Young Vancouver families trapped in starter homes, finds study

It’s hard enough to become a homeowner in Metro Vancouver, with the average home price being almost double that of the national average. But for those young families who do manage to buy a starter home, moving to a space that can accommodate kids can be downright impossible, according to a Vancity study released September 17.

This means many families become trapped in spaces that are too small.

"Buying a suitable house isn't affordable for most families,” said Vancity’s vice-president of impact market development Andy Broderick.

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Interest rates to remain in holding pattern; mortgage rate forecast (June 2015)

Canadian mortgage rates have, more or less, held steady in the second quarter after trending surprisingly downward to start the year. The 5-year fixed rate, the qualifying rate for all insured mortgages, remains at 4.64 per cent, the lowest level on record. Key bond yields, from which mortgage rates are priced, have risen from their own record-low levels; however, those increases have yet to nudge mortgage rates higher and are unlikely to do so during the important spring/
summer home-buying season.

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BC home sales continue at brisk pace

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 10,174 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May, up 16.6 per cent from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $6.4 billion, a 30.4 per cent increase in comparison to the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $632,182, an 11.8 per cent increase since last May.

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Hottest April for home sales in a decade

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 9,952 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May, up 28.7 per cent from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $6.3 billion, a 45.5 per cent increase in comparison to the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $634,744, a 13 per cent increase since last May.

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Mortgage rate forecast (March 2015)

Since the Bank surprised markets in January, expectations for future rate decisions have fluctuated wildly, whipsawing longer-term interest rates. The five-year bond yield has recently rebounded after breaching the 1 per cent mark on its way to a record low of 0.59 per cent. Meanwhile, the five-year fixed mortgage rate, the qualifying rate for all insured mortgages, currently sits at 4.74 per cent. That may be the absolute floor on the posted five-year fixed given that a 75 basis point decline in the five-year bond yield translated to only a 4 basis point reduction in the qualifying rate.

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Bold 30-storey micro-condo tower proposed for Davie Street

Could micro-condos help address Vancouver’s housing supply and affordability issues?

Reliance Properties plans to build a 25 to 30-storey tower at 902 Davie Street, a site at the southwest corner of Davie and Hornby streets that is currently occupied by a 7-Eleven convenience store.

The tower will be comprised of micro-units between 175 and 275 square feet, with outdoor gardens every few floors and a rooftop space as well as amenities such as a dining spaces, an electronic library and a study hall.

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Vancouver’s tiny condos filling a bigger market niche

The great microsuite debate is a hot one because cities like Vancouver and Toronto are screaming for more affordability and density.

At the same time, there are those who are asking if it’s fair to expect people to live in less than 300 square feet and pay top dollar for it. It’s obvious why developers like the microsuite: the smaller the unit and the higher the tower, the greater the returns. In a low vacancy market with high rents, it’s a no-brainer for investors to snatch up microsuites and rent them back to people at a price that makes good on their investment.

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