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July 2015 BC Economic Fundamentals

Discussion in 'BC News' started by Ally, Jul 6, 2015.

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    News articles for July 2015.
     
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    Finally, some common sense discussion on BC real estate market

    Speakers at a housing forum sponsored by the Urban Development Institute brought a measure of common sense to the often-overheated rhetoric about housing prices in Metro Vancouver.

    As they pointed out, the price of townhouses and condominium apartments in the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board area (which includes Langley) has actually fallen since 2008. Only the price of detached homes is rising.

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    Vancouver home sales set new records in June

    It’s not just the weather that continues to be hot in Lower Mainland B.C. More Metro Vancouver homes sold last month than in any previous June ever, the second-highest overall monthly total on record, according tofigures released by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV). Sales were 28.4 per cent higher than June 2014, 7.9 per cent higher than May 2015 and 29.1 per cent higher than the June 10-year average. It was also the fourth straight month with more than 4,000 sales, a first in REBGV history. The number of listings has increased but has not kept up with buyer demand, says REBGV president Darcy McLeod in a news release. “Conditions today are being driven by low interest rates, a declining supply of detached homes, a growing population, a provincial economy that's outperforming the rest of Canada, pent-up demand from previous years and, perhaps most importantly, the fact that we live in a highly desirable region,” he says.

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    Housing crunch looms with rising tide of seniors in BC

    One in 14 B.C. residents is more than 75 years old and that rate that will rise by 50 per cent during the next decade, increasing the demand for places where seniors can live independently in retirement havens such as Victoria.

    The proportion of people at least 74 “has recorded double-digit increases in each of the past five census periods,” said a recent snapshot of seniors’ housing with supports released by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. By 2024, one in 10 B.C. residents will be at least 75. Already, the average age of residents in such residences is 83.

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    Vancouver real estate market keeps surging

    VANCOUVER, Canada—Real estate is front and centre in the minds of Vancouverites. It just seems to get hotter and hotter. While everybody can agree on most reasons behind such a robust housing market, one factor—the impact of foreign money—remains a debate.

    For starters, the June figures from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) showed sales were 29 percent higher than the 10-year sales average for the month. The benchmark price for all housing is now $694,000, up 10.3 percent from last June. For a detached property, it is up 14.8 percent to $1,123,900.

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    June 2015 housing starts in Vancouver

    VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - July 9, 2015) - Housing starts in the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 20,091 units in June compared to 19,408 units in May, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)(1)of housing starts.

    "While single-detached home building held steady in June, multiple-unit starts trended higher. Apartment and town home construction drove the increase in the trend measure of housing starts this month," said Robyn Adamache, CMHC Principal Market Analyst for Vancouver. "So far this year, town home building has been focused in Surrey and Langley, while new apartment projects have been concentrated in Burnaby, North Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey and the City of Vancouver."

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    Vancouver keeps an eye on Airbnb as company snaps up rental properties

    Cities from Santa Monica to Paris are jumping to curb the impact of Airbnb on housing affordability. Some are budgeting hundreds of thousands of dollars to identify properties being offered to tourists and return them to the rental pool for local residents.

    Airbnb has become the granddaddy of sites used by homeowners to make money by renting out their entire home, or even a single bedroom (either private or shared).




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    Looking at housing prices 25 years ago

    I started working in the urban development business 27 years ago this week. I knew very little about the business of real estate development and construction. I had to learn quickly.

    It was trial by fire and on-the-job learning during a pretty heated market at the time. North American real estate markets had climbed out of a trench that bottomed out in the late summer of 1982, when interest rates went north of 21 per cent and housing prices in most markets collapsed. Vancouver housing prices fell between 35 and 40 per cent between early 1980 and the late summer of 1982. But by the mid-1980s, Vancouver was on a strong rebound. It was the legacy of Expo 86 that began to transform the city soon after the fair ended. The sale of the 160-acre False Creek site to Concord Pacific in 1988 started a new real estate boom.

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    Looks like Site C dam is on its way. Jobs jobs jobs!

    The Saulteau First Nations voted overwhelmingly in favour of an Impact Benefits Agreement with BC Hydro over the Site C dam, marking a significant milestone in Hydro's efforts to gain First Nation consent for the project.

    With the vote, Saulteau will not join other Treaty 8 Nations in legal challenges, Chief Nathan Parenteau confirmed to Alaska Highway News.


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    Chilliwack gets some cash for upgrades

    Chilliwack, British Columbia – Residents of Fraser Valley will benefit from the replacement of the Vedder Bridge in Chilliwack and improvements to the Parkview Water System in Cultus Lake thanks to joint funding from the governments of Canada and British Columbia through the Small Communities Fund. In Chilliwack, the Vedder Bridge project will replace the existing two-lane steel thru-truss bridge over the Vedder River with a new two-lane steel plate girder bridge with shoulders and multi-use pathways.


    Both the north and south approaches to the bridge will also be updated. Additionally, a new single-lane roundabout will modernize the junction of Vedder Road and Chilliwack Lake Road. Collectively, all of these upgrades will improve traffic flow and help to ensure safer commuting.

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    Fort St. John building values, jobless rate on the rise

    The city’s June building report shows the value of Fort St. John construction through the first half of the year up $12.6 million over the first six months of last year.

    The year-to-date total for 154 permits, is $88.2 million, as compared $75.6 million for 152 permits in 2014.

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    Is LNG in BC for real this time. Looks like it. Here’s why:

    VICTORIA – The B.C. legislature is back in session this week, a rare summer sitting to approve a 25-year project agreement for the first large-scale liquefied natural gas project in northern B.C.

    Finance Minister Mike de Jong released the lengthy legal agreement prior to the debate, saying this step should remove any doubt that an international investment group led by Petronas of Malaysia intends to go ahead.

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    Need a house? Think small...no, smaller

    VANCOUVER — It started innocuously enough with two friends shooting the breeze over a morning latte.

    “I happened upon The Small House Book by Jay Shafer,” said Ted Allsopp, an off-grid enthusiast and 53-year-old former ski tourism entrepreneur with time on his hands. “Let’s build a few and see how it goes.”

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    How much $$ will you need to buy a home in the Tri-Cities?

    You and your partner are planning to buy a home in the Tri-Cities.

    But your housing wants will determine your income needs — meaning if one number is bigger, the other has to be, too.

    And the difference between buying a compact condo or a spacious detached house could be as much as $12,000 per month in household income, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s monthly home price index.


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    "Foreign Investors" in BC now include Albertans - gotta blame someone! BC region now ‘hot’ for Albertan buyers

    Lower oil prices and uncertainty towards the NDP government is fuelling more investment in parts of B.C. as Albertans seek permanent residences for retirement, according to an industry vet.

    “What’s more interesting is the reaction to lower oil prices and the NDP government in Alberta,” Bill Hubbard, owner/broker of Century 21 Executives Realty in Vernon, B.C., told CREW. “It seems to be really working in our favour. The number of purchases by Albertans is actually on the rise and has been over the past six months. It was a theory for a while, but we now have the data to back it up.”


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    Vancouver and North Vancouver Mired in the Most Development Red Tape adding unnecessary costs to homes: Study

    VANCOUVER—The District of North Vancouver and the City of Vancouver are the most regulated municipalities in the Lower Mainland and consequently the most difficult in which to build new housing, according to a survey of homebuilders released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian policy think-tank.

    “A large body of research has shown that onerous regulation stunts the homebuilding process and contributes to rising home prices. With housing affordability being a major issue in Metro Vancouver, the results of this survey indicate that red tape at some Lower Mainland city halls is deterring development and likely contributing to the affordability problem,” said Kenneth Green, Fraser Institute senior director of energy and natural resources.

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    In the world of development, time is money. The longer the wait and the more red tape there is, the costlier it is to the consumer. Fraser Institute shows the massive difference between BC Lower Mainland cities


    Amid increasing concerns about housing affordability in the Lower Mainland, New Homes and Red Tape: Residential Land-Use Regulation in BC’s Lower Mainland is the Fraser Institute’s first ever survey of Metro Vancouver homebuilders. It compares and ranks jurisdictions across the region on several categories of red tape (construction approval times, timeline uncertainty, regulatory costs and fees, rezoning prevalence and the effect council and community groups have on development) based on the experiences and opinions of industry professionals. The survey — which is part of a broader effort to understand the effects of land-use regulation on Canadian housing supply — finds that the District of North Vancouver and the City of Vancouver are the most regulated municipalities in the Lower Mainland and consequently the most difficult in which to build new housing.

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    More positive signs for the Site-C dam in NE BC as road works to begin Aug. 3

    Road improvements for the Site C dam will begin on Aug. 3, the Alaska Highway News has learned.

    The $7.9-million contract was awarded to A.L. Sims and Son out of Prince George, Sonia Lowe, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Transportation said.

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    Feds rain $51 million on Fort Nelson for bridge, airport and highway upgrades. More Jobs Jobs Jobs for the NE quadrant of British Columbia

    The federal government is turning on the taps in the north.

    Prince George-Peace River MP Bob Zimmer was in the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality Friday to announce more than $51 million in infrastructure funding. The funding includes $31 million for upgrades to the Alaska Highway, $17.5 million for upgrades to the Fort Nelson River Bridge, and $2.5 million for upgrades at the Northern Rockies Regional Airport.


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    Vancouver 'rent increase tsunami' predicted by local realtor

    A shortage of rental stock and unprecedented demand in Vancouver are creating the perfect storm for a "rent increase tsunami," according to a veteran realtor's report.

    David Goodman, principal of HQ Commercial, says in the July edition of the Goodman Report that vacancy rates are hovering around 0.5 per cent, and rents are going up by 10 to 20 per cent whenever there is a suite turnover.

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