As 2019 winds up we are witnessing conditions that reflect seasonal norms. 2020 will see a tightening of inventory which will balance supply and demand. With more clarity, interest rates projected to hold, we expect this momentum and sustained demand to carry through into 2020 and the latest outlook from the Conference Board of Canada forecasts real GDP growth of 1.8% for 2020 and 1.9% in 2021.
In Vancouver the first half of 2019, multi-family sales activity throughout Metro Vancouver and Greater Victoria lagged. Between August 1 and November 1, more than $400 million in transactions and nearly 1,400 rental units traded in Metro Vancouver, accounting for nearly 60 per cent of 2019 sales to date in the region. This is a true testament to the underlying strength and desirability of the multi-family asset class as investors across Canada continue to seek product in B.C.’s rental market.
The British Columbia Real Estate Association reports that after a slow start to 2019, MLS® home sales in the province embarked on a sustained upward climb in the spring, returning to trend after adjusting to market shocks caused by federal mortgage rules and provincial tax policies.
To glance across markets closer to home on Vancouver Island, sales of single-family homes in November rose by 3% from 2018 and were 9% lower than in October.
Last month in Nanaimo, 312 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 343 the previous month and 304 in November 2018.
Inventory of single-family homes in November rose by 8% from one year ago (1,065 to 1,155), the lowest since March, which saw 1,172 properties for sale. Active listings of apartments increased by 15% (319 to 368) year over year while townhouse inventory dropped by 31% (177 to 123).
The benchmark price of a single-family home board-wide was $517,100 in November, a 3% increase from one year ago and down slightly from October. (Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.) In the apartment category, the year-over-year benchmark price rose by 3%, hitting $297,000 but down 1% from October. The benchmark price of a townhouse rose by 2% year over year, climbing to $405,700 last month and slightly higher than in October.
Benchmark price of a single-family home in Campbell River $440,200. Comox Valley, $530,200, up by 5% from one year ago. Duncan $479,500, an increase of 2% from November. Nanaimo’s $558,400 in November, Parksville-Qualicum $576,500. Port Alberni reached $329,000 in November, a 6% increase from one year ago.
Canada Home sales recorded via Canadian MLS® Systems inched up by 0.6% November 2019. Notching its ninth straight monthly gain, activity stands 20% above the six-year low reached in February 2019 but 6% to 7% below heights recorded in 2016 and 2017.
The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) rose 0.8%. Marking its sixth consecutive monthly gain, it now stands almost 4% above its low point reached last May.
Positive international immigration added to gains due to inter-provincial migration, resulting in a net increase of 16,686 people to British Columbia’s population in the second quarter of 2019. This was down 5.8% from the previous second quarter.
Some 22,211 people moved to British Columbia from other provinces in the second quarter of 2019. This was down 0.6% from a year earlier. Fewer people came to British Columbia from Alberta and Ontario compared to a year earlier.
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