BC Mortgage Rates Update

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					BC mortgage rates update
The latest data from the Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC) reveals that the forecasted rise in the BC population during 2008, will increase demand for houses, while price growth will slow.

British Columbia's natural beauty will drive demand for home ownership
Housing starts will be above average, but decline slightly in 2008 and 2009 as economic and job growth slow. Single detached home starts will move lower to levels very near their 10-year average. High land, labour and material costs will result in even higher home prices and an above average share of multiple-unit projects. Tight labour markets will also keep wages and incomes rising, as well as people moving to the province. B.C.s natural beauty, mild climate and abundant recreational opportunities will cause retirees from other parts of Canada to gravitate to Vancouver Island and interior communities. The increase in population will fuel demand for both home ownership and rental accommodation. Consumer confidence, while down slightly, is relatively positive, boosted by past strong job growth and the increased buying power of the high Canadian dollar. New jobs added in 2007 will drive housing demand through 2008. Consumer spending and investment will be the key drivers of economic growth.

First-time and small down payment buyers will decrease
Expect slightly slower growth in the B.C. economy and employment to lessen housing demand. Financial market volatility and uncertainty stemming from the U.S. housing slowdown are clouding the economic outlook for British Columbia. A strong Canadian dollar and low level of new home construction south of the border will have a negative impact on the provinces exports, particularly softwood lumber and tourism. The negative demand effects of growing mortgage carrying costs will be offset somewhat by those homebuyers opting for longer amortization periods. Existing home sales through the Multiple Listings Service (MLS) will edge down slightly, as first-time buyers and buyers with small down payments play a diminishing role in the market. Price growth will slow as increased listings and fewer resales bring supply and demand for existing homes into balance. Existing home sales will edge lower in 2008 as buyers face higher mortgage rates. Homebuyers will see more choice in existing home markets as listings rise, keeping resales above their average level.

British Columbia's home prices will outpace inflation
While home prices will grow more slowly, the average MLS price will outpace the general rate of inflation. Increased home listings and fewer resales will bring supply and demand for existing homes into balance. High home prices in the Vancouver CMA will result in some people selling their homes and relocating to other, less expensive, areas of the province.

British Columbia key stats
Source: Stats Canada

Metric

British Columbia

Canada

Population

2007
Consumer Price Index

4,380,300

32,568,000

111

113

Mar'08 (2002 = 100)

Average earnings
(Feb'08)

$40,427

$40,914

Unemployment rate
(Mar'08 )

4.3%

6.0%

Housing starts
(Mar'08)

32,300

243,000

2007 (E) Average Residential Resale Price

$438,299

$306,397*

12.1%
$464,500

10.6%
$322,400*

2008 (F)

(annual % change)
2009 (F)

6.0%
$487,500

5.2%
$334,500*

5.0%
$28,100,555,000

3.8%
$152,478,903,000

Chartered banks

Mortgages approved by lenders, residential 2006

Trust companies

$942,247,000

$6,664,898,000

Life and companies other

$4,171,025,000

$30,225,144,000

Total
2007 E = estimated by the CMHC

$33,213,827,000

$189,368,945,000

* Canada calculation excludes Yukon and Northwest Territories Data based on application received date Mortgage approval data are gross and may not fully capture lending activities of credit unions, caisses populaires, other smaller institutions and privately-insured loans in some areas Quebec data is understated due to low response rate to the surveys in that province. *Conventional Lending data only

Local Market Indicators
Census Metropolitan Area Total Housing Starts MLS sales MLS average price

2007

1,088

3,843

$338,976

Abbotsford

2008 (F)

1,200

53,650

$365,000

2009 (F)

1,100

3,500

$385,000

2007

2,805

5,584

$410,175

Kelowna

2008 (F)

2,700

5,100

$443,000

2009 (F)

2,400

5,000

$465,000

2007

20,736

38,978

$570,795

Vancouver

2008 (F)

18,500

36,000

$615,000

2009 (F)

18,000

35,000

$645,000

2007

2,579

8,403

$466,974

Victoria

2008 (F)

2,275

7,700

$487,000

2009 (F)

1,845

7,300

$498,000

Sources: CMHC, Canadian Real Estate Association, Local Real Estate Boards, Statistics Canada MLS = Multiple Listings Service

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