Daily Market Update

Vancouver sales surge 60 per cent in February
Month-over-month MLS sales of homes in Greater Vancouver surged by 60 per cent in February, with 3,061 sales compared to 1,913 in January. This equates to a 21 per cent rise from February 2014 and 20.2 per cent above the 10-year average for the month. Ray Harris, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, said: “It’s an active and competitive marketplace today. Buyers are motivated and homes that are priced competitively are selling at a brisk pace right now.” In Metro Vancouver, sales of detached and attached houses and apartments rose by 15.4 per cent. The number of new listings was 11 per cent, down compared to the same month last year, but 10 per cent higher than January 2015. The benchmark price for all properties in Metro Vancouver is up six per cent from last February to $649,700. See all the figures.
Housing ‘out of reach’ in Toronto, Vancouver
A new report from RBC Economics said that housing is too expensive for many buyers in Toronto and Vancouver, but is becoming more affordable in Calgary and Regina. Although the interest rate cut in January and the resulting lower mortgage rates eased pressure on many markets, the higher prices in Ontario and B.C. meant Canada has become less affordable overall. The impact of lower oil prices has yet to translate to significantly lower house prices in Alberta, but the RBC report predicts that the situation will change. Read the full story
Canadians concern over the economy rises
Two separate reports this week showed the level of concern rising among Canadians about the state of the economy. Toronto advertising agency Bensimon Byrne reported that 55 per cent of respondents to its poll think the economy is in decline. The agency carries out the survey quarterly and this is the first time it has been largely negative since 2009. When asked about the cost of living, 90 per cent felt it was outpacing income. Meanwhile, the weekly Canadian Confidence Index from Bloomberg/Nanos fell again last week to 53.63 (from 53.84 a week earlier), further below the 55.22 average for the year so far. Although there was a marginal increase in those who felt the economy as a whole would be stronger in six months, the levels of confidence in personal finances, job security and real estate prices were reduced. The majority of respondents felt that home prices will be roughly the same in six months as they are now. 

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