The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2018 Second Quarter Housing Forecast today.

Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province are forecast to decline 9 per cent to 94,200 units this year, after posting 103,700 unit sales in 2017. MLS® residential sales are forecast to remain relatively unchanged in 2019, albeit down 0.2 per cent to 94,000 units. Housing demand is expected to remain above the 10year average of 84,800 units into 2020.

“The housing market continues to be supported by a strong economy,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “However, slower economic growth is expected over the next two years as the economy is nearing full employment and consumers have stepped back from their 2017 spending spree.”

“Demographics will play a key role in the housing market over the next few years,” added Muir, “as growth in the adult-aged population is bolstered by immigration and the massive millennial generation enters its household forming years.”

Muir notes there are, however, significant headwinds in the housing market. “Rising mortgage interest rates will further erode affordability and purchasing power, with the effect being exacerbated by an already high price level. The legacy of tougher mortgage qualifications for conventional mortgagors will be a reduction of their purchasing power by up to 20 per cent, and the provincial government’s expansion of the foreign buyer tax and several other policies aimed at taxing wealth is sending a negative signal to the market and likely diverting investment elsewhere.”

The combination of slowing housing demand and rising new home completions is expected to trend most BC markets toward balanced conditions this year, and lead to less upward pressure on home prices.


To view the full BCREA Housing Forecast, click here.


Provided By: BCREA


Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) today released its first quarter financial report demonstrating its contributions to the stability of housing markets and the financial system while also providing support for Canadians in housing need.

CMHC also published supplemental data on its Assisted Housing, Securitization and Covered Bonds activities. New this quarter is an expanded Mortgage Loan Insurance business supplement.

Contributing to the stability of the financial system and facilitating access to housing

For the three months ended March 31, 2018, we:

  • Provided mortgage loan insurance for more than 43,000 new units across the country, including over 24,700 rental units.
  • Maintained the quality of our portfolio with an overall arrears rate of 0.29%. The typical CMHC-insured borrower had, on average:
    • Credit score — 752
    • Purchase price — $ 281,123
    • Equity — 7.8%
  • Provided guarantees for $36.7 billion in securities to support residential mortgage financing. This includes $27.2 billion for National Housing Act Mortgage-Backed Securities and $9.5 billion for Canada Mortgage Bonds.

Helping Canadians in housing need gain access to suitable housing they can afford

For the three months ended March 31, 2018:

  • We invested $1 billion through our Assisted Housing activities on behalf of the Government of Canada to create much-needed housing units for low- and middle-income Canadians across the country.
  • Budget 2018 proposed to increase the amount of low-cost loans provided by the Rental Construction Financing Initiative by $1.25 billion over the next three years. This brings the total to $3.75 billion in available loans for this initiative, which is open until December 31, 2020.

Delivering results for Canadians

CMHC’s mortgage loan insurance and securitization guarantee programs operate on a commercial basis. As a result of these activities in the first quarter, we generated net income of $293 million.

As a responsible risk manager, CMHC holds capital for its commercial activities in line with its risk profile and with regulatory capital requirements. Our overall insurance-in-force as at March 31, 2018 is $472 billion and for this we had $14.3 billion in capital available, representing 177% of the minimum regulatory capital target.


“We continue to navigate a changing regulatory environment that has impacted our mortgage loan insurance volumes. Nonetheless, we generated a net income of $293 million from our commercial activities, including securitization. This quarter, we also invested $1 billion to create much-needed housing units for low- and middle-income Canadians across the country.”

— Lisa Williams, Chief Financial Officer


Provided By: CMHC


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Statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales fell from March to April 2018.



  • National home sales fell 2.9% from March to April.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 13.9% from April 2017.
  • The number of newly listed homes declined 4.8% from March to April.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) in April was up 1.5% year-over-year (y-o-y).
  • The national average sale price declined by 11.3% y-o-y in April.


National home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems declined by 2.9% in April 2018 to the lowest level in more than five years (Chart A). About 60% of all local housing markets reported fewer sales, led by the Fraser Valley, Calgary, Ottawa and Montreal.


Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 13.9% compared to April of last year and hit a seven-year low for the month. It also stood 6.9% below the 10-year average for the month. Activity was below year-ago levels in about 60% of all local markets, led overwhelmingly by the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and by markets in and around Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) region.


“The stress-test that came into effect this year for homebuyers with more than a twenty percent down payment continued to cast its shadow over sales activity in April,” said CREA President Barb Sukkau. “Its impact on housing markets varies by region,” she added. “A professional REALTOR® is your best source for information and guidance in negotiations to purchase or sell a home during these changing times,” said Sukkau.


“This year’s new stress test has lowered sales activity and destabilized market balance for housing markets in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador Provinces,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “This is exactly the type of collateral damage that CREA warned the government about. As provinces whose economic prospects have faced difficulties because they are closely tied to those of natural resources, it is puzzling that the government would describe the effect of its new policy as intended consequences.”


The number of newly listed homes declined 4.8% in April. Having reached a nine-year low for the month, new listings stood 12% below the 10-year monthly moving average.


With sales having fallen by less than new listings, the national sales-to-new listings ratio firmed slightly to 53.7% in April compared to 52.6% in March. The long-term average for the measure is 53.4%.


A national sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40% and 60% is generally consistent with a balanced national housing market, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively; however, the range consistent with balanced market conditions varies at the local market level.


For that reason, considering the degree and duration that market balance readings are above or below their long-term average is a better way of gauging whether local housing market conditions favour buyers or sellers. Market balance measures that are within one standard deviation of their 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, about 60% of all local markets were in balanced market territory in April 2018.


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

There were 5.6 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of April 2018, the highest level since September 2015. The long-term average for the measure is 5.2 months.


The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) was up 1.5% y-o-y in April 2018. This marks one full year of decelerating y-o-y gains. It was also the smallest y-o-y increase since October 2009. (Chart B)

Decelerating y-o-y home price gains largely reflect trends among GGH housing markets tracked by the index. Home prices in the region have stabilized and have begun trending higher on a monthly basis; however, rapid price gains recorded one year ago have contributed to deteriorating y-o-y price comparisons.


Apartment units again posted the largest y-o-y price gains in April (+14.7%), followed by townhouse/row units (+6.5%). By contrast, one-storey and two-storey single family home prices were down (-1.1% and -4.8% y-o-y respectively).


With this release, housing market coverage for MLS® HPI now includes Barrie and District. Benchmark home prices in April were up from year-ago levels in 9 of the 15 markets tracked by the index.


Composite benchmark home prices in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia continue to trend upward after having dipped briefly in the second half of 2016 (Greater Vancouver (GVA): +14.3% y-o-y; Fraser Valley: +22.7% y-o-y).


Apartment and townhouse/row units have been largely driving this regional trend while single family home prices in the GVA have stabilized. In the Fraser Valley, single family home prices have now also begun to rise.


Benchmark home prices continued to rise by about 14% on a y-o-y basis in Victoria and by about 20% elsewhere on Vancouver Island.


Within the GGH region, price gains have slowed considerably on a y-o-y basis but remain above year-ago levels in Guelph (+5.9%). By contrast, home prices in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Oakville-Milton and Barrie and District were down from where they stood one year earlier (GTA: -5.2% y-o-y; Oakville-Milton: -8.7% y-o-y; Barrie and District: -8.4% y-o-y). This reflects rapid price gains recorded one year ago and masks recent month-over-month price gains in these markets.


Calgary and Edmonton benchmark home prices were again little changed on a y-o-y basis (Calgary: +0.1% y-o-y; Edmonton: -0.9% y-o-y), while prices in Regina and Saskatoon remained down from year-ago levels (-6.5% y-o-y and -3.4% y-o-y, respectively).


Benchmark home prices rose by 8.4% y-o-y in Ottawa (led by a 9.4% increase in two-storey single family home prices), by 6.3% in Greater Montreal (led by a 7.3% increase in two-storey single family home prices) and by 4.2% in Greater Moncton (led by a 5.6% increase in one-storey single family home prices). (Table 1)


The MLS® HPI provides the best way of gauging price trends because average price trends are 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 April 2018 was just over $495,000, down 11.3% from one year earlier.

The national average price is heavily skewed by sales in the GVA and GTA, two of Canada’s most active and expensive markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts more than $109,000 from the national average price to just under $386,100 and trims the y-o-y decline to 4.1%.


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 125,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.


Younger homebuyers, who aim for cheaper mortgage options, will feel the impact the most

Expect a modest slowdown in housing activity and more demand for cheaper housing with the new qualifying mortgage rate, some experts say.

The Bank of Canada raised its mortgage qualifying rate to 5.34 per cent this week, meaning borrowers now face a higher bar in the federally mandated stress test. The rate was previously 5.14 per cent.

The qualifying rate, different from actual rates offered by lenders, is used as a benchmark to determine borrower eligibility. The rate is up from 4.64 per cent this time last year.

Borrowers with less than a 20 per cent down payment seeking mortgage insurance have to qualify at the Bank of Canada benchmark rate. Effective this past January, borrowers who don’t need mortgage insurance must prove they could handle either the Bank of Canada rate or two percentage points higher than their contractual mortgage rate, whichever rate is greater.

Canada’s big banks — TD, RBC, CIBC, Scotiabank, National and BMO — all recently raised their five-year fixed mortgage rates.

Robert Goodall, president and CEO of Atrium Mortgage Investment Corporation, said rate increases tend to have a psychological impact on buyers.

“When rates rise at this time of year, it can be demoralizing and a hit to consumer confidence,” agreed Phil Soper, President and CEO of Royal LePage.

However, Soper is optimistic that consumer sentiments will recover given the strength of employment and the economy in Canada.

He believes younger homebuyers, who aim for cheaper mortgage options, will feel the impact the most.

“There’s a general tendency for younger buyers and first-time homebuyers to be more conservative when it comes to mortgage financing,” he said. “They have a tendency to look for the most conservative product on the market, which is now getting more expensive.”

For Robert Hogue, a senior economist with RBC, qualifying rate increases could potentially lead to a restraining of demand from homebuyers.

As well, there will likely be more of a concentration of demand towards lower-priced homes due to the toll higher qualifying rates may have on buyers’ budgets, Hogue said.

“It doesn’t mean that people will stop qualifying,” he said. “New borrowers will continue to be able to qualify, but for a lesser amount.”


Provided By: The Vancouver Sun


Towers aplenty get early OK from Coquitlam

Hundreds of new condos and rental units in the works 

The pace of highrise condo construction in Coquitlam does not appear to be slowing down. 

Council approved first reading for three projects Monday night that will add a total of 650 housing units to the city’s residential stock.


The largest project is planned for Glen Drive and Westwood Street in the City Centre neighbourhood, where Polygon Developments is proposing a 40-storey, mixed-use tower, with podium-style ground-level commercial units. 


Fifty-one of the 273 units would be rentals while 222 would be market condos on a site currently occupied by several houses. The project would also feature four floors of commercial office space. 


While the 40-storey tower is being built by Polygon, the Onni group owns the land directly to the west of the project along Pinetree Way, where it is proposing to build three more towers. The two projects would move forward on separate timelines but are being designed by the same architectural firm. 


The second-largest tower, which had its first reading approved during Monday night’s council meeting, would be located on Sydney Avenue and Westview Street (near the Burnaby border at North Road and Austin Avenue). 

The 25-storey project, another podium and tower, is expected to have 235 units, with 157 market condos, 69 market rentals and nine below-market rental units. The five-storey podium would hold an amenity space and the rental units, according to a city staff report.


The final tower development to receive first reading Monday night is a 21-storey project located at Lougheed Highway and Blue Mountain Street. The proposed development would include eight townhouse units and a mixed-use space at the ground-floor level and a tower with four ground-floor commercial units and 142 market condo units.

All three towers will now move forward to the public hearing phase of the city’s application process. Public hearing dates are posted and updated at 


Pedestrians walking the loop at Coquitlam’s Como Lake will be detoured as the city works to replace a dock on the east side of the lake.


Signs have been posted on site to help park users avoid machines and equipment being used on the project, which is expected to be wrapped up by the end of the week.


According to the city, the new dock will provide lake visitors with a wider and longer platform. 

Provided By: Gary McKenna -

Photo - Photograph By File Photo


BC Home Sales Show Little Change in April

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 8,203 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) across the province in April, a 16.8 per cent decrease from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $730,507, up 0.2 per cent from the previous year. Total sales dollar volume was $5.99 billion, a 16.7 per cent decline from April 2017.

“BC home sales were essentially unchanged in April compared to March, albeit up nearly 1 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA’s Chief Economist. “The impact of more burdensome mortgage qualifications for conventional borrowers is expected to soften over the next several months as potential buyers adjust both their finances and expectations.”

The supply of homes for sale in April increased 4 per cent from the previous month. However, total active listings on the market continue to remain low from a historical perspective. Most regions of the province have begun trending toward more balance between supply and demand, causing less upward pressure on home prices.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 6.7 per cent to $19.9 billion, compared with the same period in 2017. Residential unit sales decreased 11.8 per cent to 27,135 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 5.7 per cent to $731,661.


April 2018 Residential Average Price, Active Listings and Sales-to-Active-Listings Data by Board




Average Price

Active Listings


April 2018 Residential Average Price ($)

April 2017 Residential Average Price ($)



April 2018 Residential Active Listings (Units)

April 2017 Residential Active Listings (Units)


% change

April 2018 Residential Sales to Active Listings (%)

April 2017 Residential Sales to Active 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

BCREA is the professional association for about 23,000 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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