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BC Real Estate Association Predicts Mortgage Rate Increase In Q4 – Storeys

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The BC Real Estate Association, an association of over 24,000 commercial and residential realtors, is seeing a likely variable mortgage rate increase on the horizon.

“Canadian variable rates are expected to increase to 5.55% in the fourth quarter as the Bank of Canada continues its tightening cycle,” the BCREA said in their latest forecast.

Additionally, the BC Real Estate Association expects the variable mortgage rate to stay at 5.55% throughout 2023, until easing to 5.30% in Q4 2023.

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“Volatility continued in the Canadian mortgage market over the third quarter,” the BCREA said. “Financial markets are currently digesting a complex economic environment as still high, though perhaps peaking, inflation collides with anxiety over a potential recession. That anxiety has expressed itself as volatility across Canadian bond markets with yields on Canadian government debt plunging before rapidly recovering in the second half of August.”

The BCREA also highlighted volatility in government bond yields. “Five-year bond yields briefly declined through July, only to once again recover their previous 2022 highs as still rising core inflation prompted a reversal in expectations for monetary policy.”

That, of course, came to fruition when the Bank of Canada raised interest rates by 75 basis points in early September and signaled that there may be more increases coming.

READ: “Bad Dream to a Nightmare”: Developers React to Rate Hikes With Gloomy Outlook

On the Bank of Canada, the BCREA points out that “the overnight rate is now above the Bank’s estimate of ‘neutral,’ or the level of its policy rate at which inflation should run at 2% and the economy is operating at full capacity.”

“How much further the Bank will go and how long rates will stay above neutral depends entirely on the trajectory of inflation going forward,” they said. “We expect the Bank will raise its policy rate at least one more time this year, ultimately settling between 3.5 and 3.75%.

That outlook is perhaps on the conservative side, as others, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, are predicting that the rate could be increased to 4.5%.

Regarding the Canadian economy at large, the “big question”, the BCREA says, is “whether the Bank of Canada can engineer a soft landing.” The BCREA believes it’s a possibility, but a possibility that will require some luck.

“There is a plausible path for interest rates that would bring inflation back to target while also paring back excess demand just enough without slowing the economy to the point of tipping into a recession,” they said. “That path would see the Bank’s policy rate plateau at 3.75% before coming down to 2.5% by 2025.”

The BCREA prefaces this by acknowledging that this scenario was something that occurred in their model simulations, which does not necessarily translate into the real world, pointing out that “over the past nearly 100 years, each time inflation has spiked it has taken a recession to bring it back down.”

That’s where we’d need that luck. As some like to say: sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

Written By
Howard Chai

Howard is a Staff Writer at STOREYS. He is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, and has also written about media for One Zero and international politics for WhoWhatWhy. Before STOREYS, he was also the Deputy Editor of 604 Now.

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LACKIE: Buyers in driver's seat as sellers ride out real estate rough seas – Toronto Sun

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I got some blowback last week when I suggested that while quite clearly the housing market is in the throes of a strong correction, life and real estate continues on.

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No, I was not shilling for my industry and, by extension, one might assume, my livelihood.

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Yes, I still absolutely believe that things are rough and about to get rougher.

But notable to me is the fact that even amidst all of the scary headlines and all of the well-founded doom and gloom, there are still real estate deals happening in this city. And while as far as I can tell, the who and the how and the why has shifted from the who and the how and the why that drove that wild market that already feels like a distant memory, I’m not sure what we’re seeing should be written-off as anecdotal outliers.

Transaction volume is down by half compared to this time last year. Interest rates currently stand at levels inconceivable less than a year ago. New homeowners are stressed, would-be home buyers are spooked, and everyone else is trying to figure out how worried they need to be.

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Yes, yes and yes.

  1. Real estate for-sale sign.

    https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/lackie-good-homes-still-selling-amid-turbulent-real-estate-market

  2. Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark, address media outside of the Premier's office at Queen's Park in Toronto, Ont. on Monday, May 27, 2019.

    LACKIE: Can housing crisis be fixed by tapping into the Greenbelt?

  3. A real estate sign is displayed in front of a house in the Riverdale area of Toronto on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021.

    LACKIE: Real estate market looking more like ‘crash’ than ‘correction’

But here’s what I am observing in real time: buyers are absolutely still out there.

Our transaction volume may be down by half, but the remaining half of what was truly record-levels is not inconsequential. It maybe just feels that way.

Case in point: I listed an adorable house in a central Toronto neighbourhood last week. The perfect starter home for first-time buyers. It would have been an absolute bun fight last winter.

I wasn’t sure how it would go. And because of that, I left nothing to chance. We shined her up, I spent a small fortune on staging, the photos were perfect. We did all the things.

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I also spent a lot of time managing expectations. All we need is one buyer, I explained to my clients — just one.

Never would I have guessed that we would end up with twenty-five groups braving the miserable cold to come to the open house. And these weren’t people just out killing time on a Sunday. These were buyers, with parents in tow, and home inspection reports in hand, armed with their questions and their critical eye. The same buyers that are supposedly priced out or debilitated by the fear of catching falling knives.

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Offer night yielded four offers. But unlike the offer nights of days prior, these prospective buyers weren’t armed with letters to the sellers and waving their bank drafts around. They were cool. They had conditions. And their numbers were conservative. Even in competition.

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The house sold for less than I expected, but with the four offers the market was clearly speaking and my clients were willing to listen.

And this experience tracks with what I am hearing from my colleagues: the buyers still out there will participate at the right price. They will come forward when they’re good and ready. There is no FOMO. They will offer on things, sure, but will walk if it’s not right for them.

And this will be how the prices continue to grind downwards.

So while yes, the market has slowed right down, I wonder if the stasis is also due to the logjam of sellers determined to wait out these unfavourable conditions.

I suspect that once reluctant acceptance of new-new normal settles in, we will see inventory rise and sales volume increase. But I feel pretty confident in saying that it will be quite a long time before sellers leave the table feeling like heroes again.

@brynnlackie

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Real Estate Trends: Homebuilder Sentiment Drops Along With Housing Prices

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Key Takeaways

  • Home builder sentiment, measured by the National Association of Home Builders, fell in October.
  • The report indicates that home builder sentiment has fallen for 10 consecutive months.
  • The housing market is facing multiple challenges, including relatively high mortgage rates and inflationary pressure on household budgets.

If you’ve been paying attention to the housing market, you’ve likely noticed the relatively bumpy ride it’s had over the last couple of years. After rock-bottom mortgage rates contributed to seemingly endless bidding wars throughout 2020 and 2021, the lightning-hot market has cooled in recent months.

The latest homebuilder sentiment report reflects a slower housing market. Let’s take a closer look at the highlights of changing homebuilder sentiment and falling housing prices.

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Homebuilder Sentiment Drops

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) takes the temperature of home builders’ sentiment on a monthly basis. In the latest report, home builder sentiment dropped again. The confidence was reflected at 38 in October, which means it’s at half the level it was 6 months ago.

That represents 10 consecutive months of dropping home builder sentiment. With the exception of the uncertain times of spring 2020, this confidence reading is the lowest it has been since August 2012.

“This will be the first year since 2011 to see a decline for single-family starts,” said Robert Deitz, NAHB Chief Economist in a press release. “Given expectations for ongoing elevated interest rates due to actions by the Federal Reserve, 2023 is forecasted to see additional single-family building declines as the housing contraction continues.”

Housing price trends

As of November, Redfin reported the national median home sale price at $397,549. That’s a 4.9% year-over-year increase. While that might seem like a steep climb, housing price growth has actually slowed down quite a bit.

Home builders aren’t the only ones warning of a potential fall in home prices. Some economists are predicting a sharp fall. The Federal Reserve is warning that home prices might fall, but it doesn’t expect anything like the unforgettable housing market crash that happened during the Great Recession.

Potential reasons for housing market changes

With home builder sentiment dropping like a rock, it’s helpful to understand what factors are at play. There are many factors contributing to a changing housing market. Here’s a closer look at the reasons that stand out.

Hot inflation

In recent months, inflation has been a main feature of the economy.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), a popular measure of inflation, was sitting at a 7.7% year-over-year increase in the October 2022 report. Although this reflects a gradual decline from the peak earlier in the year, we are still living in highly inflationary times.

But you probably don’t need to look at a special report to know that inflation is present in a big way. You’ve likely noticed inflation as it hits your household budget. Individuals and families across the nation are forced to spend more on basics like food and electricity.

With this pressure on household budgets, it’s difficult for many would-be homeowners to pull together the funds necessary for a down payment on a home. Plus, the increased costs in other areas of their budget might make shelling out for an expensive monthly mortgage payment impossible.

Rising interest rates

In response to sky-high inflation, the Federal Reserve has been aggressively tackling the problem. Although the central bank prefers to have some level of inflation in the economy, the current inflation rate is well above the 2% target.

The Federal Reserve increases the federal funds rate when it wants to tame inflation. Throughout 2022, the Fed has instituted a series of rate hikes. As the federal funds rate increases, so do borrowing costs for homeowners.

Mortgage interest rates hit a 2022 peak of 7.08% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Since then, mortgage rates have fallen a bit. As of November 18, mortgage interest rates are down to 6.61%. But regardless of this small tumble, mortgage rates are still significantly higher than this time last year when the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.10%.

Higher mortgage interest rates lead to higher monthly payments for borrowers. The National Association of Realtors reported that the average monthly payment for a homebuyer in the third quarter of 2022 was $1,840. That’s significantly more than the $1,226 average in the third quarter of 2021.

Higher mortgage costs often mean that buyers can’t afford as high of a sales price. With this factor in play, the possibility of falling housing prices seems to make sense as would-be homebuyers are getting priced out of the market.

How This Impacts Your Investment Portfolio

The housing market isn’t the only sector of the economy impacted by a combination of hot inflation and rising interest rates. As the real estate market shifts around us, you might be interested in adding this exposure to this asset class to your portfolio. But you might not be interested in monitoring the minutiae of the up-and-down housing market trend.

One way to add exposure to real estate trends is by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence through a Q.ai Investment Kit. For example, the Global Trends kit takes real estate into account when making trades that align with your portfolio goals. Consider using this new style of investment technology today.

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ULI, PwC: New Normal Solidifying As Real Estate Returns To Pre-Covid Norms – Forbes

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A recently-released report from Urban Land Institute and PwC suggests a contradiction in terms. As the North American real estate industry returns to a kind of pre-pandemic normalcy, some pandemic-era sea changes are solidifying and likely to endure.

Those are among findings of ULI and PwC’s annual report spotlighting the latest emerging real estate industry trends, titled Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2023. The report draws on input from more than 2,000 industry experts, as well as a number of proprietary data points. Among the highlights: Insights into evolving investor climate change concerns, and property sector trends resulting from the Covid crisis.

The report’s authors acknowledge the current reduction in sales, particularly in the area of housing, comes on the heels of the U.S. commercial property market basking in years of near-record returns, rent growth and price appreciation. Soaring demand for well-situated logistics facilities is helping keep industrial sector vacancy rates at or near record lows. Other real estate sectors, among them hotels and property investments, are returning to the levels seen prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Costs leap

The median price of U.S. existing homes leaped more than 30 percent in the wake of the pandemic, rendering an already dismal housing affordability picture even worse. The result: Levels of housing unaffordability unseen in nearly a third of a century.

Factors to blame for the affordable housing shortfall – including restrictive building codes and zones, increasingly complex affordable housing development transactions and building industry labor woes – have remained unchanged or grown worse. With demand for rental units outpacing supply, rents have nowhere to go but up.

The widespread migration to more affordable Sun Belt markets has helped countless Americans weather the housing cost crisis. But with increased demand for Sun Belt housing has come the logical byproduct, increased home prices and rent in the south.

Rethinking office

The study authors are not predicting a wholesale exodus from office buildings. The current office environment is a potpourri of downsizing, terminated leases and transition to sublets. But many office building tenants have retained their offices because they signed long-term leases pre-pandemic or just may need them in the future. Distinctive offices are able to attract talent to employers. For that reason, companies must rethink their spaces in order to decide if they serve their needs and can help lure top talent.

ESG, climate considerations

The desire of residents and developers to invest in certain regions is being impacted by ever-more-difficult-to-ignore climate change. Enhanced environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures are being sought by investors and other stakeholders, who are demanding voluntary action to address these concerns.

Meantime, greater disclosure, transparency and consistency are the goals of proposed regulations from the SEC. The result is an ever-louder cry on the part of investors for greenhouse gas emission (GhG) limits and more environmentally-friendly, energy-efficient buildings. These goas are a component of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

Justice for underserved

Events of the past three years have also propelled commercial real estate initiatives intended to benefit underserved communities. Objectives include addressing accessible transportation, broadband Internet access and environmental justice concerns, as well as relinking Black and Hispanic neighborhoods that 1950s-through-‘70s urban renewal programs uprooted. As the initiatives are tackled, byproducts could include increasing access to jobs, growing economic opportunities and rebuilding formerly flourishing communities that post-war Federal highway and urban renewal programs left broken.

Investment in once-overlooked residents and neighborhoods is being included in such legislation as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Reconnecting Communities Pilot and the Inflation Reduction Act, which collectively could put billions of Federal dollars to work on these programs.

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