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August 2015 BC Economic Fundamentals

Discussion in 'BC News' started by Ally, Aug 5, 2015.

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    News articles for August 2015.
     
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    BC Hydro releases first two weeks of construction for Site C

    B.C. Hydro has now confirmed that construction is underway on the Site C project and provided a list of activities planned for the next two weeks. In an email late Friday, Hydro says site preparation activities have started and include installing gates, fencing and signage.

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    Abbotsford-Mission to see some of Canada’s highest economic growth this year: Conference Board

    Abbotsford-Mission can expect healthy economic growth this year and for the following four years, according to a Conference Board of Canada study on medium-sized metropolitan economies released July 22.

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    Vancouver's building pressure to release more industrial demand

    The Lower Mainland’s industrial land has been the region’s escape valve for housing pressure for more than four decades.

    In Vancouver alone, almost half of the industrial land the city had in 1970 has been let go for other uses. About 100,000 people now live in condos and townhouses on the 565 hectares of land that once housed mills, barrel-making factories, breweries, ironworks and rail yards.

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    Greater Victoria house prices up 5% as real estate stays strong

    ales are sizzling in Greater Victoria’s real estate market in contrast to the country’s economic slump.

    “All of Greater Victoria is hot — extremely hot,” Gregg Mah, a real estate agent with Pemberton Holmes, said Tuesday.

    Saanich East, James Bay, Fairfield and Oak Bay are among in-demand areas, Mah said.

    “We are definitely getting multiple offers, especially if it is priced right in good areas.”

    Last month, 796 properties sold, up by 16.9 per cent from 681 in July 2014.


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    B.C.'s unemployment rate up, some areas hit worse

    B.C.'s unemployment rate ticked upward in July according to Statistics Canada's latest Labour Force Survey released Friday. Now at 6 per cent, unemployment in B.C. is lower than in Canada overall (6.8 per cent) but higher than it was in June, 5.8 per cent. But some parts of the province have been hit worse than others. The unemployment rate in Prince George, for example, is up to 7.8 per cent from 6.3 per cent last summer. And according to a recent report from oil and gas safety association Enform, some 20,000 B.C. jobs could be affected by falling oil and gas prices.

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    July 2015 Housing Starts in BC

    Housing starts in British Columbia's urban areas(1) were trending at 31,102 units in July compared to 29,321 units in June, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)(2) of housing starts.

    "The pace of new home construction picked up since May, reflecting strength in the resale market" said Carol Frketich, CMHC Regional Economist for BC. "Demand for new homes has matched supply, keeping inventories of completed and unabsorbed homes in check."

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    July 2015 housing starts in BC

    VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Aug. 11, 2015) - Housing starts in British Columbia's urban areas(1) were trending at 31,102 units in July compared to 29,321 units in June, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)(2) of housing starts.

    "The pace of new home construction picked up since May, reflecting strength in the resale market" said Carol Frketich, CMHC Regional Economist for BC. "Demand for new homes has matched supply, keeping inventories of completed and unabsorbed homes in check."

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    Woodfire LNG says it has agreed to all Squamish Nation conditions

    The Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) review period is back on for Woodfibre LNG after the company agreed to all Squamish Nation conditions.

    Woodfibre LNG announced Tuesday afternoon it had requested an end to the pause in the EAO review process its representatives were granted June 30 following the Squamish Nation’s release of its 25 conditions.

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    Harper pledges to study impact of foreign ownership on Vancouver housing prices

    VANCOUVER — A re-elected Conservative government would begin to collect data on foreign home ownership with a view toward limiting the impact such ownership has on tight housing markets in Vancouver and Toronto.

    Using the backdrop of North Vancouver, a community once popular for middle-income home hunters but increasingly becoming unaffordable to them, Prime Minister Stephen Harper pledged during a whistle-stop campaign event Wednesday to spend $500,000 next year to determine how much foreign home ownership is affecting home affordability.


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    Businesses scramble to secure industrial land in Metro Vancouver

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    Unemployment in Prince George increases to 7.8%

    The city's unemployment rate stood at 7.8 per cent in July, according to the latest Statistics Canada labour market survey results.

    That's up from 6.3 per cent for the same month last year as the number of people employed in Prince George declined to 47,200 from 50,900 over that time.


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    B.C. gas drilling a relative bright spot in collapsing Canadian energy sector

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    Imagine that. It was but a few years ago that Rubin et al were predicting Peak Oil & getting all the press. Now this

    A decade ago, Houston investment banker Matt Simmons (since deceased) received a too-respectful hearing from a bunch of Harvard alumni in Toronto for his theories about “peak oil.” His take, outlined in his book “Twilight in the Desert,” was that the Saudis, the world’s largest producers, had been lying about their reserves, which were on the point of catastrophic decline. He predicted oil prices would hit $200 a barrel by 2010 (all prices in US$). His “solution” was Soviet levels of control of people’s lives. Simmons confirmed that peaksters neither understand nor like markets, which he described as a “500-pound wrecking ball.”

    Canada acquired its own peak fanatic in the shape of Jeff Rubin, sometime chief economist at CIBC, who provided further proof that anti-consumerist moralism could quickly drain all traces of Economics 101 from even a professional’s noggin. In the fall of 2007, Rubin predicted $100-per-barrel oil, and sure enough, oil soon hit $100. In January of 2008 he was predicting $150 oil within five years. It almost reached that level within a few months. On a roll, he predicted oil at $200 by 2012.

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    B.C. gas drilling a relative bright spot in collapsing Canadian energy sector

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    'Chinese invasion' of Vancouver real estate

    In recent times, Vancouver has emerged as a popular destination for overseas property investors, especially those from mainland China.

    Nearly one-third of buyers in Vancouver had some connection to China, Dan Scarrow of real-estate company Macdonald Realty told Canadian newspaper The Province.

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    Hot and getting hotter

    It’s relatively tranquil and not used to seeing rapid change, but those days could soon be coming to an end. Like it or not, Tsawwassen and Ladner appear poised to become the region’s next red hot real estate market, transforming the community sooner rather than later, according to those in the real estate game.

    Noting the desirability of South Delta will intensify due to a number of factors, including increasing population, stratospheric housing prices in Vancouver and Richmond, and limited supply here, real estate agent Fraser Elliott said he’s seeing many prospective buyers that wouldn’t have considered moving to the area even a year ago discovering South Delta.

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    Building permits hit new heights

    VANCOUVER -- The first six months of last year saw record levels for building permits being issued in Vancouver, but this year’s total has eclipsed that by almost 20 per cent.

    Last year, the value of building permits issued until July 1 was a record setting $1.12 billion. This year’s total to July 1 is $1.34 billion.


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    The new "Vancouver Special" could be the basement suite

    The basement suite may be as typically Vancouver as yoga and rain. A survey finds more than four in 10 home owners in Vancouver rent a part of their place out.

    Insurance company Square One asked 4,000 home owners across Canada and found that 43 per cent of those in Vancouver have tenants. That’s the highest percentage in the country, at more than three times the national average.

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    High-end rentals are the latest trend

    Vancouver, along with other major Canadian cities, is witnessing an entirely new trend in real estate - the development of condo-quality rental buildings, featuring units that typically fetch higher rents.

    "A new trend in the multifamily asset class is burgeoning condominium-quality, purposebuilt apartment rentals," reports Colliers International in its justreleased report on the multifamily real estate market. "These rentals consist of highend finishes, four-plus appliance kitchens, in suite laundry, and ample building amenities."

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