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B.C. residential sales, prices jump year over year: BCREA – Business in Vancouver



Both total residential resale transactions across B.C. and the province’s average sale price jumped in January 2020, resulting in an annual rise in total dollar volume of 35 per cent, the B.C. Real Estate Association reported February 13.

The BCREA said that a total of 4,426 residential MLS sales were recorded across the province in January 2020, an increase of 23.7 per cent over January 2019.

The average home resale price was $725,370, which is a 9.1 per cent increase from $664,633 recorded the previous January.

“Housing markets in B.C. are off to a strong start in 2020,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA’s chief economist. “We expect a much more typical year of home sales in 2020 as markets recover from the policy-induced slowdown of the past two years.”

However, the results vary when broken down by region, said the BCREA.

The biggest year-over-year gains in sales activity were seen in Chilliwack (up 69.4 per cent), South Okanagan (up 44.9 per cent) and the province’s biggest market, Greater Vancouver (up 43 per cent). Of the larger markets, the areas not keeping pace with last year are B.C. Northern (down 10.3 per cent) and Vancouver Island (down 7.4 per cent).

“While many markets are showing strong signs of recovery, the struggling forestry sector is having a clear impact on housing demand, particularly in the North and parts of Vancouver Island,” added Ogmundson.

Price trends around the province differed from sales activity, with the Fraser Valley, Victoria and South Okanagan seeing the steepest annual jumps in average home sale prices, but B.C. Northern still up 6.4 per cent from last year. The only major market with prices lower than one year previously was Greater Vancouver (down 1.7 per cent).

Powell River also dropped significantly in both sales totals and average price, but at only 11 units sold in January, this tiny market often sees major percentage swings that don’t necessarily signify a trend.

Check out the BCREA’s full regional breakdown, below, and its January 2020 report here.

Source: BCREA Economics

Glacier Media Real Estate

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Real estate market in Winnipeg balanced: Report – Winnipeg Sun



The overall resale market in Winnipeg for housing remains balanced according to the latest Housing Market Assessment update from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The seasonally adjusted sales-to-new listings ratio was 55.3% in the third quarter of 2019, a slight adjustment from the previous quarter. Over the same period, resale market activity remained strong as seasonally adjusted sales increased 2.5% while new listings were up 4%.

The market has been buoyed by strong population growth stats coupled with low mortgage rates that have helped keep overvaluation of the market place in check.

This means the vulnerability rating for the city’s real estate market has dropped from moderate to low.

“We are currently seeing balanced market conditions in Winnipeg,” said Heather Bowyer, a senior analyst for CMHC. “When we have a balanced market we generally see more stability than we would if we were in other markets, like buyers’ markets or in some of the other markets out west like Calgary or Edmonton where there is a different kind of rental market there.”

Year over year, the average MLS price dropped by 0.3% in Winnipeg to $297,604, compared to the same quarter of 2018.

The HMA takes into consideration four pillars when doing its quarterly reports: overheating, price acceleration, overvaluation and overbuilding.

Winnipeg scored a low vulnerability in three of the four categories with the only moderate score coming in overbuilding. Inventory levels in both single-detached and multi-family units both remain above historical values.

According to the report, the majority of the completed and unsold units in the quarter were single-detached homes (48.8%) while condominium apartment units represented 38.8% of the inventory. Meanwhile apartment vacancy rates in Winnipeg also remained strong at 3.1%, according to the October Rental Market Survey, which is well below the threshold for overbuilding.

“One of the things we look at in regards to overbuilding is what’s going to happen if we have an elevated level of starts, is that going to contribute to overbuilding in the area?” said Bowyer. “We’ll also look at the demand for these units, as they get absorbed, they come out of the inventory, so we would expect to see in Winnipeg, demand increase as our inventory fall. If this were the case we would see overbuilding mitigate into the next several quarters.”


Twitter: @JoshAldrich03

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Robert H. Lee, Vancouver real estate magnate and philanthropist, dead at 86 – CBC.ca



Vancouver real estate magnate and philanthropist Robert H. Lee has died at the age of 86.

University of British Columbia president Santa Ono announced Lee’s passing in a statement on UBC’s website. 

Lee, known as Bob, was the founder of the real estate firm Prospero Group and one of B.C.’s wealthiest people, but he was perhaps best known for his contributions to the community.

A graduate of UBC’s commerce program in 1956, Lee continued his relationship with the university for decades afterward.

For 23 years, he volunteered on the board of governors and was chancellor from 1993 to 1996.

During his tenure, he pioneered the idea of turning university endowed land into leasehold market housing.

It allowed the school to develop and sell housing for a fixed time period while still owning the property.

Despite initial opposition, Lee championed the plan and it’s since earned the university hundreds of millions in funding.

He believed it was his greatest professional accomplishment, according to his book Robert H. Lee: His Life, World and the UBC Properties Trust.

Lee’s generosity went beyond giving just time and energy. He wrote multi-million-dollar cheques to the university, the YMCA, hospital foundations and the preservation of Chinatown.

His name is emblazoned on buildings at the Sauder School of Business, UBC’s alumni centre, the YMCA on Burrard Street and a health centre on East Broadway.

For his contributions, Lee was honoured with the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia, and was named a Business Laureate of B.C.

Life values

Born in Vancouver in 1933, Lee was one of seven children. 

His father was an entrepreneur in Chinatown who taught him the values of hard work, vision and personal connections.

In his book, Lee says his father worked 14-hour days, six days a week, but always made time for his family every Sunday. 

Those values translated into Lee’s work and personal life. He was rarely seen out and about without his family.

“I know that the UBC community will be joined by countless others in our local, national, and international communities in mourning the loss of this truly accomplished and beloved man,” said Ono in a statement.

Lee leaves behind his wife, Lily, and four children.

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Real estate board reports record month of January – TimminsToday



The Timmins, Cochrane and Timiskaming District Association of Realtors reports that January home sales are up from December. The total dollar value of all home sales in January was $13.2 million, setting a new record for the month of January.

In January 2020:

  • 79 residential units were sold
  • $166,973 was the average price of homes sold
  • 156 new residential listings were posted

To compare, in December 2019:

  • 52 residential units were sold
  • $160,483 was the average price of homes sold
  • 97 new residential listings were posted

To compare, in January 2019:

  • 59 residential units were sold
  • $145,099.53 was the average price of homes sold
  • 134 new residential listings were posted

For more information on Timmins, Cochrane and Timiskaming District real estate statistics for the month of January, click here.

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