Annual review of housing market released by CMHC

The 2014 Canadian Housing Observer has been released by the CMHC revealing detailed information and data about the current state of the market. Among the main conclusions the report shows that immigrants are increasingly looking to settle outside of the major cities and will typically rent for a time before buying. Seniors and aboriginals are also important influences on housing demand. The agency also notes that there has been a slight improvement in Canadians’ ability to service their mortgage debt but affordability is a major issue for the majority. On housing starts the report shows that condos accounted for a third of all new starts last year while in the big cities they accounted for more than half; in Vancouver the figure was 62.6 per cent. Read the full report.

CMHC concerned that housing here is more expensive than US
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Association has expressed concern that homes here remain more expensive than those south of the border. The agency says that it suggests an over-valued Canadian market and it wants to find out why the situation persists. While chief executive Evan Siddall described the housing market as “robust” a month ago CMHC is mindful of the possibility of a sharp correction and the impact that would have especially given Canadians’ high levels of household debt.

No downturn in Vancouver says Conference Board
A senior economist from The Conference Board says people are buying houses “from wealth as opposed to earnings”. Robert Wiebe said yesterday that much of that wealth is coming from foreign investors and he doesn’t see that changing anytime soon unless there is a downturn in the Chinese economy or China restricts the flow of wealth overseas. Wiebe believes that the market in Vancouver is steady and balanced and that demand will continue to grow across the country. Read the full story.

Calgary’s commercial market sees surge for $1m + and investment in apartments
The third quarter saw an overall drop in commercial real estate investment in Calgary but an increase in the top end. A new report from RealNet Canada says that $722 million was invested in Q3 2014 down 13 per cent on the previous quarter. Transactions over $1 million increased 48 per cent though. Retail deals outpaced offices and hotels while investment in apartments grew 248 per cent.

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