Bureaucratic roadblocks continue to have a major influence on
Metro Vancouver’s housing supply, as these intricacies have led to
massively overdue project approvals, according to the recently
released Market Intel real estate report by MLA Canada.
Burnaby, Vancouver, and the District of North Vancouver are the
areas hit the hardest by these delays, with development approval
timelines being among the longest (at nearly 2 years) in the
In addition, construction costs have increased by almost 50% on
average over the past 5 years.This burden is almost always absorbed
by the end consumer, the MLA study noted.
“2019 is expected to be highly competitive, but an overall
balanced market with nominal price escalation will provide
purchasers with choice and value,” MLA Canada chief advisory
officer and partner Suzana Goncalves said.
Read more:Vancouver’s empty homes tax visibly improved
vacancy rates, supply
One bit of good news is an increased volume of new stock
incoming.MLA Intel is expecting 13,975 pre-sale units to be
released this year, considerably above the 11,584 in 2018.
However, the study quickly added that B.C.’s population will
experience consistent growth for the next several years, with
roughly 50,000 new residents in 2019 alone.
“With job opportunities remaining high compared to other
provinces, interprovincial migration will
A modest pace of sales characterized Regina as of the beginning
of 2019, although the city remains predominantly a buyers’
New numbers from the Association of Regina Realtors indicated
that during the first month of the year, sales grew by 1.2%
annually.The total volume actually ended noticeably above the
5-year average, however.
“The number of sales that took place in January exceeded our
expectations,” Association CEO Gord Archibald said, as quoted by
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s latest report
categorized Regina as a buyers’ market, with a moderate level of
“In Regina we’ve continued to see slower demand for housing
units whether it in the resale or new home market,” according to
CMHC senior market analyst Goodson Mwale.
Read more:Saskatchewan affordable housing gets
“We’ve continued to see elevated supply and that has continued
to put downward pressure on prices.Both in Regina and in Saskatoon
we’re seeing a buyers’ market conditions persist over the past
As of the fourth quarter of 2018, Regina’s supply exhibited
considerable abundance, which the CMHC attributed to overbuilding
during the past few years.This has also led to vacancy levels
seeing a marked increase, from 7% in 2017 up to the 7.7% rate in
Homeownership is becoming increasingly difficult to attain in
Calgary, but the city’s rental market is on fire.
In fact, the vacancy rate in the Calgary rental market decreased
from 6.3% in 2017 to 3.9% last year.
“The way this is connected to the rental market is a function of
these affordability challenges we’re seeing in the market, and
given the pressures put on an individual’s affordability—and we
know interest rates are higher—they are renting longer,” said James
Cuddy, a senior analyst with the Canada Mortgage and Housing
Another reason for the buoyant rental market is that
interprovincial migration was positive through the first three
quarters of 2018—a stark contrast to the previous 2.5 years of
negative growth—and that has also done its part to push the vacancy
“We’ve also seen some steady growth in terms of international
migration, so it’s contributing to higher demand for rentals in
Calgary,” added Cuddy.
The outlook for ownership, according to CMHC, isn’t as
rosy.Inventory levels are high in the city and builders have
started scaling back production.One reason for languid sales is
high unemployment and low disposable income.
“The general economic recovery we’ve seen since the last
recession has been relatively slow;unemployment rates remain
elevated and a lack of personal growth in
The value of Montreal’s residential property is seeing sustained
growth thanks to a booming economy attracting hopeful home buyers
from all over Canada, according to the latest figures from the
Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (QPAREB)
The market’s benchmark price for single-family homes increased
by 3% year-over-year in January, reaching $316,000.Meanwhile,
condos had 2% growth to arrive at $248,271.Plexes had a 4% rise
during the same period, settling at $515,000.
The numbers supported the observations of professional services
firm Shupilov Real Estate, which reported recently that Montreal
has become a highly sought after sellers’ market.Aside from the
price growth, galvanized competition was a significant factor that
leads country’s metro areas in price growth
“This is especially true in the single family home segment,
where bidding wars are increasingly common and offers are more
likely to be accepted above the original asking price,” Shupilov’s
This level of demand has steadily eaten up the market’s
inventory, with the number of active residential listings in the
CMA falling by 16% year-over-year last month (down to 20,873
properties for sale).
Montreal’s sales enjoyed its 47th straight month of sales growth
in January, with activity increasing by 15% annually, the QPAREB
This is despite plexes
The ratio of unoccupied residential properties in Vancouver
noticeably fell by 15% in just one year, and half of previously
empty homes have been moved to the rental market, according to the
initial returns of the city’s 2018 empty homes tax.
The Vancouver government stated that these figures point to the
effectiveness of the levy, with a tangible impact on both vacancy
rates and rental supply.
Overall, the number of the city’s vacant homes went down from
1,085 homes in 2017, to just 922 in 2018.
However, a markets observer warned that it might be too early to
celebrate the empty homes tax as a victory, since Vancouver is not
yet seeing an equitable distribution of relief.
Andy Yan, the director of the City Program at Simon Fraser
University, cautioned late last year that price declines have taken
place only in the top tier of the market, while the middle and
lower price brackets remained all but unchanged.
gov’t should do more to address shortages – mayors
“The softening of the market and cooling of the market is
something that is definitely happening,” Yan admitted, but quickly
added that it’s “a little bit premature to know whether the
policies are a success or failure.”
What if condo investing were as easy as owning a mutual
fund?Well, it can be.
Connect Asset Management will be at the Investor Forum on March
2 to explain how it helps
its clients turn one property into several and build portfolios
that cash flow millions of dollars.One of the ways in which Connect
Asset Management does that is by helping investor clients access to
some of the most exclusive real estate developments in Ontario.
“We help investors plan, invest and retire wealthy with cash
flow in condos,” said real estate broker and founder of Connect
Asset Management Ryan Coyle.“It’s completely hands-off for our
clients;we make investing in real estate as easy as owning a mutual
Connect Asset Management builds a strategy for its clients
predicated on timing—that is, strategically choosing when to
purchase a property.
“From acquisition to completion, there’s a tremendous amount of
growth on capital appreciation and rental appreciation, so when the
condo is built they have all this appreciation that gives them the
ability to refinance, pull out the equity and buy more property,”
said Coyle.“We help our clients identify the optimal time to flow
that capital into more properties.”
The strategy, which Connect Asset Management will decode at the
Investor Forum, is called
After a tumultuous 2018, the Toronto residential market is
expected to encounter notable improvements in activity and housing
value this year, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board’s 4th
annual Market Year in Review and Outlook report.
“Although we won’t experience record levels, we do expect to see
a better year in 2019 for sales and selling prices,” TREB president
Garry Bhaura stated.
A large part of the predicted upticks will stem from the
increased number of consumers intending to buy homes in
“Many buyers who moved to the sidelines over the past year due
to various government policies, including the OSFI-mandated
mortgage stress test, have re-evaluated their positioning in the
marketplace vis-à-vis home type, location and price point,” Bhaura
Total sales volume is forecast to increase from last year’s
77,375 transactions to 83,000 deals completed in 2019.Aside from
increased home-buying intentions, the growth will also be impelled
by healthy employment numbers, lower average fixed-rate borrowing
costs, and sustained population growth.
Read more:Toronto’s condo market can expect much
volatility this year
Prices are predicted to continue the moderate growth trend
established in the second half of 2018, the TREB said.The median
sales price in the GTA will reach $820,000, up from the average of
$787,195 in 2018 and
Intensified demand brought about by an influx of tech companies
has pushed Toronto’s office market towards becoming one of Canada’s
premier investment destinations, according to a CBRE Group
The vacancy rate of the office sector fell to 2.7% during the
fourth quarter of 2018, leading to commercial rental rates reaching
an average of $35.37 per square foot.
This far outstripped Montreal’s figures, which posted a median
rental rate of $22.76/sf on a 9.4% vacancy rate during the same
quarter.And Vancouver, while having a higher average at $37.20/sf,
did not command the level of Toronto’s demand, with a 3.8%
Even intensified development offered only the most minimal of
respites for the overheated market.As of the end of 2018,
approximately 14.2 million square feet of new commercial space was
under construction nationwide, with most of this situated in
Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal.
This was the strongest development activity since the first
quarter of 2016, the CBRE noted.
commercial investment to intensify this year
CBRE added that despite the 7.3 million sf of space still under
development in Toronto, “chronic shortage” will continue to
characterize the market for the foreseeable future.
For perspective, this greatly exceeds Vancouver’s 2.86 million
sf and Montreal’s 954,510 sf.This also continues the
The real estate investing gurus behind Keyspire are coming to a
city near you.
Michael Sarracini and his partner Scott McGillivray—who’s also
the star of Income Property on HGTV, a hit television show in 43
countries—are touring the
country to teach both seasoned
and neophyte investors the ins and outs of the business with
information sessions and workshops.
According to Sarracini, Keyspire’s CEO, at the two-hour and
three-day in-depth workshops, the tenets of Information Education
Implementation—the same technique used on Income Property—will be
The first tenet is about active and passive income.Instead of
merely buying to flip, investors are encouraged to build a strategy
and then a portfolio.Active income is the process whereby a
property is flipped or used as a rent-to-own, but passive income is
the turnkey rental property that’s buoyed by a plan to support the
That’s supported by what Keyspire refers to as tools and
techniques, one of which is called Flipping to Yourself—a staple
strategy on Income Property that McGillivray and Sarracini
implemented while the latter worked as a project manager during the
show’s first two seasons.
“We do rentals and we do them right,” said Sarracini.“When we
realized that flipping wasn’t for us, and not the same in Canada as
it is in
Much attention has been devoted to the feverish pace of housing
construction nationwide, although whether this has successfully
addressed the problem of supply remains an open question.
However, a recent study published by the Housing Policy
Debate journal argued that these inventory injections have in
the past few years tended towards being valued at market prices, a
fact that will still exclude a considerable number of would-be
The report stressed that governments at all levels should
“ensure that supply is added at prices affordable to a range of
“The challenge in housing affordability is to ensure that new
housing is built to meet the shelter needs across the income
spectrum and not just for high-income earners.It is true that even
housing built to draw market prices and rents over time, through
market filtering, will improve affordability for low-income
earners.However, the filtering process takes time.”
waning of Vancouver and the waxing of Toronto
A recent heavy influx of asylum-seekers has only complicated
matters.In late January, Canadian mayors urged the federal
government to do its part in addressing the supply shortages
brought about by this immigration volume, as the problem exceeds
the capabilities of just the municipal or provincial levels.
“[The federal government] makes the
Latest numbers from the Canadian Real Estate Association showed
that home price growth in Ottawa stood at a robust 15% average from
2016 to 2018.
This translated to a $56,300 increase in the average home price
during the time frame, reaching $433,500 as of December 2018.
The trend also represented a considerably accelerated pace from
2016, as the gain from December 2013 to December 2018 was around
$82,000, the Ottawa Citizen reported.
Much of this can be attributed to the market’s relatively high
average income, which pushed the city towards becoming one of
Canada’s most active sellers’ markets last year.
management firm closes $186-million transaction in
“Homes that come on the market are quickly sold, with multiple
offer situations often present,” according to John Rogan, broker of
record and branch manager of Royal LePage Performance Realty.
“Overall, healthy employment and wages are propelling higher
housing demand in the region.This increasing demand, coupled with
Baby Boomers remaining in their homes longer than previously
expected, is putting pressure on all housing types and fueling
As of Q4 2018, Ottawa’s aggregate housing price in the city went
up by 9.3% year-over-year to reach reached $475,831.
CREA’s figures indicated that Ottawa’s pace was noticeably
Several pressures have led Toronto’s condo market to a hotbed of
volatility, if new data from the Altus Group is any indication.
Transactions in the asset class fell by 38% year-over-year to
reach 21,330 sales.Although the total number was only 4% below the
10-year average, another report by Urbanation pointed to more
potential issues ahead, with supply-side problems taking center
“The slowdown in activity last year can partly be attributed to
less demand from investors, who typically represent the largest
component of new condominium purchasers [in Toronto],” Urbanation
The market insights firm emphasized that competition for condos
will be intense, as 98% of new units are already pre-sold, and more
than half of the new supply has been purchased for investment
Urbanation stated that the total number of condos scheduled for
completion this year is 21,991 units, representing a record
high.This will also be 29% greater than 2018’s completions.
gov’t should do more to address shortages – mayors
Toronto’s single-family properties, on the other hand,
experienced a significant 50% year-over-year fall in sales
activity, down to 3,831 transactions – fully 74% lower than the
“Real estate investment in general had a bit of a quieter year
after an exceptional 2017,” Altus
As every landlord surely knows, running a credit check during
the tenant selection process is paramount.However, not every
landlord realizes what to do with the information the credit check
“Every independent landlord knows that to screen a tenant, you
have to look at their credit, but a lot of them have no idea how
credit relates to a tenant’s ability to pay rent on time,” said
Jerome Werniuk, director of sales at Naborly Inc., which runs free credit
and background checks.“Ninety-five percent of landlords have
tenants show up with their own credit file, meaning they go to
Credit Karma or Equifax, but when we hear professional tenant
stories, these people come with doctored credit checks.
Doctoring a credit check is as easy as finding a template online
and filling it in as one wishes.It’s what Werniuk describes as a
huge problem within the industry.
While savvy landlords realize they can obtain credit checks from
Equifax or TransUnion, many still don’t know, nor have time, to
mine the information therein to decipher a tenant’s capacity for
prompt rent payments.
“To get a credit file from either of the credit bureaus, they
have to pay for it and a set-up fee for the individual’s report,
but there’s a heavy credentialing process
Rising interest rates and strict mortgage qualification resulted
in fewer Canadians seeking homeownership than rental accommodations
last year, and 2019 will bring more of the same.
“It’s going to continue,” said Marcus &Millichap’s Vice
President and Broker of Record Mark Paterson.“People will continue
renting rather than dealing with residential mortgages.The rental
market right now can barely keep up with the vacancy rate in
Toronto, for example, being around 1%.”
Competition for rentals will be even fiercer this year in urban
centres and that will push rents upward, creating a spillover
effect into satellite markets.
“The rental market will see an increase of 8-10% because of
demand,” said Paterson.“Unfortunately for people trying to find
affordable housing, they’re looking elsewhere in secondary
markets.They’re priced out of city centres, and that means the
talent pool for jobs will end up in secondary markets.”
The Marcus &Millichap’s 2019 Multifamily Investment Forecast
Report notes that apartment projects have become more financially
viable, as evidenced by 60,000 units in the pipeline
countrywide.However, that’s little relief given how few vacancies
“The number of occupied units grew by 50,000 last year,
outpacing supply growth nationally just as 37,000 new apartments
came online,” read the report.“The national vacancy rate declined
to 2.4%, the lowest reading since 2002.A shortage of construction
Vancouver’s affordability saga continues unimpeded as the city’s
single-family homes are now priced considerably above the median
household income, according to a recent study by the National
The analysis uncovered that the average monthly mortgage payment
for a median-price single-detached residence in the Vancouver CMA
was around 101.5% of the region’s average household income.
National Bank stated that this was an unprecedented high,
representing increases of 2.7% quarterly and 6.4% annually,
Business in Vancouver reported.
Falling salary growth combined with recent increases in interest
rates were cited by the study as the main contributors to the
trend, despite the fact that the median price of Vancouver’s
single-family homes during Q4 2018 went down by 0.7%
quarter-over-quarter, and had only a modest 1.8% year-over-year
Condos experienced a similar cooling, with the mortgage for an
average-priced unit in the Vancouver CMA accounting for 49.2% of
household income during the fourth quarter, increasing by 1.3% from
Q3 2018 and 6.3% year-over-year.
young professionals are packing up for greener pastures
A January report from Altus Group warned that there seems to be
no relief in sight for would-be home buyers in Vancouver, as the
market is “exhibiting the most potential for downside risk,” Altus
Aside from pricing issues,