Which areas had the biggest home price increase in Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal?

September 12th, 2014

Neighbourhoods where home prices have gained most in Canadian cities.

When Canada’s national housing numbers are released Monday by the Canadian Real Estate Association, they’ll likely show some notable discrepancies between markets. Prices in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver have been hot lately, but not so much in other areas.

But that’s not the whole story. Even within cities, the variations in how different neighbourhoods have fared can be significant.

So Brookfield RPS pored through its data for some of Canada’s major centres for The Globe and Mail and determined which areas (it breaks them down by the first three digits of their postal code) have had the strongest price appreciation over the last five years. Top bragging rights go to those people who bought detached houses in Vancouver’s Dunbar neighbourhood in 2009, where the average price has more than doubled.

Vancouver

The best performing neighbourhoods for five-year price appreciation of detached homes in Vancouver are Dunbar, North Dunbar and the Queen Elizabeth Park area, which collectively saw prices rise a whopping 96 per cent. For condos, the top spots were the West End, Davie Village and New Westminster, which collectively saw prices rise 45 per cent. In comparison, the city-wide average price for all types of homes rose by 29 per cent.

Vancouver’s market has rebounded from its slump, and prices of detached homes have hit new records. The benchmark price of houses was up 6.6 per cent year-over-year in August, to $984,300, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. The benchmark price of condo apartments rose 3.6 per cent to $379,200.

Montreal

When it comes to detached houses in Montreal, the neighbourhoods whose prices have performed the best over the past five years are Westmount, Saint Laurent and Verdun. They collectively saw prices grow by 59 per cent. As for condos, the top locations for price growth were Saint-Lambert, Bois Chomedey and Nouveau-Rosemont, which collectively saw condo prices rise 69 per cent. In comparison, the average price of all types of homes city-wide increased 18 per cent.

Montreal’s housing market is currently showing signs of struggling, with the number of homes that changed hands during August coming in 6per cent lower than a year earlier, according to the local real estate board. Each of the main areas that the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board tracks – the North Shore, Laval, the South Shore, Vaudreuil-Soulanges and the Island of Montreal – saw sales fall last month. Sales fell by only 4 per cent in Vaudreuil-Soulanges and on the Island, making those the best performing neighbourhoods. The median price of a home in Montreal is currently $285,000, unchanged from a year ago.

Toronto

The top neighbourhoods for price growth of detached houses in Canada’s most populous city were Willowdale, Agincourt and Newtonbrook. Average prices in all of these neighbourhoods combined rose by 75 per cent over five years. The top areas for condo price growth were the Fairview Mall neighbourhood, Cabbagetown and the area around Church and Wellesley Streets. Collectively their condo prices rose by 47 per cent. That compares to average price growth of 43 per cent for all types of properties throughout the city.

At the moment, prices of detached homes in Toronto’s downtown core are outperforming those in the surrounding areas. The average price of a detached home in the central 416-area-code was up 14.7 per cent year-over-year in August, while the average price of a detached home in the suburban 905-area-code rose by 9.3 per cent, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board. The same trend does not hold true for condos, because the plethora of new towers under construction in the downtown core has been constraining prices. The average resale price of existing condos downtown rose by 4.1 per cent in August, while those in the 905 area rose by 5.4 per cent.

Calgary

The best areas to have bought a house in 2009, from a price appreciation point of view, would have been Killarney, South Calgary and Hillhurst, where average prices collectively rose 36 per cent in the period since. For condos, the places to have bought were the Beltline, Elboya, and Edgemont and the Hamptons. Those areas collectively saw condo prices rise by 24 per cent. The average price of all types of homes across the city rose 22 per cent.

Detached homes have become less affordable in Calgary in recent years, causing a significant rise in condo sales. Sales of existing condos rose 14 per cent year-over-year in August, while sales of single-family homes fell 2.4 per cent, according to the Calgary Real Estate Board. The benchmark price of a single-family home is now $512,300, up 10.24 per cent from a year ago. The benchmark price of a condo is $298,200, up 10.2 per cent.

Source: Tara Perkins, The Globe and Mail

This Canadian Real Estate Blog was brought to you by BestHomesBC.com. Looking for a home to buy in Vancouver? Check out BestHomesBC.com for properties for sale throughout British Columbia. Looking for an assignment condo? Check out AssignmentsCanada.ca for pre-sale condos for sale in Canada.

How long will house prices in Canada keep rising?

September 8th, 2014

House prices in Canada continue to climb

Home prices in Canada’s major cities are running at a rate many economists just don’t think is sustainable.

We won’t get a complete picture of sales and prices in August for a couple of weeks, but preliminary figures from local real estate boards suggest there’s plenty of momentum. And that has some economists wondering about how long this will last.

“Existing-home sales remained strong in a number of major cities in August and prices continued to outrun income,” Bank of Montreal economist Sal Guatieri wrote in a research note. “How long prices can continue to outpace family income in these major cities is unknown, but it can’t go on forever. The longer it does, the greater the risk of a correction when interest rates rise.”

Falling mortgage rates helped make homes more affordable heading into the summer, according to Royal Bank of Canada. And a recent survey by real estate consulting and research firm Altus Group found home buying intentions everywhere except B.C. were up this summer compared with a year ago. “While first-time buyer intentions are down slightly, homeowners with mortgages are showing more interest,” Altus Group said.

Policy-makers probably won’t do anything to cool prices now, since many smaller housing markets aren’t running as hot as Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

Here’s a look at how some markets across the country performed in August, according to data released this week by their local real estate boards.

TORONTO

– 7,600 homes sold on the MLS, up 2.8 per cent from a year earlier, and well above the 10-year average sales level of 7,059 for August.

– the average selling price of all types of homes in Greater Toronto was $546,303, up 8.9 per cent from a year earlier.

– the average price of detached homes in the downtown area covered by the 416 area code was $902,428, up 14.7 per cent; for condos it was $370,899, up 4.1 per cent; for townhouses it was $463,798, up 11.7 per cent.

CALGARY

– 2,267 homes sold on the MLS, up 3.4 per cent from a year earlier; condo sales were up 14 per cent and townhouse sales up 20 per cent, sales of single-family homes fell 2.4 per cent.

– the average price of a single-family home was $545,238, up 5.42 per cent, and the benchmark price of a single-family home was $512,300, up 10.24 per cent; the average price of a condo apartment was $332,006, up 11.48 per cent, and the benchmark price of a condo apartment was $298,200, up 10.2 per cent.

– the average number of days a home spent on the market before selling dropped to 39, from 45 a year earlier.

VANCOUVER

– 2,771 homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service, up 10.2 per cent from a year earlier and 4.3 per cent above the 10-year average for August.

– the benchmark price of all types of homes in Metro Vancouver rose 5 per cent to $631,600 (the benchmark seeks to create a more apples-to-apples comparison than the average price, which can be distorted by changes in the size or location of homes that are selling.)

– the benchmark price of detached properties rose 6.6 per cent to $984,300; the benchmark price of apartment properties rose 3.6 per cent to $379,200; the benchmark price of attached properties rose 3.9 per cent to $474,900.

OTTAWA

– 1,203 homes sold on the MLS, down 1.1 per cent from a year earlier, but a tiny bit above the five-year average of 1,199.

– the average sale price for all types of homes was $360,214, up 3.4 per cent.

– the average price for a condo was $263,996, up 2.7 per cent, while the average price of other types of homes was $381,628, up 1.9 per cent.

EDMONTON

– 1,552 homes sold over the MLS, down 6 per cent from a year earlier.

– the average selling price of all types of homes was up 5 per cent to $368,597, the median selling price was up 5.7 per cent to $348,900.

– the median price of a single-family home rose 5.8 per cent to $402,750, while the median price of a condo fell by 0.6 per cent to $228,500.

REGINA

– 348 homes sold over the MLS in the Regina area, down 8 per cent from a year ago. That was below the five-year average of 365 but above the ten-year average of 336.

– inventory levels are the highest they’ve been in more than 20 years. The number of properties for sale at the end of August was 223 per cent higher than two years earlier.

– the benchmark price was $299,600, down 2.4 per cent from $307,000 a year earlier and homes sat on the market for an average of 48 days before selling, compared with 32 days a year earlier.

Source: Tara Perkins, The Globe and Mail

This Canadian Real Estate Blog was brought to you by BestHomesBC.com. Looking for a home to buy in Vancouver? Check out BestHomesBC.com for properties for sale throughout British Columbia. Looking for an assignment condo? Check out AssignmentsCanada.ca for pre-sale condos for sale in Canada.

Vancouver single-family detached homes hit record high prices

September 5th, 2014

Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley home buyers have pushed up prices for single-family detached houses to record highs.

The benchmark home price index hit $984,300 last month for detached properties sold in Greater Vancouver, up 6.6 per cent from August, 2013.

In the Fraser Valley, which includes the sprawling and and less-expensive Vancouver suburb of Surrey, the detached price index climbed 3.4 per cent to $569,800 over the past year.

The record-high prices for detached houses will prompt more consumers, especially first-time home buyers, to shop for townhouses and condos, said Shaadi Faris, vice-president at Vancouver-based Intergulf Development Group.

Some baby boomers are selling their large detached homes and moving into condos while helping their children with down payments, fuelling the rally in housing prices in Greater Vancouver, Mr. Faris said in an interview Wednesday. “Locals have built up equity and are downsizing,” he said.

A variety of factors have led to property prices reaching new highs, including low interest rates, a stable economy and an influx of residents from other provinces and countries, real estate experts say.

Intergulf has been getting interest on its various projects primarily from prospective buyers who will live in their units. While there are many inquiries from long-time Vancouverites and people with recent ties to China, there are a small number of outright foreign investors, Mr. Faris added.

Intergulf began construction in early 2014 on its Empire at QE Park condo and townhouse project near Queen Elizabeth Park on Vancouver’s west side.

The index price for existing detached homes on Vancouver’s west side rose 9.7 per cent over the past year to $2,282,400, while increasing 10.3 per cent to $936,500 on the east side.

By contrast, the index price for condos on the west side reached $495,900 in August, up 5.7 per cent from the same month last year. Condo prices on the east side posted a 3.1-per-cent increase year-over-year to $313,400.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said the region’s housing sales rose to 2,771 in August, up 10.2 per cent from a year earlier and 4.3 per cent higher than the 10-year average for the month.

“Activity this summer has been strong but not unusual for our region,” Greater Vancouver board president Ray Harris said in a statement.

In the Fraser Valley, townhouse prices nudged up 0.1 per cent to $298,500 over the past year, but condo prices fell 3.5 per cent to $196,700.

Fraser Valley board president Ray Werger said many first-time buyers in the suburbs are able to afford townhouses or smaller detached homes, including new developments in Cloverdale and Langley.

Source: Brent Jang, Globe and Mail

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What is forecast for Canada’s house prices?

September 2nd, 2014

Canada house prices are scheduled to climb further.

The risk of a property market crash in Canada has not ebbed, according to an increasing number of analysts polled by Reuters who said chances of a steep fall in prices have increased in the past year.

Still, the survey medians showed house prices will likely rise more than earlier expected at least until 2017, reflecting ongoing reluctance by forecasters, many of whom work for mortgage lenders, to predict negative returns on property.

This year Canadian home prices on average will appreciate by 5 per cent followed by a 2-per-cent rise in 2015 and then again in 2016 after doubling in value over the past decade.

But seven of 20 respondents in the poll conducted Aug 19-26 said the threat of a property market meltdown had intensified over the past year, especially in Toronto and Vancouver, up from five of 21 in the May poll.

“[The] risk has increased due to house price increases significantly exceeding income growth and the oversupply of condos in downtown Toronto,” said John Andrew, professor at Queen’s University.

Canadian households on average hold debt worth more than 1.5 times their income and when mortgage costs increase once the Bank of Canada begins raising benchmark interest rates, it will make that burden even heavier.

The BoC will probably raise rates in the third quarter of 2015, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday. “Lower mortgage rates in the spring and summer have enticed more marginal home buyers who ultimately won’t be able to carry heavy debt load in the future when rates rise,” said David Madani, Canada economist at Capital Economics.

Still, the medians suggest prices will not decline nationally, at least not until 2017 – the end of the polling horizon. Even in Toronto and Vancouver, two of the country’s most expensive markets, prices are not expected to fall.

Many are of the view that prices will only cool, dodging a U.S.-style nosedive where property prices fell by more than a third, leaving millions of Americans in negative equity.

Thirteen of 20 participants said Canada’s housing boom is different from other real estate booms and is therefore unlikely to end in a crash.

“The risk of a crash is negligible, based on my expectation that any sustained increase in mortgage interest rates will be minimal – at most half a point by the end of 2015,” said Canadian housing economist Will Dunning.

Source: Anu Bararia, Reuters

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The world’s most expensive condo – a mere $440 million!

August 22nd, 2014

$440-million penthouse comes with chauffeur, caterer and infinity pool

Even by the sky-high standards of Monaco, a penthouse at the top of the Odeon Tower is set to fetch a vertiginous price, according to developers.

Tour Odeon, which is under construction and when finished will be the principality’s first skyscraper since the Eighties, will be topped with a five-floor penthouse that would cost a potential owner 300-million euros ($440-million), making it the most expensive in the world.

The penthouse will have several swimming pools, including a large infinity pool with a slide leading from a dance floor in the rooms above.

The 35,000 square-foot apartment will also come with a private chauffeur, a caterer, three staff bedrooms, a 24-hour concierge service and access to a health centre.

Tour Odeon, which will house 36 more luxury flats, will be Monaco’s first skyscraper since Prince Rainier banned tall buildings on the shoreline to avoid overshadowing the city. Instead he encouraged the development of wider, lower buildings built on an extension into the sea. His decision was reversed in 2009 by his son and successor, Prince Albert, and plans for the 560-foot Tour Odeon were drawn up.

One in three of Monaco’s 38,000 residents is a millionaire, according to a study by Spear’s magazine and WealthInsight.
Irene Luke, of Savills, the estate agency, who moved to Monaco in 1990 from London, said it was becoming increasingly popular with wealthy Britons.

“It’s becoming more and more like London by the sea,” she said.

Tax changes in some areas of Switzerland are also “making Monaco look like a very safe, stable place,” Miss Luke added.

The penthouse is expected to go on the market next year. So far, 26 flats have been sold.

Source: The Telegraph and Financial Post

This Canadian Real Estate Blog was brought to you by BestHomesBC.com. Looking for a home to buy in Vancouver? Check out BestHomesBC.com for properties for sale throughout British Columbia. Looking for an assignment condo? Check out AssignmentsCanada.ca for pre-sale condos for sale in Canada.

Canadian home sales rise for 6th straight month

August 15th, 2014

From a year earlier, sales rose 7.2%, the Canadian Real Estate Association said.

Sales of existing homes in Canada rose in July to their highest level since March 2010, notching their sixth straight monthly increase after a slow winter, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) said today.

CREA, the industry group for real estate agents, said sales were up 0.8% last month from June, surpassing June’s downwardly revised 0.6% increase. Actual sales for July, not seasonally adjusted, were up 7.2% from July 2013.

Canada’s housing market has roared back to life after an especially brutal winter that hurt home building, sales and prices. The bounce-back has been bolstered by low mortgage rates, which are not expected to rise significantly until 2015.

“The (recent decline in mortgage rates) will prove to be the more important determinant over the rest of the year,” Mazen Issa, senior Canada macro strategist at TD Securities, said in a research note.

“While we do expect that higher rates will curtail housing market activity, the magnitude remains small,” he added.

“The true catalyst will be the next stage of the policy normalization process by the Bank of Canada, which we do not expect will happen until the second half of 2015,” Issa said.

CREA’s home price index rose 5.3% from July 2013, little changed from June’s 5.4% gain. The national average price for homes sold in July, not seasonally adjusted, was $401,585, up 5% from the same month last year.

“Low mortgage interest rates continue to bolster home sales activity,” Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist, said in a statement.

“With the Bank of Canada widely expected to hold interest rates steady until next year, mortgage financing will remain attractive over the second half 2014 and continue to support Canadian economic growth, while waiting for Canadian exports and investment to improve.”

The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 53.6% in July, little changed from 53.4% in June and firmly entrenched in what is considered balanced territory.

There were six months of inventory at the end of July, unchanged from June and May, but half a month below the inventory level at the beginning of 2014, CREA said.

Source: Andrea Hopkins, Reuters

This Canadian Real Estate Blog was brought to you by BestHomesBC.com. Looking for a home to buy in Vancouver? Check out BestHomesBC.com for properties for sale throughout British Columbia. Looking for an assignment condo? Check out AssignmentsCanada.ca for pre-sale condos for sale in Canada.

Handy tips for first-time homebuyers

August 13th, 2014

Prepare yourself ahead of time before you seek a loan this year.

With mortgage rates near all-time lows and the government of B.C. saving first-time buyers up to $7,500 by increasing the First Time Home Buyer’s Property Transfer Tax limit from $425,000 to $475,000 (and partial savings up to $500,000), now could be the perfect time to finally take the plunge into home ownership.

If you are thinking of obtaining a loan of any kind, like a new mortgage, vehicle loan or any other loan, it is important to understand how the banks think. By setting up your finances as optimally as possible, you can increase your chances of getting approved instead of declined. Here are some tips for increasing your borrowing power in 2014.

Also, having all of your documents ready may allow you to make a more competitive offer on a timesensitive deal like a foreclosure in real estate. Here are some of the documents you will likely need: Two years of T1 Generals (tax returns filed to the CRA); Two years of Notice of Assessments (document sent back from the CRA once income taxes have been filed); Job letter and paystubs if an employee; Mortgage statements and lease agreements if you own real estate; And more, depending on your circumstances.

Find out what your credit score is

It is always a good idea to obtain a copy of your own credit bureau report ahead of time. Every time a lender does a credit inquiry, your credit score will take a small hit. Learning ahead of time whether your credit score is good or bad will allow you to prepare and fix anything that may appear on your credit rating.

You can obtain a copy of your own credit rating yourself at Equifax.ca.

Get pre-approved

If you plan on purchasing real estate or a vehicle in 2014, it would be a good idea to discuss your options with your broker or bank to learn more about what you qualify for. You don’t want to be wasting your time looking at making a major purchase only to find out you won’t qualify for the loan you need to make that purchase.

If looking to obtain a mortgage, get a pre-approval so that you will have a sense of what your borrowing cost will look like and lock in your interest costs.

Investigate RRSPs

If you are a first-time homebuyer, you can pull out up to $25,000 per person out of your RRSPs to be used towards the purchase of your first home. Important points about the first time homebuyer plan are: The $25,000 is tax free, but must be repaid into the RRSP over a 15-year period.

The funds have to be in the account for 90 days before you pull them out, so make sure if you plan on buying a house in the spring, you make an RRSP contribution this fall.

You can create “money out of thin air” by making an RRSP contribution shortly before purchasing because of the tax refund.

Example: If you deposit $20,000 into your RRSP and earn between $30,000 and $62,500 annually, you will get an approximate $6,500 tax refund once your taxes have been filed. You will now have $26,500 available for the down payment, not $20,000.

Filing your taxes

Generally, the sooner you file your taxes, the better. There are some exceptions, however.

Lenders will generally use either your minimum guaranteed income (common for salaried employees) or what you have averaged for the past two years on your income taxes (the net income on Line 150 on your taxes).

So, if you had a very good year in 2013 and have a variable income (self employed, or a large amount of your annual income is derived from commissions, bonuses, etc.) you should file ASAP. However, if 2013 was a very poor year, you can still get away with using your 2011 and 2012 income taxes to qualify for a mortgage or other loan until the summer. If you had a bad year, you may want to buy in the first half of 2014 instead of waiting.

Presales completing in 2014

If you have a presale completing in 2014, it is important to prepared ahead of time. The developer will usually give you an idea of the estimated closing date well in advance, but the dates often change.

Make sure you are prepared in advance. Once the developer is ready to close, they usually only give about 10 business days’ official notice which means you should already have your financing arranged. Rates can be held for 90-180 days depending on the lender (most lenders are 90-120 days) so start early to make sure you get the best possible rate by the completion date.

If you are buying a new presale that doesn’t complete until after 2014, make sure you find out if the developer has arranged a rate hold guarantee with a bank. The rate will usually be higher than current market rates but it’s important to have a worst-case scenario. Financing is harder than it has been in a long time. Make sure you get the update on what is new and how some of the new rules may impact you. Particularly for real estate investors, it is much more difficult to qualify for rental properties.

Source: Kyle Green is a mortgage broker with Mortgage Alliance Meridian Mortgage Services Inc.

This Canadian Real Estate Blog was brought to you by BestHomesBC.com. Looking for a home to buy in Vancouver? Check out BestHomesBC.com for properties for sale throughout British Columbia. Looking for an assignment condo? Check out AssignmentsCanada.ca for pre-sale condos for sale in Canada.

Vancouver home sales and prices continue to climb in July

August 5th, 2014

Residential property sales in Greater Vancouver saw a 3.9% increase from a year earlier.

The number of homes sold in Canada’s most expensive market topped 3,000 in July, marking a fourth straight month sales have hit that level.

The Vancouver sales market has not been this strong in three years, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

“The Greater Vancouver housing market continues to see slightly elevated demand from homebuyers, steady levels of supply from home sellers and incremental gains in home values,” said REBGV, in a release.

Residential property sales in the Greater Vancouver area through the Multiple Listing Service reached reached 3,061 last month, a 3.9% increase from a year earlier. Sales were also 3.8% above the 10-year average for the month. Sales were down 10.1% from a month earlier.

Prices also continue to rise with the board’s MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential property reaching $628,600, a 4.4% increase from a year earlier.

“Today’s activity continues to put Metro Vancouver in the upper reaches of a balanced real estate market,” said Darcy McLeod, the board’s president-elect, in a statement.

The sales-to-active-listings ratio reached 19.6% in Metro Vancouver in July, having hovered between 18% and 20% over the last four months.

New listings reached 4,925 in July, a 1.5% increase from a year ago. However, it was a 7.8% decline from a month earlier.

The total number of properties currently listed was 15,617, a 6% decline from a year ago and a 2.5% decrease from a month earlier.

Source: Garry Marr, Financial Post

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Vancouver’s Shaughnessy Heights is B.C.’s wealthiest neighbourhood

July 28th, 2014

Vancouver’s Shaughnessy Heights is B.C.’s wealthiest neighbourhood

It may not be the wealthiest city in Canada, but Vancouver is certainly one of them. And it’s also one of the most expensive to live in.

The city’s Shaughnessy Heights area – located west of Granville Street, from West 29th to West 39th avenue – is the country’s third-priciest real estate market with an average house price of $3.09 million, according to Canadian Business magazine.

The publication ranked Shaughnessy Heights as the fourth-wealthiest area in Canada and the wealthiest in B.C. in its Top 25 of Canada’s Richest Neighbourhoods, for 2014. It also had the highest average house price of the ranking’s top five neighbourhoods.

“In the nosebleed-inducing world of Vancouver real estate, Shaughnessy Heights still manages to stand out,” the ranking says. According to Canadian Business, the area has an average household net worth of $12.00 million – hefty, but not nearly as much as those above it.

Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver were the only cities in the top 10, perhaps not surprisingly.

Toronto also had the top three on the list, with Sunnybrook (average household net worth, $20.82 million) and York Mills-Windfields ($21.55 million) coming behind The Bridle Path, a neighbourhood with an average household net worth of $22.27 million.

“The residents of the wooded manors in Canada’s richest neighbourhood are as likely to be found abroad as at home,” reads the writeup on CB, noting that The Bridle Path’s residents are often on vacation or in Toronto at the city’s high-culture scene at galleries or the ballet.

“With one recently-auctioned 14-bedroom, two-pool mansion on Park Lane Circle being modelled on the Palace of Versailles, it’s clear that the residents of Bridle Path have a cultured eye for the world’s best things.”

York Mills-Windfields has the country’s highest average house price, at $3.40 million.

Other Vancouver neighbourhoods in the top 25 were No. 7 Kerrisdale (average net worth of $10.59 million, house price of $2.79 million), No. 11 Kerrisdale Park ($9.26 million and $1.89 million), No. 13 West Bay and Sandy Cove ($8.19 million, $2.90 million) in West Vancouver, and No. 14 Shaughnessy Centre ($7.82 million, $2.47 million).

Winnipeg and Calgary also had neighbourhoods in the top 25 for 2014.

The magazine’s rankings are based off its calculated average household net worth for each postal code – “the total net worth of all the households in each neighbourhood, divided by the total number of households,” it says.

“Net worth figures are compiled using publicly available census data as well as Environics Analytics market intelligence… The neighbourhoods themselves are defined by Statistics Canada.”

Source: Kolby Solinsky – BC Local News

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Canadian property prices set to rise 5.7%

July 8th, 2014

Canadian property prices set to rise 5.7% this year

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has updated its forecast for home sales activity and prices for 2014 and 2015.

Little is expected to change on the sales front but nationally average home prices are expected to increase by 5.7% in 2014 but by such 0.7% in 2015.

The CREA report says that an extraordinarily bleak winter resulted in slow start to 2014 national sales activity. As the first quarter ended, sales momentum heading into spring was constrained by a continuing shortage of listings in a number of local markets. However, the rise in newly listed properties in April and May supported an increase in sales activity.

Overall, the deferral of sales and listings reflects a delayed start to the spring home buying season, with combined sales for the period from March to May coming in largely as anticipated and at average levels. These deferrals are now likely to have been largely depleted, which suggests that the strength of sales momentum heading into the summer may be transient.

CREA’s forecast for sales activity in 2014 is largely unchanged from its previous forecast published in March. At that time, interest rates had been expected to start to edge higher in the second half of the year. However, it now appears that interest rates may not begin to rise until closer to the end of the year, which remains supportive for home ownership affordability over the balance of 2014.

Sales are forecast to reach 463,400 units in 2014, representing an increase of 1.2% compared to 2013. This is little changed from CREA’s forecast of 463,700 sales, a rise of 1.3%, published in March.

Activity is still expected to remain in line with its 10 year average and to hold within fairly short reach of 450,000 units for the seventh consecutive year.

British Columbia is forecast to post the largest year on year increase in activity at 8.3% and make the biggest contribution to the increase in national sales activity. B.C.’s projected increase in sales this year largely reflects a slow start to 2013.

Alberta’s annual sales are projected to rise by 3.8% in 2014, while activity in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario is expected to be roughly in line with 2013 levels. Sales are forecast to fall by 1.7% in Quebec, by 4.2% in New Brunswick, by 5.1% in Nova Scotia, and by 2.6% in Newfoundland and Labrador.

In 2015, the outlook for the economy, jobs and incomes is one of further improvement, accompanied by a slow and gradual increase in fixed and variable mortgage interest rates.

On balance, these two opposing factors should most benefit housing markets where sales are currently softer but prices remain more affordable. Sales in relatively less affordable housing markets are likely to be more sensitive to higher fixed mortgage rates, whether from the standpoint of higher monthly mortgage payments or qualification for mortgage financing based on the posted five year mortgage interest rate.

As such, provinces east of Ontario are expected to post the largest gains in activity in 2015 in the range of around 2.5% to 5% while sales in provinces from British Columbia to Ontario are forecast to remain little changed.

National activity is now forecast to reach 467,800 units in 2015, representing a further annual increase of 0.9%. This would result in sales staying in line with the 10 year average for the eighth year in a row.

Average prices have remained firm and continue to reflect a rise in the share of national sales among some of Canada’s most active and expensive markets compared to last year. Additionally, prices have been heating up in some markets, particularly in Calgary and Toronto where single family properties remain in short supply.

The national average home price is now projected to rise by 5.7% to $404,300 in 2014, with similar sized gains in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. More modest changes in average prices are forecast for all other provinces this year.

The national average price is forecast to edge up a further 0.7% in 2015 to $407,300. Alberta and Manitoba are forecast to post average price gains of2% in 2015, followed closely by Ontario at 1.2%. Average prices in all other provinces are forecast to remain stable, edging up by less than 1%.

Source: PropertyWire

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