BC, Bring Cash

Steve Saretsky -

We’ve talked a lot about the great reshuffling here. The pandemic changed a lot of things, including where people want to live, and how they want to live. The lust for bigger spaces for less money has driven an exodus away from the city. Recent data from Stats Canada shows Canadians are on the move. Interprovincial migration reached 123,500 people in Q2 2021. This is an increase of 55.1% from the previous quarter, and the largest migration since Q3 1991.

Ontario saw the biggest outflows, losing over 11,000 people and marking the largest outflows since the 1980’s. Meanwhile, BC & Nova Scotia enjoyed the largest inflows. To be honest i’m a bit surprised BC remains at the top of the charts. Clearly sky high home prices are not deterring people from moving here. The average home price in BC now stands at a whopping $901,000 a 17.2% increase from last year.

There’s really not a lot of affordable options left in BC. Here’s how average home prices stack up across the province, with annual price growth:

– Chilliwack $710,238 (increase of 21.3%)
– Fraser Valley $984,965 (increase of 20%)
– Greater Vancouver $1,174,176 (increase of 8.9%)
– Kamloops $558,291 (increase of 21.9%)
– Kootenay $431,639 (increase of 10.9%)
– Vancouver Island $695,085 (increase of 29.5%)

Despite a whole host of tax measures aimed at cooling the housing market, little progress has been made in curbing home price inflation. According to the BC Government’s latest property transfer tax data, foreign purchasers snapped up $126M worth of residential real estate in BC last month. While that might sound like a lot, it only accounted for 1.12% of total transactions. In other words, foreign buyers whether it be individual or corporate are not moving the market today. Please don’t send me your hate mail. I understand there is a difference between a foreign buyer and foreign money, however, the foreign money is predominately Canadian citizens and or permanent residents. In other words, we have an immigration/ globalization problem. BC = Bring Cash.

Speaking of immigration, Canada’s population growth is back on the mend after a sharp reduction during the pandemic. Canada welcomed 75,084 net newcomers in the second quarter, which is still below the average of 115,600 pre-pandemic. Let’s hope housing completions remain strong before the immigration floodgates ramp higher towards the Liberal Governments target of over 400,000.

Three Things I’m Watching:

1. Interprovincial migration suggests people continue to flow into BC & Nova Scotia. (Source: Better Dwelling)

2. Canada’s population growth is on the mend, but well below pre-pandemic levels. (Source: Edge Analytics)

3. Foreign buyers snapped up $126M of residential real estate in BC during the month of August. (Source: BC Government)

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The Saretsky Report. December 2022