Having raised the overnight rate twice, in July and earlier this month, the Bank of Canada will adopt a wait-and-see approach to its next interest rate hike, according to a Mortgage Rate Forecast reportpublished September 19 by the BC Real Estate Association (BCREA).
Having “surprised” Canada by turning “hawkish” with its sudden interest rate rises, the BCREA’s economists predicted, “We anticipate that the Bank of Canada will hold off on further rate increases this year and assess how higher rates are impacting the economic and inflation outlook.”
But the report added, “However, in the Bank’s recent communications, it has very clearly left the door open for more aggressive tightening should the current torrid pace of economic growth continue.”
The BCREA pointed out that the posted five-year qualifying rate has risen in response to the BoC’s first overnight rate hike. It said, “After the July interest rate hike, markets widely expected at least one additional rate increase in the fall, and so bond markets and lenders had already priced in the September increase by the time it occurred.”
It predicted that rising bond yields would result in further increases in the five-year posted rate and the average discounted five-year mortgage rate.
The report added that the rising posted five-year qualifying rate is “an interesting development, because it is the first increase in the posted rate since stricter qualifying rules for insured mortgages were imposed last fall.”
The BCREA concluded, “Our baseline forecast is for gradual rate increases over the next two years, with the Bank of Canada’s overnight rate ending 2018 at 1.5 per cent.”
Flurry of new home listings follows Labour Day long weekend, finds latest #REWCAP analysis
There was a host of new listings on the Greater Vancouver Mulitple Listing Service® last week (September 4-10) as sellers jump-started the fall resale market.
More than 1,300 home sellers listed their properties on the MLS that week, which is nearly 72% more than listed the week before.
That bumped the current total inventory to 9,370 homes available for sale in the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver region, as of September 14 – still not high, but a considerable improvement from the past summer weeks.
That total listing count breaks down as 5,730 detached homes, 1,233 townhomes/duplexes/rowhomes and 2,407 condo-apartment units available across Greater Vancouver.
The median listing price of a detached home remained just under $2 million, now at $1,999,000 as of September 14.
Median list prices for townhomes (including duplexes, row homes etc) and condos both rose slightly, to $938K and $678K respectively.
The most expensive home to be newly listed last week was a $12.89 million stone-and-glass mansion in the toney Chartwell neighbourhood of West Vancouver, with incredible views and a killer pool and terrace. The priciest new condo listing was a gorgeous Coal Harbour penthouse, also boasting a huge terrace, which came on the market September 5 for $7,688,000.
A lavish Shaughnessy estate priced at $34.8 million remains the most expensive listing in the Greater Vancouver region. But it has now been usurped by this Toronto mansion as the priciest home currently for sale in all of Canada, which is asking just $200K more.
BCREA says the move limits choice and may not protect consumers as intended
The BC government is set to ban the practice of limited dual agency, meaning home buyers and sellers will no longer have the option to choose one real estate agent to represents both parties in a single transaction, under strict new draft rules recommended by the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate and announced September 7.
The move, which is intended to protect consumers from any conflicts of interests created by agents representing both parties in a transaction, may not have the desired affect and will also prevent many consumers working with their preferred agent, according to a response by the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA).
"Every day, REALTORS® help their clients understand real estate transactions, so they can make informed decisions," said BCREA president Jim Stewart. "Over my nearly 25-year career as a REALTOR®, many long-standing clients have developed trust with me, and now my clients have no choice but to start from the beginning and build new relationships. Trust is a crucial part of what is often the largest financial transcation in people's lives."
The BCREA pointed out that the ban significantly limits consumer choice, as buyers may have a relationship with the listing agent on a home they want to buy, and will have to use an alternative agent. The association said it was concerned that this scenario could even lead some buyers, who might not be able to work with the agent of their choice, to opt out of working with an agent altogether.
"Rather than working with licensees they don't know, we're concerned people may decide to complete real estate transactions without representation," said BCREA CEO Robert Laing. "That goes against the consumer protection mandate of the Superintendent of the Real Estate and Real Estate Council of BC."
The BCREA argued that the practice of limited dual agency is crucial in small towns, in which there are far fewer agents for consumers to choose from. It said that it was "pleased" to see the BC government has proposed an exemption for smaller communities, however.