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CMHC’s Annual Housing Confab Recap

Blog by Patricia Houlihan - Personal Real Estate Corporation | July 17th, 2013

Last week was the Canadian Mortgage and Housing’s Annual conference in Vancouver. Here are a few of the predictions, from the source, of the coming year in BC.


It’s looking like we are going to see continued low interest rates, mortgage rates and inflation. The Canadian dollar is going to stay on par with the USD. There is going to be a fairly healthy growth rate of around three percent. And prices will remain stable in both sales and rent.


In other words, the forecast looks fairly rosy: if roses were bland and not all that surprising. When you look at the numbers, it’s fairly consistent with how it is now. BC will remain the most expensive province, and buyers and sellers will be about equal.


What does this all mean for the Vancouver realtor advising their clients? Stay the course. For someone looking to buy?  This year was very good for buyers and next year should be the same. For the seller?  Not the best year on record and next year should be about the same.


So in other words, barring a total economic collapse in Europe or the States, things will be about the same as ever. Nothing new. So the worst thing you can do is base your decisions on fear. Everything looks like it will be quite all right.


Despite all the doom and gloom in the papers recently, it looks as though September was merely a slump (which I am convinced could be based on the nicest weather we’ve had in 116 years). October was healthy again. And November is not too bad so far. However it looks like it will be a buyer’s market for at least the next six months.


Another interesting stat: the number of condos flipped last year was only 12 percent. This kind of shatters the myth of the foreign investor prospecting for profit, or the California hustler style perception that Vancouver has had in the last ten years. People are buying for keeps, and selling for real reasons, just like everywhere else in the world.


Also the whole affordability fanfare is also a little skewed by the media. The average price of a condo last year was roughly $425,000. That is within reach of the average Vancouver buyer. Affordability is still an issue, but read my previous post about incentives and reality measures. The average first-time buyer can still buy themselves an average Vancouver condo.


In other words, the market is healthy.