Daily Market Update

Townhouses needed to ease Vancouver’s affordability issue
Building more townhouses would help to ease the pressure on the housing market in Vancouver, according to a new report. The UDI/Vancity Housing Affordability Index highlights that a lack of townhouses means growing families stay in their existing homes longer than they would like, which in turn ties up property that first-time buyers could afford. Additionally, those looking to downsize do not have enough options. Jon Bennest of Urban Analytics told the Vancouver Sun that the lack of zoning for townhouses is one of the reasons for the undersupply; land is being made available for mid or low-rise condo developments with only a few townhouses on the ground level. The firm's Michael Ferreira said that there needs to be more land zoned for townhouse developments, He also recognized that this could be hard to do in downtown Vancouver, but acknowledged that some other communities would be ideal. The city’s planning manager Brian Jackson said that officials are looking to increase the number of townhouses in the city because they see the benefits of more being available. Read the full story.
Alberta builders expect moderate decline
Home builders in Alberta are expecting a decline of around 15 per cent from 2014 levels, according to a sample poll of Alberta members of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association. However, the outlook still exceeds the five-year average for the province. Multi-family units will take the biggest hit with a 20 per cent drop expected (16,840 units) while the construction of single-family homes will fall by 11 per cent (17,460 units). Read the full story.
Spryfield leads price growth in Halifax
Home prices in Spryfield have seen better growth than the rest of the Halifax area. The revelation was made at the annual Halifax Housing Outlook Conference, held by the CMHC, where data showed that those who have owned a home in Spryfield for a decade would have seen prices increase more sharply than other Halifax neighbourhoods as buyers sought out bargains while owners renovated their homes. From 2005 to 2014, the average price of a home in Spryfield jumped by $102,000. Elsewhere in the Halifax Regional Municipality, the average increase was $84,000, although prices are still below the average for the region ($231,000 against $274,000). 

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