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September 2015 BC Economic Fundamentals

Discussion in 'BC News' started by Ally, Sep 1, 2015.

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    News articles for September 2015.
     
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    Metro Vancouver housing affordability decreases

    Housing affordability in Metro Vancouver is nearing the worst level ever seen in Canada, RBC Economics says.

    In a news release issued this morning, RBC Economics' Housing Affordability Index for B.C. showed a 2.5 percentage point increase in the second quarter of 2015, to 75.3 per cent, for two-storey homes.

    The index, which captures the proportion of pre-tax household income needed to service the costs of owning a home, rose the most for B.C. among all provinces.

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    Now arriving: New condos at Vancouver train stations

    COQUITLAM, BRITISH COLUMBIA—Months before the debut of the newest extension of Vancouver’s rapid-transit rail system, a new station in this sleepy suburb is flanked by towering construction cranes and lumbering excavators.

    The scene, an erecting of two condominium towers and a grocery store, is a familiar one throughout this lush, mountainous region. Developers, pension funds and big banks are racing to build thousands of condos and commercial complexes along the rail lines, pushing the metro area to the forefront of North American cities clustering billions of dollars of development around rail stops.

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    Slowdown threatens "third wave" of Vancouver office towers

    An 11-year high office vacancy rate in downtown Vancouver may stall development of at least two new towers. Another seven skyscrapers proposed in a so-called “third wave” are also in limbo as cautious developers test market acceptance and city design approval.
    New towers that were to follow the current 1.4 million square feet of office space that has just opened or are nearly complete, include the 229,000 square-foot, twin-tower Burrard Place on Burrard Street; the 70,000-square-foot East Tower next to Rogers Arena; and the smaller 23,600-square-foot heritage-inspired Ormidale Block on West Hastings Street, which has already started construction.

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    Victoria real estate remains strong all summer

    The Victoria Real Estate Board today released its report on real estate activity for August 2015. A total of 741 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this August, an increase of 21.7% compared to the 609 properties sold in the same month last year.

    "Consumer confidence in our area continues to be one of the main drivers of the spring and summer market surge," Victoria Real Estate Board President Guy Crozier says. "In terms of single family home sales, this month we saw the highest number sold in the month of August since 2007. A total of 379 single family homes sold in August 2015, compared to 399 in August 2007."

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    Tourism Vancouver considering extending hotel tax to AirBNB suites

    Vancouver tourism officials are floating the idea of extending a tax on hotel rooms to include suites rented through the website Airbnb.

    The debate about whether to tax the popular service comes as cities in Canada and elsewhere struggle to regulate Airbnb, Uber and other online businesses that allow regular people to rent out their rooms or cars for a fee. Quebec recently announced plans to become the first province to tax and regulate Airbnb. Several American jurisdictions have already done so.

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    Boom in technology jobs is transforming Toronto and Vancouver's office markets

    The two cities made it on a list CBRE calls its Tech Thirty, an analysis of the top 30 technology centres in North America that shows how tech workers have kept office markets humming.

    “If you look at the tech job growth rate (in Canada) it is well above overall employment. The point is that tech employment is growing substantially faster than overall employment. It’s tech, all tech now,” said Ross Moore, director of research for CBRE’s operations in Canada. “We’ve got our fingers crossed.”

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    Businesses scramble to secure industrial land in Metro Vancouver. But pressure expected to release in 2016

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    Search for yield fuels “explosive” demand for rental property purchases

    The 61-year old wood frame apartment building on West 11th Avenue in Vancouver doesn’t look like much. No balconies outside; no elevator, granite countertops or stainless steel inside.

    It only has 10 rental units. But when the building sold this spring each of the old suites was worth $360,000, or more than $335 for each creaky square foot.

    Like many aging Vancouver apartment buildings, it had doubled in value in the past 10 years and represents the most seductive real estate investment in Canada.

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    August 2015 housing starts in BC

    VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Sept. 9, 2015) - Housing starts in British Columbia's urban areas1 were trending at 31,696 units in August compared to 31,099 units in July, 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.

    "Housing starts in British Columbia have been trending higher over the past three months, due to gains in multiple-family starts," said Carol Frketich, CMHC Regional Economist for BC. "Single- detached starts have remained relatively stable since February. Gains in multiple-family starts have been driven by a combination of rental and condominium projects," said Frketich.

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    Guess the asking price of these homes for sale in Vancouver

    There’s nothing quite like that nauseating feeling you get when you see hideous house for sale at an astronomical price. Or that pit in your stomach when you see a beautiful house you’d give an arm and a leg to live in, but even selling body parts wouldn’t cover the down payment.

    Welcome to the world of Vancouver real estate, where the rich get richer and the middle class disappears to the Island (or thumbprint sized apartments).

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    Hop industry rebounding in BC

    Hops are hip, and harvest time is here in B.C. for a revitalized local growth industry.

    Tuesday marks the first day of the B.C. Hop Company’s three-week harvest, which will be aided by a brand-new arrival from Germany: a Wolf WHE 513 hop-harvesting machine.

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    Real estate developers shrug as flood of Chinese cash into Vancouver continues

    VANCOUVER -- With every fall of the Shanghai stock market and report on corruption and laundering of cash out of mainland China, there is hand-wringing about the impact of money coming from this instability into the local real estate market.

    Much has been said about Chinese capital flowing into luxury homes from Sydney to London to Vancouver.

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    Vancouver buyers increasingly attracted to skinny houses

    It might be standard in Kitsilano or Strathcona, but in Point Grey, the thought of living on a 26-foot lot is almost subversive.

    But such homes do exist. The contemporary house at 3725 W. 15th Ave. sits on a lot that was subdivided for two smaller homes back in 2010. It didn’t sell until a year later, for $2.4-million. It was just listed again for $2.875-million and sold in eight days. Listing agent Karin Smith, who also lives in the neighbourhood, couldn’t say what it sold for because the deal hasn’t yet closed. But the quick sale is a sign that Vancouver buyers are finally ready for the “skinny” house – a better alternative to the laneway house, which is often too small for families, she says.

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    Four LNG projects will be built in BC, but not in the order, or the location, you expect: analysts

    Is Vancouver's housing market experiencing a bubble?

    The people behind the latest Teranet-National Bank House Price Index believe that the continuing rise in real estate prices in both Vancouver and Toronto is clearly "bubble behaviour" and that a major price reversal is eventually on the way.


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    Vancouver’s ‘housing bubble’ shows no signs of bursting

    CALGARY – A new report “dissents” from bearish predictions that no LNG terminals will be built on Canada’s West Coast, and instead says that four natural gas export facilities could be green lighted in the coming years.

    The report by AltaCorp Capital, released Monday, predicts that AltaGas Ltd., Shell Canada Ltd., Petronas and Exxon Mobil Corp. will build massive facilities to super cool natural gas for export from the B.C. coast in the coming years, though not in the order that many industry observers have come to expect.

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    Vancouver skyline may take dramatic turn with proposal for innovative new buildings

    VANCOUVER — For all the accolades it receives for its quality of life, Vancouver can’t seem to shake its reputation for ho-hum architecture.

    A viral video essay posted on YouTube this week by filmmaker and freelance editor Tony Zhou lamented the fact that Vancouver never plays itself in the movies and compared the city to a giant backlot filled with “anonymous buildings that can stand in for anywhere else.”

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    Vancouver luxury homes see nearly 70% increase over summer

    Vancouver’s luxury housing market has experienced significant gains over the summer and that trend is forecasted to continue into the fall.

    Sales of detached homes and condos worth over $1 million rose nearly 70 per cent in July and August in Vancouver, and homes worth over $4 million rose 50 per cent. Foreign investors from Mainland China are partial contributors to the boom.

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    Quarter 2 for the metro Vancouver real estate market, when analyzed in detail, looked strong and balanced

    Welcome to the latest edition of UDI Pacific’s “State of the Market” quarterly publication. The Q2-2015 the “State of the Market” report provides up to date statistics and trends on the new home and re-sale housing markets as well as the amalgamation of relevant economic statistics that impact the housing market. Note that the report also includes the UDI/Vancity Housing Affordability Index which is derived from Urban Analytics’ New Home Source Live database as well as Homeowner Protection Office BC’s new home registry statistics.

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    Metro Vancouver families trapped in starter homes

    Erin Welch and Valerie Griffiths are trying to find a bigger place so their family of four can move out of their 850-squarefoot condo, but like so many would-be home buyers in Metro Vancouver, they are finding it nearly impossible.

    The couple, who would prefer to stay in Mount Pleasant - close to their workplaces and daycare for children Tate, 5, and two-year-old Lydia - say even with a $600,000 budget, they may have to leave the city to find affordable housing.


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