Thursday, 8 December 2011

Real Estate Roundup - December 8, 2011

New Home Building in Canada Drops 13% in November: CMHC

The Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation reported today that seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts was 181,000 units in November, down from 208,800 in October. The drop was due to the volatile multiple unit sector decreasing by 23%, while the single family market increased by 3.5%.

Although the drop is significant, it wasn't surprising to many economists who have long been warning the multiple unit sector was "too hot" and due for a correction. "While starts dropped to their lowest level since February of this year, the details of this report are hardly troubling. The market has corrected from a bout of surprising strength earlier in the fall," said Francis Fong of TD Economics.

GVA Housing Market Update for November 2011

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) released their GVA Housing Market update for November.

Among the highlights, 2,360 home sales which is a drop of 6% from November 2010, but up 2% from October 2011. November home listings increased by 3,222 which is up 2% from the 10 year November average, but down 26% from October 2011. Sales to active listings ratio is at 16%, well within the definition of a "balanced market."

World Class City AND Affordable Housing: Impossible?

Affordable Housing was in the news again this week, with several articles in major dailies dissecting the issue. It is a hot topic of late, specifically with the Vancouver mayoral elections and with the creation of the Canadian Rental Housing Charter to tackle the issue.

Vancouver promotes itself as a world class city, but the features that Vancouver has to make such boasts drive demand and subsequently prices up. Pete McMartin's article in the Vancouver Sun summarizes the argument quite effectively: "If you want to live in paradise, it will cost you."

Is affordable housing in Vancouver impossible?
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