Average rent in Canada hits new record high in August

Average rent in Canada hits new record high in August

Canada’s rental market continues to reach record heights, with average asking rents soaring to $2,117 in August. This represents a monthly increase of 1.8 per cent and an annual growth rate of 9.6 per cent according to the latest National Rent Report by Rentals.ca and Urbanation.

Over the past three months, the Canadian rental market has seen a staggering 5.1 per cent increase in asking rents. This translates to a monthly rent increase of over $100.

Shaun Hildebrand, president of Urbanation, notes that, unlike the United States, Canada’s rent inflation shows no signs of cooling down despite rental completions “having reached their highest level in decades.”

He adds, “This is illustrative of the severe rental housing shortage across the country and the magnitude of the impact on rental demand as the population expands by a record pace.”

Regional insights

Calgary maintains its position as the leader in rent growth among Canada’s largest cities, recording a year-over-year increase of 17.3 per cent. The average rent for purpose-built and condominium apartments in Calgary now stands at $2,068.

Montreal closely follows, with an annual growth rate of 16.4 per cent, marking the first time asking rents have surpassed the $2,000 threshold at $2,001.

Toronto and Vancouver, Canada’s most expensive cities, posted below-average annual rent increases of 8.7 per cent and 7.3 per cent, respectively. Still, they reached staggering average monthly costs of $2,898 in Toronto and $3,316 in Vancouver. Notably, Vancouver witnessed a marginal 0.7 per cent decrease in average rents month-over-month.


Mid-sized markets

Mid-sized markets across Canada also saw double-digit annual increases. Brampton, Ont. recorded a 21.6 per cent increase, reaching an average rent of $2,713. New Westminster, B.C. followed with a notable 17.8 per cent annual growth, resulting in an average rent of $2,511, while Cote Saint-Luc, Que. posted a 16.4 per cent increase, setting the average rent at $2,271.

In Alberta, the fastest growth in mid-sized markets occurred in Grande Prairie and Lethbridge, both with a 9.3 per cent increase, leading to average rents of $1,169 and $1,276, respectively.

In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Regina took the lead with an annual growth rate of 10.9 per cent, while Winnipeg posted an annual increase of 8.3 per cent.

Unit breakdown

Among various rental unit types, studio apartments recorded the highest month-over-month rent increase, jumping by 2.4 per cent to an average of $1,480.

One-bedroom units led the year-over-year growth, boasting a 14.8 per cent increase and averaging $1,880 per month.

Two-bedroom apartments and three-bedroom units commanded average asking rents of $2,233 and $2,448, respectively, marking annual increases of 12.3 per cent and 10.6 per cent.

Rising demand for shared accommodations

Rents for shared accommodations, such as roommate arrangements, continued to rise across Canada. In Quebec, average asking rents for shared units grew by 24 per cent annually to $888 per month. Alberta closely followed with a 20.5 per cent annual growth, reaching an average of $851. British Columbia saw a 17.7 per cent annual increase in average asking rents for shared accommodations, amounting to $1,150 per month. In Ontario, roommate rents grew at a more moderate annual pace of 7.5 per cent, settling at an average of $1,040.

Read August’s full report here.


Credit to:  REM Editorial Team | Sep 15, 2023

Strong sales push Metro Vancouver home prices past the rate hike in July

Strong sales push Metro Vancouver home prices past the rate hike in July

Home prices across all home types in Metro Vancouver1 rose again in July, as strong sales figures continue to push up against low levels of housing inventory in the region.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,455 in July 2023, a 28.9 per cent increase from the 1,904 sales recorded in July 2022. This was 15.6 per cent below the 10-year seasonal average (2,909).

“While sales remain about 15 per cent below the ten-year average, they are also up about 30 per cent year-over-year, which is not insignificant,” Andrew Lis, REBGV’s director of economics and data analytics said. “Looking under the hood of these figures, it’s easy to see why sales are posting such a large year-over-year percentage increase. Last July marked the point when the Bank of Canada announced their ‘super-sized’ increase to the policy rate of one full per cent, catching buyers and sellers off guard, and putting a chill on market activity at that time.”

There were 4,649 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in July 2023. This represents a 17 per cent increase compared to the 3,975 homes listed in July 2022. This was 5.2 per cent below the 10-year seasonal average (4,902).

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 10,301, a four per cent decrease compared to July 2022 (10,734). This was 14.4 per cent below the 10-year seasonal average (12,039).

Across all detached, attached and apartment property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for July 2023 is 24.9 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 16.5 per cent for detached homes, 32 per cent for townhomes, and 30.6 per cent for apartments.

Analysis of the historical data suggests downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

“What’s interesting to see in the current market environment is that, while the Bank of Canada rate hike this July was only a quarter of a per cent, mortgage rates are now at the highest levels we’ve seen in Canada in over ten years,” Lis said. “Yet despite borrowing costs being even higher than last July, sales activity surpassed the levels we saw last year, which I think says a lot about the strength of demand in our market and buyers’ ability to adapt to and qualify for higher borrowing costs.”

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,210,700. This represents a 0.5 per cent increase over July 2022 and a 0.6 per cent increase compared to June 2023.

Sales of detached homes in July 2023 reached 681, a 28.7 per cent increase from the 529 detached sales in July 2022. The benchmark price for a detached home is $2,012,900. This represents a 0.6 per cent increase from July 2022 and a 1.1 per cent increase compared to June 2023.

Sales of apartment homes reached 1,281 in July 2023, a 20.7 per cent increase compared to the 1,061 sales in July 2022. The benchmark price of an apartment home is $771,600. This represents a 2.6 per cent increase from July 2022 and a 0.6 per cent increase compared to June 2023.

Attached home sales in July 2023 totalled 466, a 53.3 per cent increase compared to the 304 sales in July 2022. The benchmark price of an attached home is $1,104,600. This represents a 1.2 per cent increase from July 2022 and a 0.5 per cent increase compared to June 2023.


Credit to:  Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Continued record levels of immigration may double Canada’s housing supply gap

Continued record levels of immigration may double  Canada’s housing supply gap

Canada has experienced a population boom — growing by over 1.2 million in the past 12 months, surpassing the pace seen in previous years. A recent report from TD Economics delves into whether the swing in population has gone too far, too fast.

The surge, referred to as the “great Canadian migration,” is the result of a combination of factors, including increased immigration targets and a significant rise in non-permanent residents (NPRs). While this influx has helped address labour market shortages, it has also led to various challenges in housing, healthcare, infrastructure and overall societal balance.











The surprising population expansion and its drivers

The government aims to welcome 500,000 immigrants annually by 2025, but the recent surge has been primarily due to the entry of NPRs. Approximately 60 per cent of the population influx over the last year was attributed to the NPR channel, catching economists off guard.

The impact on housing, healthcare and infrastructure

The sudden population surge has had a substantial impact on various aspects of Canadian society. One major concern has been the effect on the housing market, exacerbating affordability issues across the country. Even with government efforts to accelerate construction, TD economists estimate that continuing a high-growth immigration strategy would widen the housing shortfall by about a half-million units within just two years.

The increased population has also strained Canada’s healthcare system and infrastructure. The country ranked low in the number of acute care hospital beds per capita, even before the recent population boom. This has necessitated a more balanced approach to infrastructure development, considering not only housing but also medical capacity and social support platforms.

The report’s authors write, “While the right hand has been solving for labour market shortfalls, the left hand has not put in place the appropriate infrastructure to absorb this large influx of people, particularly if the intention is for a continuation on a longer-term basis.”

Will it be repeated?

According to economists, early indications suggest that the rapid acceleration in population growth will continue through 2023. The NPR classification, including work or study permit holders and asylum seekers, remains on the rise, and there is a possibility of another one-million-person year or higher.

Government policies and their benefits and pitfalls

Canada’s success in recruiting workers from around the world has positively impacted the labour market, leading to higher job growth and lower unemployment rates. However, there are concerns that importing workers across skill levels might discourage employers from addressing productivity issues. Canada’s low investment in research and development and weak labour productivity rankings among G7 countries underscores the need for a balanced approach to addressing labour shortages and enhancing productivity.

Economists implore that policy decisions must strike the right balance between increasing labour availability and promoting investments in productivity-enhancing measures.

Housing struggles

The housing market faces significant challenges as demand outstrips supply. TD economists’ estimates show Canada may fall short of supplying housing demand by about 215,000 units from 2023 to 2025. If population growth remains at record levels, the housing supply-demand gap could swell to over 500,000 units.

“Perhaps even more concerning is that even if population growth slows back towards a long-term average that undershoots our baseline path, the country would still be deficient by about 150,000 units,” the authors write. “In other words, housing supply will struggle to keep pace with Canada’s rapidly expanding population under each scenario. A meaningful improvement in affordability will likely remain elusive.”

Challenges for the Bank of Canada

The report’s authors call the population surge “textbook demand shock,” with the influx of new consumers creating a disconnect between demand and supply.

“Over time, the boost to industry profits, labour income and government tax revenues helps re-align priorities to what’s in high demand versus what’s in short supply. However, the operative words in that sentence are ‘over time.’ The speed of change matters to whether the economic and social factors can catch up.”

As a result, economists say the Bank of Canada may need to address this persistence through higher interest rates. Additionally, home price inflation becomes a complex issue to tackle: “And there isn’t quite as easy a solution when it comes to home price inflation…this is one area in the economy that can be particularly problematic due to its long reach in influencing prices directly within the economy, as well as expectations of future inflation.”











Finding the right balance

To address the challenges posed by population growth, economists say Canada needs to balance its immigration policies with sustainable growth strategies. Removing workplace barriers can unleash supply within the existing population while right-skilling individuals to address labour force shortages.

“A lot can be done to better integrate both new and existing Canadians so that people can reach their full potential. It can’t just be a matter of bringing in an unchecked amount of people to take the lower-paying jobs on offer — particularly if it underutilizes the workforce and disincentivizes companies to invest.”

Credit to: REM Editorial Team | Aug 02, 2023

Bank of Canada Raises Key Interest Rate For The 10th Time Since March 2022

Bank of Canada Raises Key Interest Rate For The 10th Time Since March 2022


The Bank of Canada has raised its policy interest rate again, making the cost of borrowing more expensive.

The 25 basis points hike brings the Bank’s overnight rate to 5 per cent, the highest it’s been since 2001.

In its Monetary Policy Report, the Bank of Canada says the rate increase was necessary to help slow economic growth and reduce core inflation. Three-month rates of core inflation have been higher than the Bank’s expectation hovering around 3.5 per cent to 4 per cent since September 2022.

“The stubbornness of core inflation in Canada suggests that inflation may be more persistent than originally thought,” the Bank’s Monetary Police Report states.

Since the Bank of Canada started raising rates in March 2022 inflation has dropped from a peak of 8.1 per cent last summer to 3.4 per cent in May. This is the 10th interest rate hike since March 2022.

While the Bank acknowledges inflation has been declining due to falling energy prices, easing supply constraints and interest rate hikes, it predicts inflation will remain elevated around 3 per cent over the next year. The Bank says economic growth isn’t slowing as quickly as expected, citing more momentum for demand and stronger than anticipated consumer spending in the first quarter of 2023.

The central bank’s mandate is to keep inflation around 2 per cent and its forecasters are currently predicting inflation will return to that 2 per cent level in the middle of 2025, two quarters later than previously projected.

The Bank’s forecasters say the change to its inflation outlook is due to excess demand, higher than expected housing prices and higher than expected prices for tradable goods.

“The next stage in the decline of inflation towards target is expected to take longer and is more uncertain. This is partly due to elevated services inflation, which can adjust sluggishly, and uncertainty about expected inflation,” the report states.

But since inflation has been above its 2 per cent target for a few years already, and isn’t expected to return to target until 2025, the Bank also warns that “it is possible that inflation expectations will remain higher for longer” and that “progress towards the 2 per cent target could stall, jeopardizing the return to price stability.”

Due to higher interest rates, the Bank expects Canada’s real GDP growth to slow to 1.5 per cent in the second quarter of 2023 and hover around 1 per cent through the second half of 2023 and into the first half of 2024. The Bank expects economic growth will pick up again in 2025 with GDP growth expected to hit 2.4 per cent.

Today’s monetary policy report makes no mention of an interest rate pause leaving the door open to another hike.

The Bank of Canada’s next rate decision comes down Sept. 6th.

Credit to: 

Home Prices Continue To Rise in Metro Vancouver’s Housing Market To Kick Off The summer

Home Prices Continue To Rise in Metro Vancouver’s Housing Market To Kick Off The summer

July 05, 2023

Continuing the trend that has emerged in the housing market this year, the benchmark price for all home types in Metro Vancouver increased in June as home buyer demand butted up against a limited inventory of homes for sale in the region.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,988 in June 2023, a 21.1 per cent increase from the 2,467 sales recorded in June 2022. This was 8.6 per cent below the 10-year seasonal average (3,269).

“The market continues to outperform expectations across all segments, but the apartment segment showed the most relative strength in June,” Andrew Lis, REBGV’s director of economics and data analytics said. “The benchmark price of apartment homes is almost cresting the peak reached in 2022, while sales of apartments are now above the region’s ten-year seasonal average. This uniquely positions the apartment segment relative to the attached and detached segments where sales remained below the ten-year seasonal averages.”

There were 5,348 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in June 2023. This represents a 1.3 per cent increase compared to the 5,278 homes listed in June 2022. This was 3.1 per cent below the 10-year seasonal average (5,518).

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 9,990, a 7.9 per cent decrease compared to June 2022 (10,842) This was 17.4 per cent below the 10-year seasonal average (12,091).

Across all detached, attached and apartment property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for June 2023 is 31.4 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 20.9 per cent for detached homes, 38.5 per cent for townhomes, and 39.4 per cent for apartments.

Analysis of the historical data suggests downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

“Despite elevated borrowing costs, there continues to be too little resale inventory available relative to the pool of buyers in Metro Vancouver. This is the fundamental reason we continue to see prices increase month over month across all segments,” Lis said. “With the benchmark price for apartments now standing at $767,000, we repeat our call to the provincial government to adjust the $525,000 threshold exempting first-time home buyers from the Property Transfer Tax to better reflect the price of entry-level homes in our region. This is a simple policy adjustment that could help more first-time buyers afford a home right now.”

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,203,000. This represents a 2.4 per cent decrease over June 2022 and a 1.3 per cent increase compared to May 2023.

Sales of detached homes in June 2023 reached 848, a 28.3 per cent increase from the 661 detached sales recorded in June 2022. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,991,300. This represents a 3.2 per cent decrease from June 2022 and a 1.9 per cent increase compared to May 2023.

Sales of apartment homes reached 1,573 in June 2023, an 18.6 per cent increase compared to the 1,326 sales in June 2022. The benchmark price of an apartment home is $767,000. This represents a 0.5 per cent increase from June 2022 and a 0.8 per cent increase compared to May 2023.

Attached home sales in June 2023 totalled 547, a 17.6 per cent increase compared to the 465 sales in June 2022. The benchmark price of an attached home is $1,098,900. This represents a one per cent decrease from June 2022 and a 1.5 per cent increase compared to May 2023.


Credit to:  Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver



In June, the Metro Vancouver resale market continued to surprise on the upside, with rebounding sales activity and month-over-month benchmark price appreciation. Despite a hike to the overnight interest rate on June 7, which caught many off-guard, buyers are showcasing their long-term confidence in Vancouver real estate. There is still a willingness to enter a complex market that is experiencing impacts from several external sources.















The Greater Vancouver resale market notched its sixth consecutive monthly price increase in June, despite an elevated rate environment and a shift into the Summer season that typically sees sales slow. In particular, condominium prices have now nearly returned to 2022’s peak – showcasing the strength and speed of the recovery thus far.

Residential home sales in the region reached 2,988, a significant 21.1% increase compared to June 2022, but are still 8.6% below the 10-year seasonal average of 3,269 sales. On the supply side, inventory levels remain a key challenge for the market, with 9,990 properties listed for sale in June. This represents a 7.9% decrease compared to the previous year, and a 17.4% drop below the 10-year seasonal average.

This ongoing mismatch between buyer demand and inventory levels is reflected in the sales-to-listings ratio, which was 31.4% for June 2023. Significant upward price pressure is expected to persist at these levels, with further gains in the HPI benchmark price expected in July.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,203,000, a 2.4% decrease from June 2022, but a 1.3% increase from May 2023.





























Parallelling many of the themes North of the Fraser, the Fraser Valley real estate market experienced solid sales activity in June, returning to levels consistent with the 10-year monthly average. Overall, the region recorded 1,935 sales, marking a significant 51.1% increase compared to June 2022 and a 13.1% increase compared to May 2023, which contradicts usual summer patterns.

In terms of supply, the FVREB received 3,424 listings in June, reflecting a 2.8% increase compared to the previous year but a 3.1% decrease compared to May 2023. Despite gains in inventory levels in recent months, there still needs to be more active listings to meet current demand levels. Consequently, the sales-to-listings ratio was 37%, up 3% from the previous month, and suggesting a heated seller’s market.

These dynamics have supported the prevailing trend of rising prices in the Fraser Valley. June saw the fifth consecutive price increase of 2023, appreciating 2.1% month-over-month to an overall benchmark price of $1,040,900.

























The Victoria Real Estate market saw steady performance in June, with 705 properties sold, a 15.2% increase from June 2022 but a 6.6% decrease from the previous month. Per VREB Chair Graden Sol, this is a return to a more traditional seasonal sales cycle – with a peak in Spring followed by a reduced but stable Summer market.

Inventory rose by 7% compared to May 2023, with 2,342 active listings, a positive sign in a market that has seen depressed listing activity. Despite this, the overall sales-to-listings ratio remains at an elevated 30.1% – indicating a similarly tight market as seen in the Lower Mainland.

In June, benchmark prices in the region were $1,310,100, a 1.0% increase from the previous month, but remaining 7.0% down year-over-year.


Credit to: MLA Canada Newswire, July 6, 2023

Vancouver And Toronto Are Never Going To Be “Affordable,” So Now What?

Vancouver And Toronto Are Never Going To Be “Affordable,” So Now What?

PUBLISHED: 2:28 PM JUN 21, 2023

Last month, economists at the Bank of Montreal released a report on Canada’s “affordability conundrum” that delivered some sobering news for anyone paying attention.

Despite “a significant price correction” across most of Canada, affordability remains elusive — and is unlikely to gain traction any time soon. The authors also underscored their long-held position that more housing supply will not be the fix we need to address the housing crisis.

So instead of asking when we might see market housing become affordable again, is it time to ask — at least in certain urban markets — if it’s time to accept high prices as the new normal? If we accept that reality, say some experts, then we can have an honest discussion about the need for subsidized housing and alternative forms of ownership, and acknowledge that any additional market supply will not reduce prices.

After all, even when we do see price drops in Vancouver and Toronto, they are negligible, not near enough to resume the affordability of a decade ago.

The general rule is that housing is affordable when it accounts for no more than one-third of one’s gross income. On June 1, the National Bank of Canada released its quarterly affordability monitor, which showed mortgage payments as a percentage of one’s income had reached nearly 61% nationwide in the first quarter. That’s a drop of 3.2% from the previous quarter, which doesn’t seem like much. And it comes after having reached the most unaffordable level in more than 30 years.

Mortgage payments as a percentage of income in Vancouver are at 95% and 83% in Toronto, far above the historic average for those cities. In Vancouver, where the median home price is $1,192,356, that’s a down payment of $238,471 and 340.8 months of saving for it. The annual income required is $242,045 and the monthly mortgage payments are $6,643.

In Toronto, the median home price is $1,137,570 and a down payment of $227,514 takes 297 months to save. That requires an annual income of $230,923 in order to cover the mortgage payments of $6,338.

“I think unfortunately we are always going to have a situation now where even people of average income are going to really struggle, and people of lower income will only be able to be housed through government subsidies and assistance,” says Vancouver developer and real estate consultant Michael Geller.

“The more I read about people working in restaurants and people earning minimum wage, I wonder how they manage. It really is quite disturbing.”

Clay Jarvis, mortgage and real estate expert for personal finance company NerdWallet, says the country has painted itself into a corner where home prices are concerned.

“We’re dependent on real estate for driving both GDP and personal wealth in this country, so if some silver bullet policy magically brought home values back to where they were in 2013, we’d be looking at pure economic carnage,” he says.

The BMO report explains unaffordability as a conundrum, which is why supply can’t fix it. Any time prices actually do drop and profit margins get narrower, developers have less incentive to build (that scenario is playing out in Vancouver). Meanwhile, the development industry can’t keep up with increased domestic demand and record-level immigration, so it’s seemingly impossible for the industry to keep pace.

“While most argue for a supply-side fix, our longstanding view has been that it’s wishful thinking to believe that an industry, already running at full capacity, can double output in short order, flood the market with new units and bring prices and rents down,” say the report’s economist authors.

“They are basically suggesting this booming population meant to ease labour markets is putting pressure on the housing market because supply can’t keep up,” Realosophy President John Pasalis told his audience at his monthly live talk on Thursday. “They [BMO] had this fantastic chart that looked at price growth — the real house price appreciation relative to the population growth across different countries and they found a clear pattern. Canada, Australia, New Zealand and countries that have the most booming populations are also seeing the most rapid appreciation in house prices. And countries where population growth is slow — Japan and Italy are at the lowest end — are not seeing much growth in home prices. So there’s definitely a relationship. And they argue a 1% increase in population growth leads to a 3% increase in house prices. If we are at 2% in population growth, that’s 6% growth, and the reason it’s very hard for the construction sector to keep up with the boom.”

Pasalis said afterward that high home prices and rents are a trend that’s difficult to reverse, and politicians likely don’t have much interest in trying.

So instead of wondering when home prices might drop, it might be time to look for ways to negotiate the rough terrain. Geller believes that there will soon be a return to models that are in line with the sharing economy, popular with the tech industry.

We will look to the old-fashioned equity co-op, where residents own shares in a building and lease back the units. The model is a precursor to strata condos and is less pricey because there are restrictions, New York style. There’s also co-ownership, whereby separate parties own principal residences together.

Alex Hemingway, senior economist and policy analyst at Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, refuses to surrender to unaffordability as a way of life. He believes that we could follow Auckland, New Zealand’s model and densify low-density zones while adding significant public housing for low-incomes. He’s still a believer that more supply could at least cause rents to flat line until affordably priced housing gets built.

“Do we have to give up? No we don’t. Significant citywide upzoning has been a rarity and yet there is lots of theory and evidence it would be good idea — but [we] haven’t seen it happen. Maybe we will soon.

“A striking example is Auckland. They did significant citywide upzoning back in 2016 and the results are quite impressive. They played out exactly how the theory would predict a significant increase in housing supply and as a result, and most importantly, rent growth slowed down substantially. If adjusted for inflation, rents in Auckland where upzoning happened are lower now than in 2016. Which is not the trajectory of other cities in New Zealand.”

Jarvis believes it will take a lot more than zoning changes to turn the affordability crisis around. He sees major disruption as the only way out, such as targeting investors who are buying up properties to take advantage of high rents. Investors compete with first-time buyers because they focus on entry-level condo units.

Earlier this year, a Statistics Canada report showed that nearly one in five properties was used as an investment in BC, Ontario, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia combined.

Jarvis suggests temporarily limiting the number of properties an individual can own or raising the down payment requirements for buyers with more than one secondary property.

“Either strategy would reduce competition and ensure housing wealth isn’t concentrated among people who already own homes. But what politician is going to suggest something that would be so unpopular with wealthy voters, developers, and real estate companies?” he asks.

“Our housing market is like a person who hasn’t gone to the dentist in 20 years. The time when a little fluoride and floss would have kept things healthy is long gone. The only way forward now is serious, potentially painful intervention. If we really want to provide housing that first-time buyers can afford, we’re going to have to fire up the drill.”


Link : https://storeys.com/toronto-vancouver-never-affordable/?utm_campaign=Newswire_Real%20Estate%20Insider&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=263563694&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8d1cCvoyzHpySU8wm3lJoGkLSK679gbrQPANlv43BRL6x1xlxB5WUVtbs_jT9t122YnJkb6B2mVQk-zy3VZ9x5BCq7gw&utm_content=263563694&utm_source=hs_email

Credit to:  Kerry Gold, weekly real estate column for the Globe and Mail since 2008.


Housing Affordability Will Deteriorate Unless We Act Soon: CMHC Chief Economist

Housing Affordability Will Deteriorate Unless We Act Soon: CMHC Chief Economist

When Bob Dugan surveys the future of Canada’s housing market, he doesn’t see the rosy picture many long for. 

“I’m actually worried that affordability is going to deteriorate rather than improve unless we can do something about it,” the chief economist at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation told The Canadian Press on Friday.

A day earlier, the country had learned from the Canadian Real Estate Association that the actual national average home price was $729,044 in May, up 3.2 per cent from a year earlier, while the seasonally adjusted average home price was $715,290, up 2.7 per cent from April. The average topped $1 million in the Greater Toronto Area and several parts of B.C.

Dugan’s feelings about the lack of affordability have been festering within the federal housing agency for some time, prompting it to ring alarm bells last summer, when it revealed the country needed to build 3.5 million more homes than it is on track for to reach some semblance of affordability.

A year later, the situation looks no better. Some 271,000 homes were built two years ago and roughly 260,000 last year, Dugan said.

The annual pace of housing starts — a measure of when construction on homes begins, and a key indicator of how Canada is addressing housing supply gaps — dropped 23 per cent in May compared with April as starts of apartments, condos and other types of multi-unit housing projects in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal fell.

Dugan is now forecasting between 210,000 and 220,000 will be constructed this year.

“I hope my forecast is wrong, but the way things are looking right now, I’m not optimistic that we’re on track to doubling the pace of housing starts.”

Starts aren’t strained because of a lack of interest or demand in building, but by labour shortages, higher interest rates and costs for materials, along with zoning issues and NIMBYism, which stands for Not In My Backyard and refers to people who object to something being in their neighbourhood but not in other regions.

Yet CMHC feels affordability is not unsolvable. It will just take many parties moving in tandem.

“There’s not one solution. There’s not one institution or level of government or organization that can address the issue,” CMHC chief executive Romy Bowers said in the same discussion as Dugan.

“It really requires all of Canada, an all-hands on deck type of response.”

The star of the response must be supply, she and Dugan agree.

Atop Bowers wish list is a more concerted effort to address the lack of purpose-built rentals.

She counts about 4.5 million of these units and though Canada has seen an uptick in recent years, most of its stock is “super old” because they were primarily built in the sixties, seventies and eighties.

But demand for these homes is sizable with immigration climbing — Canada’s population hit 40 million Friday — and many just want a roof over their head.

“But because we haven’t invested in purpose-built rentals there’s just not enough supply to meet the demand,” Bowers said.

CMHC has tried to spur more of these units with a rental construction funding initiative, which provides low-cost funding to borrowers during the most risky phases of rental apartment development.

But purpose-built rentals can be a long-term proposition, in Toronto it can take up to 8.5 years to build one from conception to move-in. Many builders just want to construct something, sell it and move on, so there’s less of an incentive to make these properties.

CMHC feels we could get even more built if every level of government collaborated on solutions.

Without the collaboration, the country is left in a tale of two housing crises, said Bowers: one where the most vulnerable people face a dire socioeconomic situation and another where the middle class are also struggling in the real estate market.

While each can be helped by supply, a shift in attitude may also be required.

“We have this idea that success means getting your own four-bedroom, two-storey home with a yard and that kind of thing,” said Dugan.

“I think we have to move away from that in large cities.”

While density is often villainized, it has been crucial in providing housing for so many other major cities like Hong Kong and London.

For Canada to replicate this, it would need people to come around on their NIMBYism, and for developers to build larger condos where people feel they have the ability to bring up children or have space for hobbies and visitors, said Dugan.

But how hopeful is CMHC that Canada can achieve any of this?

Bowers feels the challenges we face are solvable. Dugan agrees it will take action.

“Crisis often leads to innovation and new ways of doing things, and so I think I’m optimistic that we’ll find sort of solutions to build more efficiently,” he said.

“We will improve the situation, but it’s hard to build that into your forecast when you don’t know when that’s going to happen or what that innovation is.”

Credit to:  Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press | June 16, 2023

Beedie Unveils Fraser Mills Master-Planned Community in South Coquitlam

Beedie Unveils Fraser Mills Master-Planned Community in South Coquitlam

By Rob MacDougall, June 12, 2023

Located along the banks of the Fraser River in South Coquitlam, Fraser Mills will be the city’s first and only waterfront community. When complete, this 96-acre neighbourhood will be home to a collection of residences, restaurants, shops, extensive green space, plazas, and an aquatic and community centre. As a new landmark in the region, Fraser Mills will shape the future of Coquitlam and become a legacy milestone community for Beedie.

Beedie’s integrated team has envisioned a community in the spirit of the working river it runs alongside. Fraser Mills will celebrate the historic and cultural significance of the village that was built around the thriving sawmill. Masterplan partnerships include the City of Coquitlam, TransLink, Perkins & Will, Perry + Associates, and Bunt & Associates.



The development comprises 5,500 new homes, including options for strata and rental properties. It will also feature a vibrant urban plaza, childcare spaces, opportunities for innovative business, over 16 acres of park and recreation and plans for an elementary school. It is intentionally optimized to fully embrace life on the river’s banks, filled with gathering places, green spaces, and endless choices for work and play.







Situated on 96 acres of prime waterfront land, Fraser Mills is designed to be a complete community.

Fraser Mills also boasts an impressive array of amenities and features. Residents and visitors can find the restored wharf at the terminus of King Edward street, a new Fraser Mills pier, and a dog park. Organized activities are planned to enliven the social spaces seasonally, and recreational facilities will offer ample opportunities for fitness, play, and leisure. The park and recreation area will feature sports courts for tennis, basketball, and table tennis, playgrounds, a waterpark, and an urban beach, ensuring there is something for everyone to enjoy.

For more information on Fraser Mills, visit https://www.beedie.ca/residential/the-village-at-fraser-mills/

About Beedie

Beedie is a highly respected and experienced company based in British Columbia, with a nearly 70-year history of building dynamic and accessible communities and industrial spaces throughout Western Canada, Ontario and Nevada. They are involved in residential, industrial, and mixed-use projects, and take a holistic approach to their work. As a family-owned business, Beedie was founded on principles of intelligent design, thoughtful details, and craftsmanship, and they have remained true to these values throughout their growth. Today, they are the largest private industrial landowner, developer, and landlord in Metro Vancouver, and they continue to prioritize high-quality work and community-building in all their projects.

Media Relations:  Max Jakubke, PUBLiSH Partners

Credit to:  Rob MacDougall,

Bank Of Canada Raises Interest Rate For First Time Since January, Now 4.75%

Bank Of Canada Raises Interest Rate For First Time Since January, Now 4.75%

The Bank of Canada (BoC) put an end to its rate pause on Wednesday, announcing another 0.25% increase to its policy rate, bringing it up to 4.75%.

This marks the first rate hike since January, and follows two consecutive pauses from the bank as they waited to see how their already-implemented increases worked to tamp down inflation. Going into the rate announcement, experts were uncertain about what to expect, with a recent report from Desjardins calling it “almost a coin flip at this point.”
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