October 2014 B.C. Economic Fundamentals

Ally

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#2
Home buyer demand increases across Greater Vancouver housing market





The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 3,286 on the Multiple Listing Service (MLSÂ) in May 2014. This represents a 14 per cent increase compared to the 2,882 sales recorded in May 2013, and a 7.7 per cent increase compared to the 3,050 sales in April 2014. Last month`s sales were 6.5 per cent below the 10-year sales average for May of 3,514.





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Ally

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#3
Provincial home sales lifted by Metro Vancouver in August





Regional home sales were mixed in August, but a stronger pickup in the Lower Mainland lifted B.C. sales to a multi-year high, following a July dip. According to the latest Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) data, provincial Multiple Listing Service (MLS) sales climbed 2.5% from July to a seasonally adjusted 7,215 units, which was the strongest pace of monthly sales since early 2011, but remained generally in line with levels observed since May. Outside the Lower Mainland, sales declined 2% as fewer sales on Vancouver Island (excluding Victoria), in the South Okanagan and in the north offset gains in the remaining markets.





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Ally

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#4
Vancouver has mixed success in creating affordable housing





Back in November 2010, Mayor Gregor Robertson joined developer Dale Bosa in a vacant lot at 1142 Granville St. for a typical photo opp to mark the beginning of a new housing project. Shovels in hand, Robertson and Bosa dug up dirt for the cameras at a press conference to announce the construction of a 10-storey, 106-unit building on the downtown strip.





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Ally

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#5
'Bullish' market for Vancouver apartment buildings





Affordable mortgage rates and low numbers of residential vacancies are making 2014 `a breakout year` for sales of apartment buildings across Metro Vancouver.





The Goodman Report, a local newsletter covering multi-family investment property, notes that selling volumes have been robust, with prices per-suite in suburban Vancouver markets up 22 per cent over 2013, 13 per cent for buildings in the city.





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Ally

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#6
Housing market is Surrey's bellweather, says top Canadian economic forecaster





When it comes to Surrey`s economy, you can`t talk about the city`s exponential growth without real estate entering the conversation, says one of Canada`s leading economic forecasters.





`The housing market is key,` said David Tulk, chief Canada macro strategist with TD Securities. `That`s one area, looking at how well it`s performed. And it does feel stretched, and [there is] pressure on a region like Surrey where there are a lot of people coming in, so the prices are pushed up even higher.`





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Ally

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#7
Two new challenges threaten proposed pipelines





The North Coast nation filed its court action in July over the federal cabinet decision to approve the pipeline, which would link the Alberta oil sands with a marine terminal on the B.C. north coast.





Reports indicate it has been given the green light for a judicial review of the controversial $7 billion project proposed by Calgary-based Enbridge.





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Ally

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#8
Top 10 Towns in the West for Real Estate Investors





Welcome to Western Investor`s second pick of the top towns and cities in Western Canada where, in our opinion, real estate investors in both the commercial and residential sector have the best chance to profit. We compile this list every two years and our outlook is based on a two-year horizon, though many of these top markets should also perform long-term.





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Ally

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#9
Despite threats, PETRONAS has plenty of skin in the game





VICTORIA ` For all the threats from Petronas to shelve for a generation plans to invest in liquefied natural gas here in B.C., it is important to note that the company has already spent billions to secure a major stake in provincial natural gas reserves.





June 2, 2011. Petronas commits $1.1 billion to establish a strategic partnership with Calgary-based Progress Energy to develop its `vast land holdings` in the Montney natural gas formation in northeastern B.C. The partners also agree to explore opportunities to develop an LNG export terminal on the West Coast.





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Ally

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#10
LNG boom for BC 'not a foregone conclusion,' says industry group





VANCOUVER - With the provincial government on the cusp of announcing its tax and environmental regime for liquefied natural gas, the head of an industry group issued a warning Wednesday: the window is closing and B.C.'s trillion-dollar LNG dream is not a foregone conclusion.





David Keane, president of the newly formed B.C. LNG Alliance, said the provincial and federal governments will have to make some "difficult choices" if they want the tens of billions of dollars of investment.





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Ally

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#11
Vancouver housing starts remain steady in September





Vancouver-area housing starts were trending at 20,080 units in September, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation announced October 8.





This figure, which represents a six-month moving average of monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates, is a drop of less than 1% compared with 20,262 in August.





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Ally

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#12
Fraser Valley home sales up 10% year-over-year





MLSÂ sales in the Fraser Valley last month saw the most activity for September since 2009, with sales for all housing types rising 10.1 per cent year over year, according to Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) figures released October 2. Benchmark prices for all housing types fell 0.2 per cent compared with a month earlier but rose 1.3 per cent compared with September 2013.





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Ally

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#13
Referendum failure would set BC transit planning back a decade










The B.C. government is seeking the public`s input on a new, 10-year transportation plan. Of course, it mostly knows already what it wants to do, and how much it will cost, but it needs to create the illusion that whatever priority list it establishes reflects the grand wishes of the populace.





That may sound like a deeply cynical view of what`s afoot here but it`s not. All governments do it to avoid the ugly allegation that the public has little say in the agenda instituted by our elected lawmakers. But the reality is the public has its say at election time and after that governments generally carry out the agenda they ran on. Or one they make up as they go along





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Ally

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#14
BC on the move: A 10 year transportation plan





Welcome to the BC on the Move: A Ten Year Transportation Plan web site.





The B.C. on the Move Discussion Guide is now available to read or download. It includes an overview of B.C.`s transportation network, an outline of accomplishments over the past decade, challenges and opportunities that lie ahead and highlights of key strategies and actions.






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Ally

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#15
BC economy adds 9,600 jobs in September, but unemployment rate unchanged





OTTAWA - B.C. added 9,600 jobs in September, as the province's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.1 per cent, Statistics Canada says.





A gain of 20,600 Full-time jobs in B.C. Was partially offset by a loss of 11,000 part-time jobs, the federal data agency said this morning.










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Ally

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#16
Why Vancouver housing is unaffordable, and what to do about it





Edward Yang is sad about the city he grew up in. His parents emigrated from Taiwan to B.C. without much money, yet in the early 1990s they were able to afford a small house in East Vancouver.





But Yang and his wife, who earn strong incomes in Los Angeles while bringing up their child, doubt they will ever be able to follow a dream to return to the West Coast Canadian metropolis





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Ally

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#17
BC economy adds 9,600 jobs in September, but unemployment rate remains unchanged





OTTAWA - B.C. added 9,600 jobs in September, as the province's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.1 per cent, Statistics Canada says.





A gain of 20,600 Full-time jobs in B.C. Was partially offset by a loss of 11,000 part-time jobs, the federal data agency said this morning.












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Ally

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#18
"Buildable" costs expose disconnect in condo market





Startling multi-family land prices are creating a `disconnect` in a high-rise condominium market that increasingly must rely on immigrant buyers, according to a noted real estate consultant.





At current `buildable-per-square-foot` prices, a typical new 750-square-foot condo has to have a baseline price of $112,000 just to cover land costs. On the west side of Vancouver the same price is closer to $187,000, according to numbers provided in Colliers International`s recent Land Share report.





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Ally

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#19
BC gives environmental green light to $7.9 billion Site C dam project





The British Columbia government has granted environmental approval to a massive dam that would flood thousands of hectares of land in the Peace Valley in northwestern B.C., saying the benefits of the $7.9-billion project outweigh the significant social and environmental costs of building it.





The project ` known as Site C ` on Tuesday also received a green light from the federal government, which said the environmental effects of the proposed dam are `justified in the circumstances` because it would generate clean, renewable energy for the next 100 years.





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Ally

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#20
How young Vancouver buyers are crashing the real estate party





Matthew Kennedy is a young man many people would consider to be the equivalent of a unicorn in Vancouver. This is, after all, the city renowned in popular mythology as a place with such astronomical house prices that its young will be forced to live in basement suites forever.





Mr. Kennedy bought his first condo four years ago when he was 20, using the money he had saved from the job he started right after he finished high school. The first one, at H&R Block, doing deliveries. The second, doing what his father had done and he`d loved since a kid, painting cars.





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