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Canadian housing starts continued at a historically high level in June. Although housing starts decreased to 282.1k units (-1.5% m/m) in June at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), on a year-over-year basis starts were still 33% above their June 2020 levels. The six-month moving average of SAAR housing starts rose 3.1% to 293.6k units in June. Single-detached housing starts declined 6.9% from May, while all other housing starts rose 0.9%. 

In BC starts rose faster than any other province in June, up 43% m/m to 68k units SAAR in all areas of the province. The level remains just below a record March when new units were constructed at a 71K unit annualized pace. In terms of the six-month moving average, BC is at a record level of housing starts. In centres with at least 10,000 residents, single-detached starts were flat, but multi-unit starts were up 56% from last month. Compared to the same time last year, housing starts in June were up 74%. In Vancouver, housing starts were 91% higher than June of 2020, while in Victoria starts were up 78% from the same month last year. 




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Canadian inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose to 3.6% year-over-year in May, up from 3.4% in April. This is the highest level since May of 2011. Much of the increase in inflation was the result of base-year effects, as prices remained depressed in May of last year due to pandemic-induced shutdowns. On a seasonally adjusted month-over-month basis, the CPI was up 0.5% in May. The Bank of Canada's preferred measures of core inflation (which strip out volatile elements) rose an average of 0.2% from April, to 2.3% year-over-year. In BC, consumer prices were unchanged month-over-month and down from 3% year-over-year in April to 2.7% year-over-year in May.

While inflation is currently running higher than the Bank of Canada's 2 per cent target, much of the increase looks to be temporary and is likely to fade as base-year effects become less significant in coming months. Base-year effects are now beginning to fall out of the inflation statistics, as April was the CPI's nadir last year. How inflation evolves over the next 3 to 6 months will be very important for the stance of monetary policy over the next year. If higher inflation is not just a temporary phenomenon but is being driven by an over-stimulated economy, than we could see the Bank of Canada act on interest rates prior to 2023. However, if the uptick in inflation starts to fade in coming months, we expect the Bank will stay its current course.



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The BCREA Commercial Leading Indicator (CLI) rose from 144 to 150 in the first quarter of 2021, representing the third consecutive increase as the economy recovered from the COVID-19-induced recession. Compared to the same time last year, the index was up by 15 per cent.

It is important to note that while the economy is posting a very strong recovery, we are still in an abnormal and uncertain environment for commercial real estate. Normally, the type of growth we see reflected in the CLI would imply an improvement in demand for retail and office space. However, the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health restrictions are driving a wedge between what we see in the data and what is being experienced on the ground.

A 12 per cent jump in manufacturing activity, largely due to surging demand and prices for wood products, and a 6 per cent increase in wholesale trade activity were the main contributors from the economic activity component of the CLI.

Employment in key commercial real estate sectors such as finance, insurance, real estate (FIRE) and leasing increased by about 13,000 jobs in the first quarter. While our office employment measure is now at an all-time high, it is unclear what the implications are for office space demand given the uncertainty around the near-term outlook for a return to traditional office environments. Despite very strong sales activity, manufacturing employment fell by about 6,500 jobs. That decline may be a temporary phenomenon owing to the third wave of COVID-19 and its impact on manufacturing work.

The CLI’s financial component was positive in the first quarter of 2021, as REIT prices rose to their highest level since the fourth quarter of 2019 and risk spreads continued to narrow.

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Canadian housing starts increased by 3.2% m/m to 275.9k units in May at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). Starts hit a record in March of 333.3k before declining somewhat in April. Single-detached housing starts declined 12% from April, while all other housing starts rose 11%. National housing starts were up by 41% compared to the same time last year and the six-month moving average level of starts is trending at an elevated level of 281,000 units SAAR. 

In BC, housing starts rose 19% m/m to 45.2k units SAAR in all areas of the province, but remains below a record March that saw new homes constructed at a nearly 71K unit annualized pace. Building activity was up 30% in the multi-unit segment, while single-detached starts were down by 10%. Compared to the same time last year, housing starts were up by 17% in BC. 






https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/canadian-housing-starts-may-2021
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Vancouver, BC – June 14, 2021. 
The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 12,638 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May 2021, an increase of 178.2 per cent over May 2020 when the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a lockdown of the provincial economy. The average MLS®residential price in BC was $916,340, a 26.2 per cent increase from $726,335 recorded in May 2020. Total sales dollar volume was $11.6 billion, a 251 per cent increase from last year.

“Provincial housing markets continue to calm after peaking in March,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “The implementation of a stricter mortgage stress test in June may have a minor impact on home sales but we expect strong market activity over the second half of the year."

Total active residential listings were down 17 per cent year-over-year in May and dipped lower on a seasonally adjusted basis following two prior months of rising active listings.

“On the supply side, markets in the Lower Mainland are seeing a strong supply response, with new listings rising,” said Ogmundson, “however, new listings in markets outside of Metro Vancouver have started to flatten out.”
 
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The Canadian economy expanded at a 5.6 per cent annual rate in the first quarter of 2021, including very strong growth in March. However, restrictions due to the third wave of the pandemic point to a minor contraction of output in the month of April before getting back on track for the rest of the year. Growth was led by a 9.4 per cent increase in housing investment, which led the overall recovery, rising 26.5 per cent since the first quarter of last year. Household spending  was up 0.7 per cent in the first quarter or about 2.7 per cent on an annualized basis as household disposable income rose for the first time following two consecutive declines .  Households continue to save at historically high rates during the pandemic. The national household savings rate rose to 13.1 per cent  in the first quarter of 2021, more than double the savings rate this time last year. As vaccinations continue a strong ascent, we expect the Canadian economy to record about 6 per cent growth this year.

The Canadian economy is enjoying strong growth and that growth should continue through most of this year as ramped up vaccinations combine with pent-up demand and unprecedented household savings.  While strong economic growth this year is a near certainty, what is less certain is the impact that growth may have on inflation and therefore the direction of the Bank of Canada. Most view the recent increase in inflation as a temporary phenomenon driven mainly by "base-year" and other transitory effects. While there is some risk that an over-stimulated economy may be more inflationary than currently believed, there remains considerable slack in the Canadian economy and financial markets remain unconvinced that the economy is headed for markedly higher inflation. That has left government bond yields and fixed mortgage rates  low and stable for the past several months.



Link: https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/canadian-real-gdp-growth-q12021
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The BCREA Commercial Leading Indicator (CLI) rose from 144 to 150 in the first quarter of 2021, representing the third consecutive increase as the economy recovered from the COVID-19-induced recession. Compared to the same time last year, the index was up by 15 per cent.

It is important to note that while the economy is posting a very strong recovery, we are still in an abnormal and uncertain environment for commercial real estate. Normally, the type of growth we see reflected in the CLI would imply an improvement in demand for retail and office space. However, the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health restrictions are driving a wedge between what we see in the data and what is being experienced on the ground.

A 12 per cent jump in manufacturing activity, largely due to surging demand and prices for wood products, and a 6 per cent increase in wholesale trade activity were the main contributors from the economic activity component of the CLI.

Employment in key commercial real estate sectors such as finance, insurance, real estate (FIRE) and leasing increased by about 13,000 jobs in the first quarter. While our office employment measure is now at an all-time high, it is unclear what the implications are for office space demand given the uncertainty around the near-term outlook for a return to traditional office environments. Despite very strong sales activity, manufacturing employment fell by about 6,500 jobs. That decline may be a temporary phenomenon owing to the third wave of COVID-19 and its impact on manufacturing work.

The CLI’s financial component was positive in the first quarter of 2021, as REIT prices rose to their highest level since the fourth quarter of 2019 and risk spreads continued to narrow.

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Canadian employment fell by 68,000 jobs in May (-0.4%, m/m), led by a decline of 54,000 in the number of part-time jobs. This was the second consecutive month of declines amid third-wave restrictions, following a drop of 207,000 jobs in April. The level of Canadian employment is now 3.0% (-571k) below its February 2020 pre-pandemic level. The decline was driven by Nova Scotia and Ontario, which implemented stay-at-home orders last month. The unemployment rate rose 0.1% to 8.2%.

In BC, employment fell by 1,900 (-0.1% m/m), following a decline of 43,100 in April. Despite the slight drop in employment, the unemployment rate also fell slightly from 7.1% to 7.0%, due to a decrease in the labour force participation rate (from 65.1% to 64.9%). Job losses slowed in May due to the reopening of many indoor and outdoor activities on May 25th across the province.  






Link: https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/canadian-employment-may-2021-june-4th-2021

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Canadian housing starts decreased by 19.8% m/m to 268.6k units in April at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), following a record setting March. Building activity declined in both the multi-unit (-24%) and single-detached (-9%) segments. National housing starts were up by 63% compared to the same time last year and the six-month moving average level of starts is trending at an elevated level of 279,000 units SAAR. 

In BC, housing starts fell 47% m/m to 38.3k units SAAR after a record March that saw new home construction at a 70K unit annualized pace. Building activity was down 53% in the multi-unit segment, while single-detached starts were down by 10%. Compared to the same time last year, housing starts were up by 29% in BC.






https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/canadian-housing-starts-april-2021






 

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Canadian inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose to a ten-year high of 3.4% year-over-year in April, up from 2.2% in March.  Much of the increase in inflation was the result of base-year effects as prices posted a steep decline during April of last year during the first few months of the pandemic-induced shutdown.  For example, gasoline prices were 62.5% higher in April 2021 than in April 2020.  On a seasonally adjusted month-over-month basis, the CPI was up 0.6% in April. In BC, consumer prices were up 0.2% month-over-month and up 3% compared to April 2020.

While inflation is currently running higher than the Bank of Canada's 2 per cent target, much of the increase looks to be temporary and should fade as base-year effects become less significant in coming months.  Measures of core inflation, which strip out more volatile prices, are also up slightly. The Bank of Canada's three preferred measures of core inflation were trending at  2.1% or 0.2 points above inflation in March.  How inflation evolves over the next 3 to 6 months will be very important for the  stance of monetary policy over the next year.  If higher inflation is not just a temporary phenomenon but is being driven by an over-stimulated economy, than we could see the Bank of Canada act on interest rates prior to 2023.  However, if the uptick in inflation starts to fade in coming months, we expect the Bank will stay its current course.


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The BCREA Nowcast estimate of provincial economic growth (expressed as year-over-year growth in real GDP) for February 2021 is 1.6 per cent. We have also included a preliminary estimate for March 2021 of 5.5 per cent. Starting in April, we expect to see very large growth due to base-year effects as strong incoming 2021 data is compared to the lowest point of 2020 during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. For that reason, we have also added a measure of the monthly level of GDP to our NowCast which provides a better indication of how the economy is progressing in its recovery. 
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Canadian real GDP grew by 0.4% in February, following a 0.7% increase in the previous month. This is the 10th consecutive monthly gain since the steepest drops in Canadian history was observed in March and April. This brings GDP 2% below the February pre-pandemic level of output.  For estimates of economic growth in BC, follow BCREA's monthly Nowcast of provincial GDP growth here: https://www.bcrea.bc.ca/economics/bcrea-nowcast/

Leading the increase the retail sector which jumped 4.5% after consecutive monthly declines prompted by provincial lockdown measures. Residential construction rose 4.7% while the GDP of offices of real estate agents and brokers  was up 2.8%.

Early estimates from Statistics Canada indicate that real GDP grew by 0.9% in March. That puts first quarter Canadian GDP on track to grow about 6.5% on an quarterly annualized basis.   
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Canadian housing starts increased 21.6% m/m to 335,200k units in March at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), after declining in February. Building activity was up month-over-month in both multi-unit (+34%) and single-detached (+4%) segments. On a year-over-year basis, starts were up 70%, though this measure will become quite distorted by base-year effects going forward as we compare to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The six-month moving average in Canadian housing starts stands at a very strong 273,664 units SAAR. 

In BC, housing starts increased by 57% m/m to a record high 71.2K units SAAR, following an increase of 21% in the previous month. That remarkable jump in new home construction was the product of a flood of building activity in the multi-unit segment, which was up by 77%, while single-detached starts were up 7%. The rise in the multi-unit segment was led by Vancouver, which reported a 71% increase in multi-unit starts in March to an all-time record of 3,120 units or 41K units SAAR.  On a year-over-year basis, total housing starts were up by 106% in BC. 






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Canadian retail sales rose 4.8% m/m on a seasonally-adjusted basis in February. Sales were higher in 9 of 11 sub-sectors, led by higher sales at motor-vehicle and parts dealers as well as gas stations.  Excluding motor-vehicles and gasoline, retail sales were up 3.8% in February.  Statistics Canada also released a preliminary estimate for March showing retail sales increased 2.3%.

In BC, seasonally-adjusted retail sales were down 0.1% m/m but were up 1.8% m/m in Vancouver. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis,  BC retail sales were up by 12% compared to the same time last year.   

In February Canadian e-commerce sales rose 92% year-over-year to $3.1 billion, accounting for 6.8% of total retail sales. The share of e-commerce was down 1.3 percentage points  as more brick-and-mortar stores were open to in-person shopping.






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Canadian employment gained 303K jobs in March (1.6%, m/m), bringing total employment to within 1.5% or 296K jobs of its pre-pandemic level from February 2020. Both part-time employment with full-time employment contributed to the gains in March, rising by 128K and 175K jobs respectively.  The national unemployment rate decreased by 0.7 percentage points to 7.5%, which is the lowest rate since February 2020. 

In BC, employment grew by 35k (+1.3%, m/m) in March. The unemployment rate decreased from held steady at 6.9%, which is the lowest rate the province has recorded since February 2020. Meanwhile, in Vancouver, employment increased by 32.3k (+2.2%,m/m), following a rise of 13.9k in the previous month. Compared to one year ago, employment in BC was up 8.4% (+116.7K) jobs. 

Employment in BC and other parts of Canada may slow in April as more restrictive "circuit-breaker" polices are implemented to mitigate rising COVID-19 cases. Fortunately, daily vaccinations have ramped-up considerably and the labour market should be in a much better place by early summer.




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It was a strong start for the Canadian economy as real GDP expanded 0.7 per cent on a monthly basis  in January.  The increase in January marks the ninth consecutive month of positive economic growth, however, total economic activity is still about 3 per cent below its pre-COVID-19  level.  With the strong start to 2021, first quarter real GDP growth is tracking at 5.5 per cent on an annualized basis.

An acceleration of vaccinations appears to be on the immediate horizon. As that roll-out progresses, we expect pent-up spending throughout the economy to be unleashed, driving a strong economic recovery. Following an unprecedented contraction in 2020, we expect the Canadian economy will enjoy two years of very strong growth with the economy expanding by more than 5 per cent this year and about 4.5 per cent in 2022. 
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I have sold a property at 1003 5028 KWANTLEN ST in Richmond.
Seasons by Polygon. Best LOCATION! Best VIEW! NE Corner unit with 2 bedrooms and 2 ensuites. Gorgeous 180 degree mountain and city VIEW from balcony and all rooms. Floor to ceiling windows, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances. Great facilities with gym, lounge, garden, hot tub, steam room. Steps to Lansdowne Mall, Skytain, Kwantlen University, public transit. Quick possession.
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Canadian retail sales fell in January by 1.1% m/m on a seasonally-adjusted basis. This is the second consecutive monthly decline since April 2020. Sales were down in 6 of 11 subsectors, representing 39% of retail sales. Clothing and clothing accessories stores led the decline, down for a fourth consecutive month. Notable declines were also reported at furniture and home furnishing stores. Compared to the same time last year, retail sales were up by 1.3%.  
  
Sales were down mainly in Quebec and Ontario, where stricter lockdown measures were in place. In BC, seasonally-adjusted retail sales rose by 4.4% m/m ($8.4 billion) and by 4.4% m/m ($3.7 billion) in Vancouver. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, contributing to the increase were sales at auto dealers and gasoline stations. BC retail sales were up by 14.5% compared to the same time last year.   

In January, Canadian e-commerce sales totaled $3.5 billion, accounting for 7.8% of total retail sales, down from 8.1% in the previous month. E-commerce sales were up by 111% from a year ago. This excludes Canadians purchasing from foreign e-commerce retailers.  
    
With the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Canada, provincial governments began to reintroduce lockdown measures, which directly affected the retail sector. Approximately 14% of retailers were closed at some point in January for an average of three business days. Statistics Canada's preliminary estimate for February suggests that retail sales increased by 4%. Growth in retail sales is expected to bounce back as the vaccine rollout accelerates and pent-up consumption is unleashed. 
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Canadian inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 1.1% in February year-over-year. The increase was again due to higher gasoline prices (5%). Excluding the volatile gasoline component, the CPI rose by 1%, which is down from 1.3% in January. Prices rose in all components of the CPI except for clothing and footwear. Growth in the Bank of Canada's three measures of trend inflation remained unchanged, averaging 1.7%. 

Regionally, the CPI was positive in all provinces, led by Quebec (1.6%). In BC, CPI rose by 0.9% in February year-over-year, down from January's 1.1%. Strong price growth continued for health and personal care, shelter, and food. Transportation costs reported the first notable increase since the pandemic started.  

Gas prices were again the driving force behind inflation growth in February. It will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, as oil producers tighten supply. Despite this, the Bank of Canada has indicated that it will not raise rates until the economy is back at full employment and inflation is sustained at its 2% target rate.

Link: https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/canadian-inflation-feb-march-17-2021


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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.