get your PR [permanent residency], and you don't have to pay the 15 per cent," said CEO Ray Vesely. "It does give another option … I think it's a great idea to help people enter into the market."

Mr. Vesely said the program has attracted lots of interests and the company is planning a campaign to advertise it, but before that, he said, he needs to make sure everything about the program is "perfectly legal."

The finance ministry statement specifically said "rent-to-own models cannot be used" as a way of avoiding taxes.

Social media has also presented some potential solutions to the tax. Local realtor Tiffany Tseng wrote on her Facebook page last July, in a posting that is still available, that "there are many ways for foreign buyers not to pay the 15 per cent tax."

Ms. Tseng cited two examples: One is purchasing and reassigning a presale home. Presale homes are not subject to the foreign-buyer tax. The other, she said, is to establish a trust company.

But Ms. Tseng said in an interview she hasn't actually used these methods, adding that she posted these ideas to help dissolve fears among her clients.

"The announcement of the foreign-buyer tax caused panic among a lot of people. I hope to tell many of the local buyers, who are also my main clients that the market is not going to collapse."

Simon Fraser University finance professor Andrey Pavlov said any entity for which the ultimate beneficiary is a foreign person is subject to the tax, and he suggested establishing a trust would not be a legal way to avoid it.

"The foreign buyer tax clearly states that it is the ultimate beneficiary that matters, not the intermediate entity purchasing the property," said Prof. Pavlov.

Mr. Pazder said many of the tax avoidance advertisements are just "schemes," used to attract buyers.

"All kinds of people put all sorts of stuff on the Internet which is not true or correct."

Not paying the tax could result in a penalty of the unpaid tax plus interest and a fine of $200,000 for corporations or $100,000 for individuals and/or up to two years in prison.

Marilee Peters, spokeswoman for the Real Estate Council of British Columbia, said the council takes "immediate and appropriate" action against any licensees who advertise or advise clients on ways to avoid the tax.

"We have taken action in some cases to have licensees remove advertising that promotes methods to avoid the tax, and we have opened investigations," said Ms. Peters.

She added the council advises all consumers to obtain independent professional legal or accounting advice before entering into any transaction promoted as a measure to avoid the tax.

1.76-million seen in July, 2016.



The trend in housing starts was 214,821 units in September 2017, compared to 220,573 units in August 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.


“Housing starts are trending lower in September after increasing for eight consecutive months,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “Nevertheless, new home construction remains very strong as the seasonally adjusted number of starts was above 200,000 units for four straight months.”

Monthly Highlights

St. John’s

Drivers such as population, income and employment have put downward pressure on new home construction activity. Total housing starts fell 34% in September compared to the prior year. Single-detached starts declined 33%, while multiple starts declined 42%.

Prince Edward Island (PEI)

Tightness in PEI’s resale sector continues to cause demand to spill over into the Island’s new home market. Starts of single-detached homes were up 93% year-to-date in September, with most of the activity concentrated in the Charlottetown area. Record high levels of international migration continue to support starts of multi-family dwellings, which were up 16% year-to-date.


In the third quarter of 2017, the annual rate of housing starts for the province overall reached 43,736 units, up from the level registered for the previous quarter (40,564 units). This last result, as were the relatively high totals for the previous quarters, was attributable to the strong momentum observed in the multi-unit housing segment, particularly in the case of rental apartments, for which starts remained significant in the Montréal and Québec areas. Given the strong activity observed so far, Quebec starts will likely post a gain in 2017.


Homebuilders broke ground on fewer homes in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) during September 2017. Total housing starts trended lower by 7% in September from the previous month led by lower apartment starts. Monthly variations in high-rise starts are typical given delays in getting large scale projects off the ground. Low-rise starts remained strong. The overall pace of new home construction remains stable as strong demand for new homes in the Toronto CMA continues to persist.


Single-detached starts were high in Brantford in September. New single-detached homes in Brantford were selling for $550,000 to $700,000 early this year, attracting the growing number of households from Hamilton and the GTA who could no longer afford detached homes in their markets.


Both single-detached and multiple housing starts in London CMA posted the highest levels for the month of September since 2006. Strong population growth and recent income gains have strengthened demand for new single-detached homes – encouraging builders to continue to keep single-detached starts elevated over recent months.


Total housing starts trended lower in September after production of both single-detached and multi-family units slowed. While the pace of construction in the singles sector has been on par with last year, multi-family construction was down 30% after nine months this year. Elevated inventory of completed and unsold condo apartments have remained a drag on this sector. All told, total year-to-date housing starts in September were down 13%, compared to the same period a year ago.


Housing starts in the Vancouver CMA trended downwards in September as fewer multi-family home projects got underway. The high level of housing starts over the past year has led to a record number of units being under construction in the region, leaving little spare capacity to start additional projects. New home construction in the Vancouver CMA is being supported by population growth, a strong local economy, and low financing costs.


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 217,118 units in September, down from 225,918 units in August. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 5.1 per cent in September to 198,910 units.

Multiple urban starts decreased by 10.7 per cent to 131,388 units in September. Single-detached urban starts increased by 8.2 per cent, to 67,522 units.


Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 18,208 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.


The author of Millionaire Migrants was one the first to provide evidence that the foreign real-estate dreams of China’s wealthy have arguably had more impact than anything on Metro Vancouver’s housing unaffordability.

UBC geographer David Ley, along with SFU’s Wu Qiyan, told me early this year the city’s real-estate bubble would be punctured when leaders of the People’s Republic of China further restrict money leaving their country.

Now strong signs are appearing that Metro Vancouver’s real-estate balloon has indeed been pricked by China’s heightened capital controls.

Demand for multi-million dollar dwellings in Metro Vancouver is falling. “All the high-end stuff is sluggish,” says Vancouver realtor-analyst Steve Saretsky.

Sales volumes and prices on detached houses are especially dropping on the west side of Vancouver, in Richmond and in West Vancouver, where Mainland Chinese buyers had been active buying and building mansions.

Real Estate Association of Greater Vancouver figures show the median price of a detached home is down more than $500,000 since February, to $1.7 million.

(The declining demand for detached homes counters a run on one-bedroom condos in Metro Vancouver. Like others, Saretsky believes these small-condo purchases are not particularly tied to Mainland Chinese investors.)


Veteran Canadian real-estate data analyst Stephen Punwasi also has little doubt “Chinese capital is having a tougher time getting out of China” since leaders introduced tighter controls in January.


“Vancouver locals selling $3 million bungalows are going to have trouble finding an alternative to foreign urban land buyers, so prices need to be slashed,” Punwasi said.

The co-founder of Better Dwelling, which specializes in housing data, said the volume of “hot money” leaving China in August has plummeted almost 40 per cent compared to August last year, to roughly $46 billion US. This is the kind of cash that typically goes into foreign real estate.

Ley is also convinced low and medium-wealthy Chinese investors are being “bitten” by China’s new controls.

However, Ley cautions that many of China’s super-wealthy “have already moved a lot of capital outside the P.R.C.” into trust funds, offshore tax havens and secret bank accounts.

Even though Chinese and other foreign capital will continue to flow into Metro Vancouver and Toronto — with unpredictably destructive effect for locals — the phenomenally high volume of detached-home sales of the past few years is seriously easing.


Provided by: Douglas Todd from MSN Money


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Apartment and townhome activity is outpacing the detached home market across Metro Vancouver*. This activity helped push total residential sales above the historical average in September.



The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in the region totalled 2,821 in September 2017, a 25.2 per cent increase from the 2,253 sales recorded in September 2016, and a 7.3 per cent decrease compared to August 2017 when 3,043 homes sold.

Last month’s sales were 13.1 per cent above the 10-year September sales average.

“Our detached homes market is balanced today, while apartment and townhome sales remain in sellers' market territory,” Jill Oudil, REBGV president said. “If you’re looking to enter the market, as either a buyer or seller, it’s important to understand these trends and use this information to set realistic expectations.”

There were 5,375 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in September 2017. This represents a 12 per cent increase compared to the 4,799 homes listed in September 2016 and a 26.6 per cent increase compared to August 2017 when 4,245 homes were listed.

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 9,466, a 1.2 per cent increase compared to September 2016 (9,354) and a 7.5 per cent increase compared to August 2017 (8,807).

“Detached homes made up 30 per cent of all sales in September and represented 62 per cent of all the homes listed for sale on the MLS®,” said Oudil. “This dynamic has slowed the pace of upward pressure that we’ve seen on detached home prices in our market over the last few years.”

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for September 2017 is 29.8 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 14.6 per cent for detached homes, 42.3 per cent for townhomes, and 60.4 per cent for apartments.

Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,037,300. This represents a 10.9 per cent increase over September 2016 and a 0.7 per cent increase compared to August 2017.

Sales of detached properties in September 2017 reached 852, a 27.9 per cent increase from the sales recorded in September 2016 (666), a decrease of 33 per cent from September 2015 (1,272), and a decrease of 32.9 per cent from September 2014 (1,270). The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,617,300. This represents a 2.9 per cent increase from September 2016 and a 0.1 per cent increase compared to August 2017.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,451 in September 2017, a 19.1 per cent increase compared from the sales recorded in September 2016 (1,218), a 5.1 per cent decrease from September 2015 (1,529), and a 22.1 per cent increase from September 2014 (1,188). The benchmark price of an apartment property is $635,800. This represents a 21.7 per cent increase from September 2016 and a 1.4 per cent increase compared to August 2017.

Attached property sales in September 2017 totalled 518, a 40.4 per cent increase compared to the sales recorded in September 2016 (369), a 4.8 per cent decrease from September 2015 (544), and an 11.6 per cent increase from September 2014 (464). The benchmark price of an attached home is $786,600. This represents a 14.5 per cent increase from September 2016 and a 1.1 per cent increase compared to August 2017.



*Editor’s Note: Areas covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta.

The real estate industry is a key economic driver in British Columbia. In 2016, 39,943 homes changed ownership in the Board’s area, generating $2.5 billion in economic spin-off activity and an estimated 17,600 jobs. The total dollar value of residential sales transacted through the MLS® system in Greater Vancouver totalled $40 billion in 2016.


The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is an association representing more than 13,500 REALTORS® and their companies. The Board provides a variety of member services, including the Multiple Listing Service®. For more information on real estate, statistics, and buying or selling a home, contact a local REALTOR® or visit

Reciprocity Logo The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Greater Vancouver REALTORS® (GVR), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the GVR, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the GVR, the FVREB or the CADREB.