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Housing Market Activity Follows 10-Year August Averages

September 3, 2014

 

The Metro Vancouver housing market experienced steady home sale, listing, and pricing trends for the month of August.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,771 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in August 2014. This represents a 10.2 per cent increase compared to the 2,514 sales recorded in August 2013, and a 9.5 per cent decline compared to the 3,061 sales in July 2014.

“Activity this summer has been strong but not unusual for our region,” Ray Harris, REBGV president said. “The volume of home sales has been higher than we’ve seen in the last three years, yet below the record-breaking levels of the past decade.”

Last month’s sales were 4.3 per cent above the 10-year sales average for August of 2,658.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver* is currently $631,600. This represents a 5 per cent increase compared to August 2013.

“Broadly speaking, home prices in the region are continuing to experience modest, incremental gains,” Harris said.
 
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 3,940 in August. This represents a 5.9 per cent decline compared to the 4,186 new listings in August 2013 and a 20 per cent decline from the 4,925 new listings in July. Last month’s new listing total was 8.4 per cent below the region’s 10-year new listing average for the month.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 14,768, a 7.9 per cent decline compared to August 2013 and a 5.4 per cent decrease compared to July 2014.

Sales of detached properties in August 2014 reached 1,158, an increase of 10.1 per cent from the 1,052 detached sales recorded in August 2013, and an 85.6 per cent increase from the 624 units sold in August 2012. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 6.6 per cent from August 2013 to $984,300.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,126 in August 2014, an increase of 10.6 per cent compared to the 1,018 sales in August 2013, and a 55.3 per cent increase compared to the 725 sales in August 2012. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 3.6 per cent from August 2013 to $379,200.

Attached property sales in August 2014 totalled 487, a 9.7 per cent increase compared to the 444 sales in August 2013, and a 62.3 per cent increase over the 300 attached properties sold in August 2012. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 3.9 per cent between August 2013 and 2014 to $474,900.

 

* Areas covered by Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta.

 

Source: REBGV.

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Bank of Canada Interest Rate Announcement - September 3, 2014

The Bank of Canada once again opted to leave its target for the overnight rate unchanged at 1 per cent. In the statement accompanying today's announcement, the Bank noted that though inflation is close to its 2 per cent target, the recent pick-up in inflation was largely due to temporary factors as the Bank anticipated. In spite of stronger global and domestic economic growth last quarter, the Bank still expects excess capacity in the economy to be absorbed over the next 2 years and judges risks to its outlook to be balanced between higher inflation and still elevated household debt. Therefore, the Bank remains neutral with respect to timing and direction of its next change to the policy rate.


As the Bank noted, economic growth exceeded expectations in the second quarter. However, the economy looks far more pedestrian if averaged over the entire first half of 2014.  Employment growth has been uneven and the Canadian unemployment rate remains stubbornly high. Therefore, the Bank is unlikely to be moved from its current stance after just one strong quarter of economic growth. We expect that the Bank will continue to take a cautious approach to monetary policy until it sees concrete signs that the economy is growing above trend. That means at least one more quarter of solid GDP growth paired with more steady employment gains, as well as similarly strong data in the United States. While the Bank left the door open to lower interest rates given its "neutral" stance, we still anticipate that the next move for interest rates will be upward, though not until 2015. 

 

Article credit: Cameron Muir, Chief Economist and Brendon Ogmundson, Economist, BCREA.

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