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5 economists and real estate pros share predictions for the 2022 housing market – MarketWatch

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What economists and other pros think will happen to the housing market in 2022.


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It’s been a wild ride for home buyers and aspiring home buyers over the past year, with bidding wars and rising prices — as interest rates held near historic lows (see the lowest rates you might qualify for here). Here’s what five economists and real estate pros told us they thought would happen in 2022.

Prediction 1: Mortgage rates will rise

“Mortgage rates snapped upward in January as mortgage investors realized what the Fed intends to do, which is raise interest rates aggressively this year,” says Holden Lewis, home and mortgage expert at NerdWallet. “Now, mortgage rates are rising more gradually as markets wait for the Fed to clarify their timetable.”

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“For perspective, the 30-year mortgage averaged 4.09% in the 2010s and 12.71% in the 1980s, people bought plenty of houses in both eras,” says Lewis. This month, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst Greg McBride says he expects 30-year fixed rate mortgages to average between 3.65% and 3.85%, with the 15-year fixed ranging between 2.8% and 3%. “The bulk of these rate increase moves were made in January as markets reset their expectations on the Federal Reserve. Moves in the next few weeks, however, should be more subdued,” says McBride.

But with rates rising for the past few months, reaching their highest levels since March 2020, Gregory Heym, chief economist at Brown Harris Stevens, says they are likely to continue to rise as the Federal Reserve tapers its bond purchases, which will lead to a rate hike most likely in March. Of course, mortgages go up and down week to week, but Lewis says: “Expect more up weeks than down weeks in 2022.”  (See the lowest rates you might qualify for here.)

Even though the Fed doesn’t directly control mortgage rates, the overall tightening policy of stopping the purchase of mortgage-backed securities and raising of the short-term Fed funds rate will push mortgage rates up. In fact, Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, says: “The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is likely to reach 3.8% by the fourth quarter.”

Prediction 2: Home price growth may ‘return to normalcy’

Heym says the market is suffering from record-low inventory levels, which has driven prices to new highs even as the number of sales has declined. “I don’t expect this to change in the next few months as home builders can’t build houses fast enough to help the supply issue,” says Heym. Specifically, Yun says home prices are solidly higher by double-digit percentages compared to one ago. “However, with mortgage rates moving up and some home buyers getting priced out, home price growth will return to normalcy, to around 5% for all of 2022,” says Yun.

Prediction 3: Expect near-term bidding wars

The clock is also ticking as 2021 interest rate locks with 60-90 day expirations are set to mature any day. But what does this mean for buyers? Essentially, they’re rushing and overbidding on properties in the hopes of securing a low interest rate before the next Fed increase. “This is causing bidding war frenzies,” says Pierre Debbas, managing partner of real estate law firm Romer Debbas LLP. 

Prediction 4: It will still be a tough market for buyers though

Buyers will continue to have limited options in most areas as inventory will remain scarce, pros say. “Prices will continue to rise, which combined with higher mortgage rates, will drive some buyers out of the market,” says Heym. That said, it will continue to be a strong seller’s market, which means if you’ve been thinking about listing your home — there’s no time like the present. 

While power will remain firmly in the hands of sellers this year, according to Nicole Bachaud, a Zillow economist, prices will rise substantially. “We’re seeing monthly growth accelerate earlier in the year than normal, but we don’t expect they’ll rise quite as much as they did in 2021,” says Bachaud. According to data from Zillow, home values in 2021 ended up 19.6% for the year and the forecast calls for 16.4% growth in 2022.

Prediction 5: But there are still wildcards

The big wildcard is the permanency of work-from-home policies or even hybrid models of employment. “That will lead to changes in residential locational choices with more households willing to buy a home farther away from job locations and home price growth therefore will be stronger in small towns and exurbs compared to downtown locations,” says Yun.

Prediction 6: Spring will bring more activity

With the spring home shopping season right around the corner, expect activity to heat up. “It’s likely inventory and sales will pick up over the next few months,” says Bachaud.

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Quebec moving day could see record number of tenants without somewhere to live

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MONTREAL — A Quebec housing advocacy group says it’s worried there will be a record number of households left without somewhere to live on the province’s July 1 moving day.

“On the eve of July 1, in Quebec, we count 750 renter households that have not found housing,” said Véronique Laflamme, a spokeswoman for the Front d’action populaire en réaménagement urbain, in an interview.

That estimate is based on requests for aid received by municipal housing offices in the province, Laflamme said, and could change if families find housing in the meantime.

The number is much higher than the 420 renter households who were without housing at the same time last year, she said.

She said the number of households that called a housing assistance service this year also rose to 3,500, up from 2,000 the year before.

In Montreal on Friday, 107 households were being helped by city staff and had “still not found a permanent solution,” the city’s communication department said in an email. Among those “some have been able to negotiate a short-term lease extension, while others will be able to be housed by relatives.”

The city said it is able to temporarily house everyone in need.

According to Laflamme, “these numbers are the tip of the iceberg of the housing crisis” in Quebec. She said more families are living in substandard housing, housing that is too small for their needs or housing that is too expensive.

According to the most recent annual report by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, published last February, around 30 municipalities in Quebec have vacancy rates below one per cent.

In the Montreal region, the vacancy rate is higher, at 3 per cent.

On Wednesday, Quebec announced it will increase a financial assistance program for low-income households starting Oct. 1.

The government also said it would spend $2 million as part of “Operation July 1” to help people find housing, and to provide temporary housing and furniture storage for people who can’t find somewhere to live.

“There is absolutely no reason for people to sleep in the street tonight if those people call the emergency teams of our housing offices,” Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Andrée Laforest said in an email, adding that the government has set aside a record amount of money to provide “immediate assistance for tenants in need.”

However, Laflamme said the government isn’t getting to the root of the problem. Her group would like to see the Quebec government take action against real estate speculation and evictions that take advantage of grey areas in the province’s housing laws.

According to the province’s housing department, more than 8,000 “social and affordable” housing units have been built, or are under construction, since 2018.

The City of Montreal said it’s waiting for Quebec and Ottawa to reach a funding agreement that will allow it to build or renovate 6,000 social housing units.

While the start date of residential leases has not been fixed by the Quebec government since the 1970s, the far majority start July 1. The practice began with a 1750 law that established May 1 as the start date of residential leases – a move by the government of what was then New France to protect tenant farmers from being evicted over the winter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 1, 2022.

 

Clara Descurninges, The Canadian Press

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The ins and outs of real estate – Toronto Sun

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Reviews and recommendations are unbiased and products are independently selected. Postmedia may earn an affiliate commission from purchases made through links on this page.

Article content

For new homes buyers, specifically, three questions they should ask include:

– Is there an assignment?

– Are there development fees?

– Is it a reputable builder?

When it comes to selling, Padjan suggests the following:

– Get the right prices;
– Manage expectations of the market; and,
– Consider multiple offers or offers anytime.

Finally, the top three tips for investors include:

– Go physically see the property just in case something doesn’t jive.

– It is perfectly okay to do an inspection for mould, asbestos and other potential hazards.

– Investors should be aware of hidden fees such as maintenance bills.

When asked, why are you so proficient in this industry, Padjan states:, “I am honest, and have a very supportive, international brokerage and I always build relationships with other agents.”

For general real estate inquires, reach out to marianne.padjan@exprealty.com,

For more information, reach Nicole at Nicole@prospect2win.com or subscribe to her YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/NicoleAttias. 

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Canada’s fastest-growing region flexes real estate muscle – Business in Vancouver

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The 74-acre Greata Ranch and Butler lands near Summerland are listed for sale as one of the largest waterfront development parcels in the Okanagan | Photo: Colliers International

Kelowna, and with it the Central Okanagan, has the fastest-growing population in Canada, posting a 14 per cent increase from 2021 to 2026, according to Statistics Canada.

With 224,000 people, the city of Kelowna has twice the population of Nanaimo, Kamloops or Prince George as the second-largest B.C. city outside of the Lower Mainland.

The broader Thompson-Okanagan region is currently growing at about 1.6 per cent per year, hitting 620,000 in 2021 and adding roughly 10,000 new residents annually.

Judging by real estate development being launched this spring the regional population will continue to accelerate, providing the current residential downturn proves shallow and brief. It is housing, after all, that is driving the real estate market across the Okanagan, but residential sales have slowed recently.

In May, total Okanagan home sales were down 28.5 per cent from a year earlier, though the average price increased nearly 10 per cent, year-over-year to $785,600, according to the B.C. Real Estate Association (BCREA).

The BCREA is now forecasting that Okanagan home sales will drop 19 per cent this year, from 2021, and fall a further 14.8 per cent in 2023, with home prices eking out just 1.3 per cent increase that year compared to 2022.

May sales across the Okanagan slid down only 1.2 per cent compared to April, noted Lyndi Cruickshank, president of the Association of Interior Realtors, which she said reflects the market’s stability.

The mantra in the Okanagan real estate community is that a lack of supply has helped to stifle sales and keep prices rising. This year should test that theory, if all the current projects proceed.

One of the largest is Greata Ranch, a 46-acre lakefront parcel near Summerland between Kelowna and Penticton along Highway 97. On the development radar for more than a decade, the property has now been extended with the addition of 28 adjacent waterfront acres, the Butler family lands.

The entire 74 acres is now being marketed as a single parcel for mixed-use with a residential emphasis, according to Stephen Webber, associate vice-president of Colliers International.

The price will be decided by bids submitted by potential buyers on the vendor’s “form of offer.”

The City of Kelowna voted unanimously on May 31 to approve a 425-home development at the Tower Ranch area in east Kelowna. Also in Kelowna, a 1,000-home development was approved in late May that includes 16 buildings, up to 17 storeys high, on Lakeshore Road. North Kelowna is the focus of major mixed-use development plans on two former industrial sites, including 40 acres of lakefront that was once a sawmill.

In downtown Kelowna, the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UCBO) is pushing to build a 46-storey residential and administration tower. Nearby, the 26-storey Savant condo tower is now pre-selling at an average of $1,000 per square foot, according to Shane Styles, president of Epic Real Estate Solutions of Kelowna.

Styles, who was born and raised in the Okanagan, estimates that investors account for 60 per cent to 70 per cent of new condominiums buyers.

There are user investors, like parents buying an apartment for their children to use while attending UBCO or using it themselves as a vacation home and renting it out seasonally; and what he calls “pure investors” who count on rental income and appreciation.

The May benchmark price for condominiums in the Okanagan increased 31 per cent to $342,500, compared to a year earlier. The rental vacancy rate in Kelowna is 0.6 per cent, the lowest level in Canada.

At least a score of new developments are planned in West Kelowna, including the next phases of Kind Development’s Lakeview Village, where 120 homes in the first two phases sold out and a retail village is already complete.

In Penticton, the largest residential development in years was granted regulatory approval in May for a 219-unit market-housing project on a 6.6-acre site. The development is now awaiting provincial highways approval and a bylaw amendment. An even larger Penticton development, for nearly 700 new homes in the North Witse Block area received approval to proceed to public hearings on June 20.

On Shuswap Lake, the Old Town Bay development has been refreshed for 2022, with a trio of developments, including a 32-lot single-detached subdivision, new strata units, a hotel and a large recreational vehicle park where lots will be sold as strata.

A market to watch, according to Styles, is Vernon and the North Okanagan, which he sees hosting the next wave of real estate investment.

Styles believes the entire Okanagan economy will be booming this summer, the first in two years with no pandemic restrictions.

“It will be nuts,” Styles predicts, which could also prove an accurate forecast for the entire Thompson-Okanagan real estate market.

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