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Active market ratio of buyers and sellers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic | REBGV

Where have the homes gone?

Keith Stewart

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s (REBGV) latest economic analysis takes a deeper look at housing supply trends in Metro Vancouver and the ratio of buyers to sellers that have been active in the market throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Metro Vancouver’s real estate market has seen heightened, and in some cases record-breaking, sales activity throughout much of this period. On the supply side, home listings have struggled to keep pace, causing inventory levels to reach lows not seen in years.

In this new report, REBGV Economist Keith Stewart assesses housing supply levels in Metro Vancouver and the factors affecting it during the pandemic. 

“After a brief lull in market activity in the early months of the pandemic as both sellers and buyers left the market, sales have been running above long-term averages due to a steep rise in demand. Prices have increased because supply (number of sellers) hasn’t kept pace.”

Keith Stewart, REBGV economist

In 2021, the market moved into a diverging pattern of rising demand and decreasing supply, placing renewed upward pressure on prices.

The ratio of buyers to sellers in the region peaked at 1.5 in March 2021 and remains elevated.

Current lows in housing inventory are, in part, a consequence of rising demand.

Despite high sales, many detached and attached sub-markets continue to see multiple buyers searching for homes compared to sellers.

COVID-19 has highlighted the challenge of crafting policies that help supply keep pace when demand rises. All levels of government can help by supporting policies that encourage supply creation.

© 2021 REBGV

Scotiabank ended the year with a much higher net income compared last year amidst pandemic

Scotiabank releases Q4 results

Ephraim Vecina

Find out how the Canadian banking giant fared

Spearheading the Q4 2021 round of earnings announcements, Scotiabank today reported net income of $2.559 billion in the quarter ending October 31, much higher than the $1.899 billion during the same period last year. Diluted earnings per share stood at $1.97, versus $1.42 a year ago.

Scotiabank also reported net income of $9.955 billion for the fiscal year 2021, compared to net income of $6.853 billion in 2020. Diluted EPS reached $7.70, up from $5.30 the year prior. Return on equity improved to 14.7%, compared to 10.4% in 2020.

“We ended the year with strong fourth quarter earnings and exceeded our medium-term financial targets in fiscal 2021. Our diversified business model demonstrated its resilience through the pandemic, and the bank is well positioned to achieve its full earnings power in the upcoming year,” said Brian Porter, president and CEO of Scotiabank.

Read more: Scotiabank planning phased return to office

Scotiabank’s Canadian banking arm generated adjusted earnings of $4.171 billion in 2021, up by approximately 60% annually. The increase was driven by lower provisions for credit losses and higher revenues driven by non-interest income and strong loan growth.

The bank’s global wealth management division also saw its adjusted earnings grow by 23% annually to $1.592 billion in 2021, driven by strong results across both its Canadian advisory and asset management businesses.

Another strong area for Scotiabank was global banking and markets, which saw earnings of $2.075 billion due to robust performance, prudent expense management, and lower provisions for credit losses. International banking, in particular, saw a 62% annual increase in adjusted earnings, reaching $1.855 billion due to strong commercial and secured lending loan growth, prudent expense management supported by accelerated customer adoption of digital channels, and lower provisions for loan losses, driven by improved credit outlook.

The bank currently has a Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio of 12.3%, which has made it sufficiently “capitalized to support its strategic growth plans and return capital back to shareholders,” Scotiabank said. “This quarter we announced a 10 cent increase in the quarterly dividend to $1.00 per common share, 11% higher than a year ago.”

“As we close out 2021, it is clear that our sharpened footprint and our significant investments in our digital capabilities have positioned the bank for a very bright future,” Porter said. “As we look forward to 2022, we expect to deliver strong growth across all our business lines, with optionality and multiple avenues to grow.”

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Aggregate price of a home will grow 15% in Q4-2021 compared to the same period last year

Vancouver home prices projected to jump 15 per cent annually by end of the year: Royal LePage

Michelle McNally

The cost of homes in Greater Vancouver are expected to keep rising through the rest of 2021.

In its House Price Survey for Q3-2021, Royal LePage forecasted that the aggregate price of a home in Greater Vancouver will grow 15 per cent in Q4-2021 compared to the same period last year. This prediction is consistent with the brokerage’s projections published in July.

The aggregate price, and all other aggregate pricing in the report, was calculated using a weighted average of the median values of all housing types using data from Royal LePage’s sister company, RPS Real Property Solutions. This includes both resale and new build homes. 

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“With no major relief to the inventory shortage on the horizon, I expect strong demand will continue to put upward pressure on prices, and that competition will persist through 2022,” said Randy Ryalls, general manager at the Port Moody-based Royal LePage Sterling Realty, in the report.

In Q3-2021, the aggregate price of a home in Greater Vancouver jumped 20.8 per cent annually to $1,221,400. When assessing different housing types, the median price of a single-family detached home increased the most at 23.4 per cent to $1,651,900. For condo housing types, the median price climbed 8.7 per cent yearly to $697,000 in the same business quarter.

Within the City of Vancouver, the aggregate price of a home grew 12 per cent annually to $1,326,600 during Q3-2021. In the same timeline, median prices for single-family detached and condos rose 14 per cent and 2.2 per cent to $2,399,600 and $766,800.“Vancouver and the surrounding greater region remains firmly in a seller’s market,” said Ryalls. “Although activity showed signs of slowing modestly in the summer and early days of September, the market has picked up again, now that families are back in their usual routines.”

Ryalls noted that competition remains tight in every  market segment as a result of low property inventory. The Greater Vancouver region currently has less than 9,000 listings, well below the approximately 15,000 listings needed for the market to be considered as balanced.

Interprovincial migration has also put “further strain” on British Columbia’s housing market, according to Royal LePage. StatsCan reported that the province saw the largest increase in interprovincial migration nationally during 2020-2021, welcoming 34,000 Canadians from out-of-province.

“Supply would essentially need to double in order to meet the current demand,” added Ryalls. “As a result of the shortage, prices continue to rise, forcing some buyers who have been priced out of the single-family detached market to purchase condominiums instead.”


On the national level, the aggregate price of a home in Canada jumped 21.4 per cent year-over-year to $749,800 in Q3-2021.

Based on the Royal LePage National House Price Composite — which uses national proprietary property data and information from 62 Canadian real estate markets — the national median price for single-family detached homes and condos also increased. The value of a detached home jumped 25.2 per cent year-over-year to $790,000, while condos saw an annual increase of 13 per cent to $533,600.

In Q4-2021, the aggregate price of a home in Canada will increase 16 per cent yearly to $771,500, Royal LePage predicts.

“Looking back to the late spring of 2020, the Royal LePage benchmark value of a home was $580,000,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage. “The subsequent ‘Covid-catalyst’ which drove legions of Canadians to upgrade their living situations, has created a period of exceptional home price growth with real estate values on track to grow 33 per cent by year end.

© 2020 BuzzBuzzHome Corp.

Canadian home sales record-holding levels logged in 2020

Canadian home sales set new record, beating 2020

Michelle McNally

 The year is not even over yet and Canada has posted the most home sales on record, surpassing previous record-holding levels logged in 2020.

In its monthly national market report for October, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) stated property sales grew from September to October as the average national home price rose on an annual basis.

“After a summer where it looked like housing markets might be calming down a bit, October’s numbers suggest we might be moving back towards what we saw this Spring, with regards to current market demand and supply conditions,” said Cliff Stevenson, chair of CREA, in the report.

“That said, one month of data is not a trend, so we’ll be watching how the balance of this memorable year plays out closely,” he added.

Here’s what we know from CREA’s latest insights.

Home sales soar to new highs

Year-to-date, 581,275 homes have been bought and sold between January and October across Canada. This has surpassed the total number of homes sold during all of 2020, which reported an annual record of 552,423 sales.

The number of yearly property sales for October 2021 was down by 11.5 per cent, a drop from October 2020’s record. However, last month was still the second-highest October for sales on record.

Month-to-month, home sales were up 8.6 per cent from September to October, the largest monthly increase reported since July 2020. Sales were reported to have increased monthly in three-quarters of all local markets and in all major cities. 


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”2021 continues to surprise,” said Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s Senior Economist, in the report. “Sales beat last year’s annual record by about Thanksgiving weekend so that was always a lock, but I don’t think too many observers would have guessed the monthly trend would be moving up again heading into 2022.”

Cathcart added that a month with more new listings allowed for more sales to take place, but with market demand so strong, the supply of homes for sale continues to shrink and is at its lowest point on record.

Less than two months of home inventory was available


The quantity of newly-listed homes coming online moved up by 3.2 per cent between September and October, with most gains in local markets.

However, on a national scale, there was just 1.9 months worth of inventory by the end of October 2021. This marks a half-month drop from three months earlier, falling back to February and March’s extreme lows.

“With so many markets starved for supply, it’s not surprising to see sales go up in months when more properties go up for sale,” the CREA report noted.

The sales-to-new listings ratio rose to 79.5 per cent, up from 75.5 per cent in September and 73.5 per cent in August. Based on sales-to-new-listings ratios, two-thirds of local markets were seller’s markets in October.

National home price continues to trend upward

The actual national average home price was $716,585 in October 2021, up 18.2 per cent from October 2020. When excluding Greater Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area from this calculation, the national average price drops $155,000 to approximately $561,585.

Last month, the Aggregate Composite MLS Home Price Index was up 2.7 per cent monthly and 23.4 per cent year-over-year.

When analyzing specific markets, British Columbia reported annual home price growth above 20 per cent, but this was lower in Vancouver. Year-over-year price growth came close to 30 per cent in Ontario and was reported to be a little over 20 per cent in Greater Montreal.


© 2020 BuzzBuzzHome Corp.

Canadian housing and rental market increase due to inflation data

Pandemic trends reduce housing supply, heat up rental markets

Ryan Garner

 Looming interest rate hikes have spurred sales and reduced inventory, heating up housing and rental markets on both sides of the border.

Zonda chief economist Ali Wolf outlined the latest economic and housing trends from the COVID-19 pandemic in a Nov. 11 webinar. She noted that buyers are expecting interest rate increases due to recent inflation data, which is pushing them toward buying sooner than later.

It’s a trend market watchers have also been noticing in Canada, with inventory levels low across the country and buyers anxious to get in ahead of higher rates.

“If I were a buyer right now I would be looking at some of the certainty of being able to lock in the rate where it is,” Wolf said.

Reduced inventory levels persist south of the border, with both new home and resale listings down 20 per cent from a year ago – a number that mirrors the Canadian situation.

Wolf anticipates supply increasing after the winter: “I think there are a lot of sellers that are trying to be opportunistic and trying to time the market correctly, and think that entering next year during the spring selling season will be a really good time.”

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Rising home prices and low inventory have also resulted in a hot rental market.

In the U.S., occupancies are at an all-time high, reaching 97 per cent at the national level, above the 95 per cent mark pre-pandemic. In addition, third quarter renewal rates are exceeding the 52 per cent benchmark in almost all markets.

Zonda managing principal Kimberley Bynum says the rental market is the hottest she’s seen in more than 30 years. REITs are reflecting that shift, with AvalonBay Communities reporting that rental rates are now equal to or greater than 2019 levels in every region except Northern California.

Canada’s two largest markets have also seen their rental markets intensify, squeezing supply and hiking prices. According to Zonda Urban, Toronto rent prices increased six per cent from $3.27 per square foot (PSF) during the second quarter to $3.46 at the end of the third quarter, a $0.19 increase. In Vancouver, rents rose an average of $0.10 PSF during the third quarter, an increase of 3.1 per cent.

Wolf attributed the numbers to two factors.

The first is a decrease in people moving out of rental communities to purchase. She cited a recent survey by Camden Property Trust indicating that move-outs to home purchases decreased from 17.7 per cent during the second quarter to 15 per cent in the third quarter, trending below the long-term average of around 18 per cent.

The second factor strengthening the rental market is the renewal ratio. At the start of the pandemic, the second quarter of 2020 saw rental renewals hit all-time highs. Those numbers dipped during the following year before rebounding to record levels during the most recent quarter.

Wolf pointed out that renewals increased because people that wanted to move did so earlier in the year, while others decided to stay put due to either limited housing inventory or increased rent.


© 2020 BuzzBuzzHome Corp.

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