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Vancouver real estate: Housing market posts 2nd-best October on record as sales rise 29% – CTV News Vancouver

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VANCOUVER —
Vancouver home sales were up 29 per cent compared with a year ago in October, making it the second-best October on record, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said on Tuesday.

The board said its agents sold 3,687 homes last month, up from 2,858 sold in October 2019.

The benchmark price for Vancouver homes hit $1,045,100 in October, up six per cent from last October and 0.4 per cent from September.

Bowen Island saw the biggest one-month increase in benchmark home prices, of 5.7 per cent, followed by Sunshine Coast, where prices rose 3.2 per cent. West Vancouver was the priciest neighbourhood, with a benchmark of $2,266,000.

The housing market has been catching up after COVID-19 lockdowns earlier this year stymied the spring selling season. Borrowing costs have also been low amid the COVID-19 response from the Bank of Canada.

October’s housing market snapshot shows that people are re-thinking their housing situation during the COVID-19 pandemic, with more days and evenings spent at home this year, said board chairwoman Colette Gerber.

“Home has been a focus for residents during the pandemic,” said Gerber in a statement.

Home sales, which were up also 1.2 per cent from September, rose amid a surge in sales of detached homes. In October, 1,335 detached homes changed hands, a 42.3 per cent increase from the same period last year. Detached homes also saw the biggest year-over-year price increase in October, up 8.5 per cent to $1,532,800.

The smaller market for attached homes, such as townhouses and rowhouses, also saw sales rise 45.9 per cent to 782 sales. The benchmark price was up 5.4 per cent, year-over-year, to $813,000.

But sales growth was slightly slower in Vancouver’s most common home type, apartments. Apartment sales hit 1,570, up 13.4 per cent compared with October 2019, while the benchmark price was up 4.4 per cent to $683,500.

The pace of sales in the condo market – particularly, the number of listings hitting the market – has been a focus of economists.

“Rural and suburban areas that once lagged desirable city addresses are now roaring hot as homebuyers wearied by lockdowns seek bigger yards and larger living spaces” wrote RBC economist Robert Hogue on Oct. 29.

“As rents soften and vacancies rise, condo listings are spiking in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver – albeit from low levels.”

Of October’s listings in Vancouver, 2,891 were apartments, 948 were attached homes, and 1,732 were detached homes.

But the 5,571 homes on the market last month – up 36.7 per cent from a year ago – was still below the 6,402 homes that were listed in September. The board said that a closely watched measure of housing supply and demand – the sales-to-active listings ratio – was above a key level that supports rising home prices. even for apartments.

“With demand on the rise, homes priced right for today’s market are receiving attention and, at times, garnering multiple offers,” said Gerber.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 3, 2020.

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Real eState

What Is the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

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The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is a Canadian Crown Corporation that serves as the national housing agency of Canada and provides mortgage loans to prospective buyers, particularly those in need.

Understanding the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) serves as the national housing agency of Canada. CMHC is a state-owned enterprise, or a Crown corporation, that provides a range of services for home buyers, the government, and the housing industry.

CMHC’s stated mission is to “promote housing affordability and choice; to facilitate access to, and competition and efficiency in the provision of, housing finance; to protect the availability of adequate funding for housing, and generally to contribute to the well-being of the housing sector.”1

A primary focus of CMHC is to provide federal funding for Canadian housing programs, particularly to buyers with demonstrated needs. CMHC, headquartered in Ottawa, provides many additional services to renters and home buyers, including mortgage insurance and financial assistance programs. CMHC acts as an information hub for consumers, providing information on renting, financial planning, home buying, and mortgage management.

CMHC also provides mortgage loan insurance for public and private housing organizations and facilitates affordable, accessible, and adaptable housing in Canada.2 Additionally, CMHC provides financial assistance and housing programs to First Nations and Indigenous communities in Canada.3

Professionals and Consumers

CMHC provides services to both professionals and consumers. For professionals, CMHC aims to work in collaboration with different groups to provide affordable housing. Services include project funding and mortgage financing, providing information to understand Canada’s housing market, innovation and leadership networks to access funding and talent to spur housing innovation and increase supply, and providing speakers and hosting events for the industry.4

For consumers, CMHC seeks to provide all the tools an individual would need to either buy a home or rent a home and a variety of information and assistance for current homeowners, such as managing a mortgage, services for seniors to age in place, and financial hardship assistance.56

For financial hardship and mortgage assistance, CMHC provides tools that include payment deferrals, extending the repayment period, adding missed payments to the mortgage balance, moving from a variable-rate to a fixed-rate mortgage, and other special payment arrangements.7

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the National Housing Strategy

In November 2017, the Canadian government announced the National Housing Strategy.8 Rooted in the idea that housing is a human right, this 10-year, $70 billion project will largely be administered by CMHC, although some services and deliverables will be provided by third-party contractors and other Canadian federal agencies.9

Strategic initiatives of the National Housing Strategy include:

  • Building new affordable housing and renewing existing affordable housing stock
  • Providing technical assistance, tools, and resources to build capacity in the community housing sector and funds to support local organizations
  • Supporting research, capacity-building, excellence, and innovation in housing research10

History of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

CMHC was established in 1946 as the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation by the federal government in Canada with the primary mission of administering the National Housing Act and the Home Improvement Loans Guarantee Act and facilitating discounts to mortgage companies. Initially, CMHC began by providing housing to returning Canadian war veterans, and toward the end of the 1940s, CMHC began to administer a program providing low-income housing across Canada.11

In 1947, CMHC was responsible for opening Regent Park, a large low-income housing project, and Toronto’s first urban renewal project. By the 1960s, CMHC introduced co-op housing and multi-unit apartment buildings throughout Canada.11

In 1979, the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation changed its name to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

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Real eState

Canadian home price gains accelerate again in May

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Canadian home prices accelerated again in May from the previous month, posting the largest monthly rise in the history of the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, data showed on Thursday.

The index, which tracks repeat sales of single-family homes in 11 major Canadian markets, rose 2.8% on the month in May, led by strong month-over-month gains in the Ottawa-Gatineau capital region, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in Hamilton, Ontario.

“It was a third consecutive month in which all 11 markets of the composite index were up from the month before,” said Daren King, an economist at National Bank of Canada, in a note.

On an annual basis, the Teranet index was up 13.7% from a year earlier, the 10th consecutive acceleration and the strongest 12-month gain since July 2017.

Halifax led the year-over-year gains, up 29.9%, followed by Hamilton at 25.5% and Ottawa-Gatineau at 22.8%.

Housing price gains in smaller cities outside Toronto and its immediate suburbs again outpaced the major urban centers, with Barrie, Ontario leading the pack, up 31.4%.

On a month-over-month basis, prices rose 4.9% in Ottawa-Gatineau, 4.3% in Halifax and 3.7% in Hamilton.

The Teranet index measures price gains based on the change between the two most recent sales of properties that have been sold at least twice.

Canada‘s average home selling price, meanwhile, fell 1.1% in May from April, Canadian Real Estate Association data showed on Tuesday, but jumped 38.4% from May 2020.

 

(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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Economy

Bank of Canada seeing signs of cooling in hot housing market

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The Bank of Canada is starting to see signs that the country’s red hot housing market is cooling down, although a return to a normality will take time, Governor Tiff Macklem said on Wednesday.

The sector surged in late 2020 and early 2021, with home prices escalating sharply amid investor activity and fear of missing out. The national average selling price fell 1.1% in May from April but was still up 38.4% from May 2020.

“You are starting to see some early signs of some slowing in the housing market. We are expecting supply to improve and demand to slow down, so we are expecting the housing market to come into better balance,” Macklem said.

“But we do think it is going to take some time and it is something that we are watching closely,” he told the Canadian Senate’s banking committee.

Macklem reiterated that the central bank saw evidence people were buying houses with a view to selling them for a profit and said recent price jumps were not sustainable.

“Interest rates are unusually low, which means eventually there’s more scope for them to go up,” he said.

Last year, the central bank slashed its key interest rate to a record-low 0.25% and Macklem reiterated it would stay there at least until economic slack had been fully absorbed, which should be some time in the second half of 2022.

“The economic recovery is making good progress … (but) a complete recovery will still take some time. The third wave of the virus has been a setback,” he said.

The bank has seen some choppiness in growth in the second quarter of 2021 following a sharp economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic at the start of the year, he added.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren and Julie Gordon; Editing by Peter Cooney and Richard Pullin)

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