September 2014 B.C. Economic Fundamentals

Ally

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#2
Chinese buyers have limited impact on Vancouver's house market





VANCOUVER, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese buyers have limited impact on Vancouver's overall housing market, a Canadian real estate expert has said recently.





While Vancouver's housing prices have remained among the most expensive in the world, the Chinese factor has only had an impact on selected Vancouver neighborhoods, said Dan Scarrow of MacDonald Realty, one of Vancouver's largest real estate firms.





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Ally

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#3
Squamish real estate market is hot





It is a busy time to be a real estate agent in Squamish.





According to several Squamish realtors, this has been the busiest summer they have had since before the 2008 recession hit, both in terms of sales numbers and in interest from potential buyers.





Single-detached family houses in the district in particular have been as popular as campsites at the base of the Stawamus Chief in August.





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Ally

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#4
Outside investors drive Alberni housing market





An interesting picture is emerging in the Alberni Valley`s housing market, which has heated up over the summer.





Sharie Marie Minions, a mortgage broker with The Mortgage Group, says many of her clients traditionally refinance existing mortgages.However, in recent weeks a far higher percentage than normal of her clients have been newcomers to the Valley.





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Ally

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#5
Even condos becoming out of reach in Vancouver's sky-high housing market





Condos have long been touted as the affordable housing option in Vancouver.





Not so much, anymore.





`New housing in the City of Vancouver, even new multi-family, will never be affordable for the majority of potential home buyers.`





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Ally

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#6
Vancouver home sales pick up in August, but still lag previous record-setting levels





It`s been three years since homes sold at this pace in Greater Vancouver but local realtors note it`s still below the record-setting numbers of the past.





The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said 2,771 homes sold through Multiple Listing Service in August, a 10.2% increase from a year ago but a 9.5% decline from July. August sales were 4.3% above the 10-year average for the month.





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Ally

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#7
BC adds jobs, but unemployment rate edges up in August





Statistics Canada says British Columbia added 1,800 jobs in August, but the unemployment rate edged up by 0.2 per cent to 6.1 per cent as more people were looking for work.





The province shed 14,400 full time positions, but that was offset by gaining 16,200 part time jobs.










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Ally

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#8
Fort St. John home prices cross the $400,000 mark





For the first time, properties in Fort St. John are now selling for an average price of over $400,000, recent data from the BC Northern Real Estate Board suggests.This makes Fort St. John the most expensive place to buy homes in northern B.C., but as other data shows, still surprisingly affordable compared to the rest of the province.





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#9
Almost 7,000 heavy-equipment operators will be needed in BC





Throughout the month-long campaign leading up to Christy Clark`s surprise election victory last year, the Liberal Leader hammered home the promise of job creation by touring construction sites and natural gas plants, operating excavators and donning a signature hard hat.





The role of heavy equipment operator is in fact in large demand: B.C. is expected to need nearly 7,000 of them over the next decade, in no small part due to energy projects. The B.C. Jobs Plan is aiming to bring at least four natural gas pipelines and terminals online by 2020.





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Ally

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#10
Housing market activity follows 10-year August averages





The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,771 on the Multiple Listing Service (MLSÂ) in August 2014. This represents a 10.2 per cent increase compared to the 2,514 sales recorded in August 2013, and a 9.5 per cent decline compared to the 3,061 sales in July 2014. `Activity this summer has been strong but not unusual for our region,` Ray Harris, REBGV president said. `The volume of home sales has been higher than we`ve seen in the last three years, yet below the record-breaking levels of the past decade.`





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Ally

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#11
BC coal mine suspends activity amid low prices





Anglo American PLC says low coal prices have forced it to make plans to temporarily halt production at its Trend mine in northeastern British Columbia.





`This is a pause and not a withdraw from our long-term vision in British Columbia,` Anglo American spokesman Federico Velasquez said in an interview Thursday from Tumbler Ridge, B.C.





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Ally

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#12
West Coast LNG countdown: how do you spend $15 billion in a town of 13,000 people





The liquefied natural gas countdown is on in Canada. Within weeks, there are three major catalysts happening that could reshape the entire economy and labour market of western Canada:




  • The British Columbia government outlines its fiscal regime for LNG
  • The environmental assessment for the Petronas` LNG facility in Prince Rupert will be issued
    The Malaysian national oil company Petronas is widely expected to give a positive final investment decision to build North America`s first greenfield LNG export terminal at Prince Rupert.

I spent three days in Prince Rupert in mid-August to get a first-hand look at the leading sites, and I also drove two hours along the Skeena River over to Kitimat, the other potential hub, to check out a couple of potential sites there as well.





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Ally

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#13
Decision on Kitimat LNG project 'economics-driven,' won't be rushed





CALGARY - Many hurdles remain before U.S. oil giant Chevron Corp. can decide the fate of its planned liquefied natural gas project in Kitimat and finding a new partner is just one of them, CEO John Watson said Friday.





"It's not a schedule-driven project. It's an economics-driven project," Watson told reporters ahead of the annual Spruce Meadows Changing Fortunes Round Table in Calgary.








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Ally

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#14
Housing starts stay consistent in August





Housing starts in the Kelowna Census Metropolitan Area were trending at 1,213 units in August compared to 1,276 units in July, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.





The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts.





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Ally

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#15
BC rents going up by 2.5% next year





VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) ` BC tenants will likely be paying two and a half percent more to rent their suites in the coming year.





The annual rent increase cap has been set at 2.5 per cent for 2015.





The percentage is based on inflation plus two per cent. While the yearly rental increase cap is meant to be the maximum amount rents can go up, most landlords usually opt to raise rents by the full rate.








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Ally

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#16
Foreign buyers are fuelling a seismic spike in Vancouver's luxury housing market, realtors say





VANCOUVER ` Chinese investors` global hunt for prime real estate is helping drive Vancouver home prices to record highs and the city, long among top destinations for wealthy mainland buyers, is feeling the bonanza`s unwelcome side-effects.





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Ally

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#17
Inflation in Calgary and Alberta outstrips national average





CALGARY - Consumer prices in Alberta and in the Calgary region rose at a higher rate than the Canadian average in August, reported Statistics Canada on Friday.





The federal agency said the Consumer Price Index rose by 3.2 per cent in the Calgary census metropolitan area from a year ago and by 2.6 per cent in Alberta.





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Ally

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#18
Calgary house hunters expect to pay more than they first thought





CALGARY - A new survey says 47 per cent of Calgary house hunters now expect to spend 19 per cent more on a new home - an increase of $89,389 - from when they first started looking.





The BMO Fall Home-Buying Report, released Friday, said most expected to spend $568,458.





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Ally

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#19
Leduc/Edmonton Annexation Conundrum





With their ambitious plan to build suburbs and acreages south of Edmonton, Leduc County officials have robbed themselves of their best argument against the city`s bid to annex of 156 square kilometres of county land.





How so?





It turns out there is a compelling argument against annexation or amalgamation. The argument is well articulated by Prof. Andrew Sancton of Western University. Sancton, a leading Canadian authority and critic of amalgamation and annexation, spoke earlier this month at a Grande Prairie conference on reshaping Alberta`s municipal boundaries.





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Ally

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#20
Condo sales break Edmonton MLS record





EDMONTON - A unit in a brand-new Edmonton condominium building has sold for $2.625 million, breaking the MLS record in the city.





Symphony Tower, scheduled to break ground next month near the legislature grounds on 106th Street, will be a 27-floor building with 143 suites.





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