Bank of Canada stands pat in year’s final rate decision, balancing COVID-19 risks with vaccine optimism

[Globe and Mail - December 9, 2020] The Bank of Canada stood pat on monetary policy in its final scheduled interest-rate decision of an eventful 2020, balancing the near-term economic risks from the second wave of the COVID-19 virus with the arrival of vaccines to alleviate the pandemic. The central bank announced Wednesday morning that its governing council had opted to leave the bank’s key policy rate unchanged at a record-low 0.25 per cent, where it has sat since a series [...]

Read more...

How long can interest rates stay low once a vaccine arrives?

[CBC - November 10. 2020] Jubilation over the good news about a vaccine has taken markets by storm. Shortly after the news broke on Monday that the U.S. drugmaker Pfizer had a COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough that appeared 90 per cent effective, the Dow Jones industrial average soared more than 1,500 points, , a rise of more than four per cent. The Toronto market also took off. Canadian oil and gas shares shot up on the prospect of people climbing back into cars for road trips [...]

Read more...

Builders aim to pandemic-proof new homes

[Western Investor - November 27, 2020] Outdoor elevators, touchless doors, zero-recycled air and changes to open floor plans among design reactions to COVID-19 Vancouver developer Qualex-Landmark is among the first to implement a number of measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in two new residential projects, part of a trend that is gaining traction across North America. “Just as the Spanish flu gave us the vanity room, which originated as a hand-washing basin immediately inside the front entry of a home, [...]

Read more...

An ‘unprecedented’ housing market maintains strong outlook

[BC Local News - November 27, 2020] Pandemic has had reverse impact on the real estate market Laws of economics would indicate a worldwide recession and pandemic would result in real estate prices and housing demand to drop. But that’s not the case, according to a few local realtors. “It’s unprecedented. We’ve never had this in any kind of market, it doesn’t make sense,” said Ron Antalek of Re/Max Lifestyles Realty in Maple Ridge. Recent Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) statistics for [...]

Read more...

B.C. real estate agents urged to suspend all open houses

[BIV - November 6, 2020] B.C.’s real estate regulation agencies have asked industry professionals to suspend holding open houses at properties slated for sale/rent due to the province’s sharp spike in COVID cases. In a statement dated Nov. 5, the Real Estate Council of BC, the BC Real Estate Association and the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate said the move is to limit face-to-face interactions in the home-buying process. Sales agents have been asked to conduct as much business [...]

Read more...
Rent Freeze

Rent freeze put in place because of COVID-19 pandemic extended in B.C.

[CTV - November 9, 2020] VANCOUVER -- A B.C. rent freeze that was put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic has been extended until next summer. Originally, the rent freeze was going to expire on Dec. 1. But now, it's been extended until July 10, 2021, the province announced Monday. "We know many renters are still facing income loss and even the slightest increase in rent could be extremely challenging. For that reason, we are extending the freeze on rent increases [...]

Read more...

Bank of Canada phasing out 3 programs set up in early days of COVID-19 to provide emergency liquidity

[CBC - October 16, 2020] Demand has waned in recent weeks, a sign things may be getting back to normal. The Bank of Canada is winding down three emergency programs it set up to provide support to financial institutions during the early days of the pandemic, as demand for all three programs is falling now that things are getting back to normal. In a news release late Thursday, the central bank said it will close two programs known as the Bankers' Acceptance Purchase Facility, or BAPF, and the [...]

Read more...

Vancouver real estate: early September numbers show steep drop in sales from August highs

[Georgia Straight - September 25, 2020] Home sales in the city of Vancouver are dropping big time.  This is based on tracking by real-estate site fisherly.com as of late morning Friday (September 25). Compared to record highs in August, early numbers for September show a steep decline in transactions. In August, a total of 490 condo units sold in Vancouver. As of this posting September 25, fisherly.com recorded 202 condo sales so far this month. Last month, 212 detached homes changed owners. September sales so [...]

Read more...

Home prices to drop, new report predicts — and even Toronto and Vancouver won’t be immune

[Financial Post - September 23, 2020] Moody's predicts prices for all housing types to fall more than 7 per cent The pandemic will punish Prairie house prices the most in Canada, but even hotspots Toronto and Vancouver will see prices drop on the back of rising rental market vacancies and lower immigration rates, according to a new report. Average single family detached house prices will fall by 6.7 per cent next year as the recovery stalls, economic stimulus fades and debt problems [...]

Read more...

Toronto and Vancouver now joined by two more Canadian cities with ‘overvalued’ homes

[Financial Post - September 21, 2020] Canada's housing market moderately vulnerable, CMHC says Overvalued homes continue to be a feature of Canada’s largest cities during the second quarter as the pandemic bit into the number of houses entering the market, according to the country’s largest public mortgage provider. And other Canadian cities are also seeing home prices heat up. “There was sharp pullback in new listings and resulting low levels of inventory,” the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation said in its second [...]

Read more...