Archive for October, 2020

BoC’s low rates policy ended up being strong despite the current situation

Friday, October 30th, 2020

DLC’s Cooper: BoC rate policy justified in the current environment

Ephraim Vecina
Mortgage Broker News

MPC 90% of homeowners are positive sentiments purchasing a property during pandemic

Friday, October 30th, 2020

Mortgage Professionals Canada survey finds homeowner sentiment unchanged by pandemic concerns

Clayton Jarvis
Mortgage Broker News

On Tuesday, Mortgage Professionals Canada released the results of its most recent Rapidly Evolving Expectations in the Housing Industry report. The third in a series of studies that kicked off in August, October’s report found that Canadian consumers have maintained overwhelmingly positive attitudes toward homeownership since COVID-19 cases began spiking at summer’s end.

MPC’s report, written by chief economist Will Dunning, was based on a survey of 1,000 Canadians – 701 of which were homeowners with mortgages – conducted between September 25 and October 8, a time when fears over the coronavirus’ renewed impact on the Canadian economy were once again intensifying. The increased anxiety was virtually undetectable in the survey results.

Ninety percent of homeowners said they are happy with their decision to purchase a home. Of the remaining 10 percent of respondents, only two percent reported regretting their home purchase entirely, while eight percent wished they had purchased a different property.

The positive vibes were, somewhat surprisingly, shared by Canadians who have yet to enter the housing market. In the October report, the percentage of people who expect to “never own a home” fell by half compared to the end of 2019. The percentage of non-owners who expect to buy a home in the coming year has increased from seven percent before the pandemic to 19 percent. But if prices are soaring and buying is becoming more competitive in markets across the country, where is this confidence coming from?

“My assumptions are that there’s an awful lot of press about an expected reduction in house prices,” says MPC CEO Paul Taylor.

Taylor says the optimism from prospective buyers may be the product of Canadians casually tracking housing activity and cobbling together a patchwork view of the market’s future that includes bits of the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s projection of a nine to 18 percent drop in home prices and headlines that trumpet record-low interest rates remaining the norm until 2022. These people, Taylor says, “may feel they have more opportunity to [purchase a home] than in previous times given the current environment.”

He also feels that people who spent the first wave of COVID-19 in tiny apartments or condos  may be more driven than ever to buy a home after attempting, for several agonizing months, to both work and live in limited space without the luxury of going outside and making use of the amenities that make condo life, for many residents, bearable.

“If you’re on lockdown, and sort of sequestered to [a small condo], it’s definitely going to make you more critical of the space you’re confined to,” Taylor says, adding that an increased desire to buy is by no means a guarantee of rising sales.

Survey respondents were also optimistic about their employment and income prospects. For this portion of the report, respondents were split into two categories, those whose incomes have recovered or improved compared to before the pandemic and those who have experienced some form of income disruption. Of the former, only 11 percent are worried about a worsening of their current fiscal situation; of the latter, 34 percent anticipate a worsening, while 40 percent expect an improvement.

Considering that the majority of those surveyed were homeowners, Taylor says the confidence around income and employment shouldn’t be surprising. Low-wage earners and renters have borne the brunt of COVID-19.

“if you were a homeowner,” at the beginning of the pandemic, “the likelihood is that you were in a salaried job or were making quite a good income as a business owner,” Taylor says. “That’s likely persisted for you, even though it’s maybe a different working environment now.”

With the first wave of mortgage deferrals expiring in September, MPC tried to gauge homeowners’ feelings around making their mortgage payments. Twenty-three percent reported expecting to experience “some difficulty” in making their payments. Four percent said they anticipate having “a lot of difficulty” paying their mortgages.

Taylor says that lenders in the MPC community are expecting the number of borrowers who eventually default after exiting their deferral agreements to be “really quite low,” but even a small percentage of defaults could give the market a shake.

“Even a one- or two-percent default rate is going to be an awful lot of inventory suddenly coming on the market,” he says, “so it could well have some impact on prices.”

With that in mind, Taylor says MPC is planning to track default rates more closely toward the end of the year, when deferrals have expired for most borrowers and those in arrears begin slipping into default.

“It’s going to be December before we actually do see people really in trouble,” he says. “It’ll be a very, very small percentage, but it may have an impact.”



Copyright © 2020 Key Media

RBC Economics: condo prices stagnated over the past six months

Friday, October 30th, 2020

Canada real estate: RBC Economics reports condo listings on the rise as investors look to sell

Carlito Pablo
The Georgia Straight

County of Grande Prairie, Alberta ranks #1 destinations for real estate investor, Western Investor

Thursday, October 29th, 2020

County of Grande Prairie tops Western Investor list for real estate investors

WI Staff
Western Investor

Covid-19 disrupt Vancouver condo owners

Thursday, October 29th, 2020

Vancouver condo owners exposed in virus crisis: RBC

WI Staff
Western Investor

Declines in nationwide immigration flows and notable dips in local rental prices are among the top reasons Vancouver’s housing market is being upended amid the pandemic, according to a bleak new report from RBC Economics.

The condominium market is especially exposed, the report cautions.

“COVID-19 has severely disrupted the flow of immigrants moving to Canada — a major source of housing demand,” senior economist Robert Hogue stated in his October 29 report.

In the first quarter of 2020, migration to Canada had fallen slightly to 70,400 individuals compared with 82,900 the same period a year earlier.

But by the second quarter — stretching from April to June — migration had plummeted 94 per cent annually, from 152,500 to just 9,700 individuals.

B.C. immigration numbers went negative in the first half, according to BC Stats, falling 111 per cent from a year earlier.

“With the border poised to remain closed to all but essential travelers, and most post-secondary students continuing to study at home until immunization from COVID-19 reaches high levels in Canada and abroad – immigration is unlikely to rebound soon,” the report stated.

“To date, weak in-migration has had minimal impact on Canada’s overall housing market. But if sustained, we expect it will temper rental demand in larger markets as immigrants tend to rent in their first five to 10 years after landing into our country. This could have negative repercussions for condos and longer term, an extended period of weak in-migration could deplete future cohorts of first-time homebuyers.”

First-time homebuyers in Metro Vancouuver are more likely to buy a condominium apartment, than a townhouse or detached house, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC).

A cooling rental market is also among the major changes COVID-19 has brought about to the Vancouver housing scene, according to RBC.

The bank, using data from Padmapper, determined the asking rent for one-bedroom apartment in Metro Vancouver has declined 7.3 per cent annually as of this October.

CMHC estimates there are 69,000 investor-owned condos that are in the rental market across Metro Vancouver.

“Renters tend to earn less than homeowners, and it’s been lower-income and younger Canadians who suffered the most job losses during the pandemic. Demand near post-secondary institutions has softened too, due to the switch to online study and the closing of our border that kept many foreign students abroad,” the report stated.

Rent in Victoria, meanwhile, has increased 13.8 per cent annually during that same period.

Hogue found that rental declines have been mostly concentrated in higher density, downtown locations.

“Underlying the shift is a surge in rental supply as the short-term rental business dries up and new purpose-built rental and condo units are completed,” Hogue stated.

Among other changes hitting the Vancouver housing market is the swelling supply of condos (up 20.9 per cent annually as of September) as investors look to sell.

“The sheer economic shock of COVID-19 — with unemployment soaring to unprecedented highs — directly impacted many Canadians and put many others on the defensive. Almost 780,000 people opted to defer mortgage payments since the start of the pandemic, representing 16 per cent of mortgages in bank portfolios. By the end of August, the vast majority of mortgage holders whose deferral period has expired had resumed regular payments,” the report stated. 

“However, it remains unclear how many will ultimately be able to continue as outlook for jobs remains bleak for many Canadians. This poses a risk for the housing market, especially in areas where the economy is shakiest.”


© Copyright 2020 Western Investor

Decrease home price, increase unemployment rate factors might to upset banks’ balance sheets ? analyst

Thursday, October 29th, 2020

Falling home prices, unemployment to upset banks’ balance sheets ? analyst

Ephraim Vecina
Mortgage Broker News

With the looming threat of major home-price drops, a housing market correction accompanied by mounting unemployment will likely take a significant chunk off Canadian banks’ bottom lines, according to Barclays Plc. analyst John Aiken.

Moody’s Analytics said in mid-October that economic contraction and lower incomes stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic will trigger declines of 6.7% in single-family home prices and 6.5% in condo values.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation made a more troubling prediction of a 9-18% home-price drop this year.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Aiken cited a CIBC report estimating that residential mortgages accounted for around 40% of loans at the Big Six banks. This translated to approximately $1.13 trillion in mortgages at the Big Six as of the end of July.

But with a troubling number of financially struggling Canadians unable to make any home purchases in the first place, the market’s prospects appear dim.

“Residential mortgages up to this point have been one of the strongest-growing asset classes, and it is the largest component of their books,” Aiken said. “So if that all goes to 0% growth, they are going to have a hard time trying to squeeze out growth from other areas.”

However, several observers have taken issue with the doom-saying surrounding Canadian home prices, and especially with the CMHC forecast.

“While I can appreciate some of the reasoning that went into CMHC’s prediction, especially in the spring when so much was still unknown, the market data doesn’t support such a steep price decline, especially with the two largest real estate markets of Toronto and Vancouver continuing their upward momentum,” said Christopher Alexander, executive vice president and regional director of RE/MAX Integra’s Ontario-Atlantic Region. “The Prairies are facing different circumstances and challenges due to the resources sector, but Ontario and BC are expected to offset slower activity in Saskatchewan and Alberta.”

Sherry Cooper, chief economist at Dominion Lending Centres, also deemed the CMHC predictions “overly pessimistic” considering that the national average home price saw a 1.5% increase as recently as August.  


Copyright © 2020 Key Media

Popolo: 81 European-inspired in the heart of Vancouver’s most accessible transit hub

Thursday, October 29th, 2020

Popolo: European-Inspired Condos in the Heart of Commercial Drive

Michelle Hopkins

Voyce a Luxury contemporary 6 story building in Westside Vancouver

Thursday, October 29th, 2020

Voyce is Luxury Living Next to the Iconic Queen Elizabeth Park

Michelle Hopkins
The Vancouver Sun

It’s no secret, real estate in Vancouver’s Westside is rare and sought after. It is here, nestled in one of the city’s most historic neighbourhoods that Forefield Development Group introduces Voyce – a contemporary, six-story concrete building offering a sophisticated collection of 81 homes, from junior one-bedrooms to three-bedroom apartments, ranging from 447 to 1,111 square feet of beautifully appointed living.


From seascapes to skylines, many residences at Voyce will deliver sweeping views of the North Shore Mountains, the city skyline and Queen Elizabeth Park, home to a collection of public art in addition to its stunning greenery.

Designed by award-winning Trepp Design, these elegant residences offer a seamless blend of traditional and contemporary architecture. High-end European materials and finishes, nine-foot ceilings, elegant wide-plank engineered hardwood flooring, a Miele stainless steel appliance package and spacious balconies, decks and rooftop terraces provide an elegant, naturally inspired canvas for your own aesthetic and lifestyle.


“A concerted effort was made  during the creative process to avoid design trends and rather an approach of design classicism and longevity was implemented,” says Scott Trepp, Trepp Design principal.

Cam Good, President of Key Marketing went to say: “Many of these features and finishes would be considered upgrades in other properties, at Voyce they’re design standard. The home is designed to bring an attainable luxury experience with Italian kitchen, natural stones, German appliances, and more.”


This coveted neighbourhood is blessed with hip restaurants, trendy shops in Oakridge Centre and the historic, beautifully renovated one-screen cinema, the Park Theatre. It is also home to Women’s and Children’s Hospital. In the summer, residents and baseball fans head to Nat Bailey Stadium to catch the Vancouver Canadians in action, or to the Douglas Park Community Centre for a friendly game of tennis and a great workout.

Ideally situated, Voyce is in close proximity to major transit and SkyTrain hubs, and within walking distance to some of the West Side’s top-rated schools, including Eric Hamber Secondary, General Gordon Elementary, Sir Winston Churchill Secondary, as well as top-tiered private schools such as York House, Little Flower Academy and Vancouver College.

Forefield Development Group’s commitment is, and always will be, to bring thoughtful, urbane design to the cities and neighbourhoods where they build. At Voyce, it’s all about creating homes that don’t just look spectacular, they live well.


This is the last opportunity to live parkside, with a spectacular view of North Shore Mountains, in this highly desirable postal code on the highest point along the Cambie Corridor. 

“Voyce is the most successful pre-sale project in Vancouver in 2020,” says Good. “We sold 40 percent within two weeks after sales launch. And we have achieved our presale goal this month.”

With a Junior one-bedroom starting at $589,900, a two-bedroom starting at $1,039,900 and a regular two-bedroom + flex room starting at $1,269,900, Voyce is sure to sell out quickly.

Voyce’s Presentation Centre, located 4033 Cambie St., is open daily from noon to 5 p.m. (Closed Fridays). For more information or to register, call 604-875-1116, email at [email protected] or visit

© 2020 REW

3 Storey rental apartment sold for $4.8 million, South Granville

Thursday, October 29th, 2020

11-suite rental in South Granville sold for $4.8 million

WI Staff
Western Investor

Up-graded three-storey rental apartment building a block from South Granville in Vancouver, and near planned station for SkyTrain extension, sold for $436,000 per door.

Property type: Multi-family rental

Location: 1445 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver

Number of units: 11 (one bedrooms)

Number of storeys: 3

Land size: 6.250 square feet

Sale price: $4.8 million

Date of sale: September, 2020

Brokerage: CBRE, National Apartment Group, Vancouver

Brokers: Greg Ambrose, Lance Coulson and Kevin Murray


© Copyright 2020 Western Investor

6,137 square feet Mixed-use development site sold for $6.6 million in Dunbar Street Vancouver

Thursday, October 29th, 2020

Vancouver 6,135-square-foot mixed-use site sells for $6.6 million

WI Staff
Western Investor