BC Housing and Mortgage Insights Newsletter - January 16, 2024

A curated collection of insightful articles chosen for offering a comprehensive overview and expert analysis of the latest trends, predictions, and changes in BC's mortgage and housing sectors. Updated weekly, a great resourse whether you're a homebuyer, seller, or investor, each article chosen for the purpose of helping to equip you with the vital information needed to navigate this ever evolving market. Subscribe

BC Housing Market Stability

The British Columbia housing market has shown signs of stabilization over the past year, particularly in Metro Vancouver, where residential asset prices exhibited few fluctuations. BC Assessment reported a modest change in the values of single-family homes and strata properties, with an overall cumulative assessment growth to nearly $2 trillion in 2024. This growth includes $27.2 billion from new constructions and property rezoning.

BC's Multi-Front Housing Strategy

British Columbia tackled its housing crisis through various initiatives in 2023. Efforts included the removal of the policy enquiry process for homebuilding applications in Vancouver, the launch of digital permitting tools, and the introduction of eComply for design compliance checks. The BC government also digitized the building code and permitting process and released housing targets for municipalities under the Housing Supply Act. Additionally, the City of Kelowna explored using AI in housing, and there were advances in modular housing for supportive living.

2024 Housing Market and Interest Rate Forecasts

Predictions for the 2024 housing market include modest price increases and a rise in home resales. Various forecasts suggest a national average price increase between 0.5% and 5%, with a focus on the impacts of anticipated interest rate cuts. The Bank of Canada is expected to reduce rates by mid-year, influencing both the mortgage and housing markets. Big banks predict the overnight target rate to fall to around 4.00% by the end of 2024.

2024 Market Predictions and Rate Cuts

The 2024 housing market is expected to see an increase in supply, but not a massive wave of sellers due to high mortgage rates. However, the mortgage stress test might provide a buffer against defaults or forced sales. The second half of the year may witness a modest uptick in demand following anticipated interest rate cuts. Royal LePage forecasts a 5.5% increase in home prices by the year's end.

Can Canada's Big Six Banks Weather the Storm?

Canada's big six banks face the challenge of mortgage defaults and losses, but are expected to weather the storm. The Financial Times analysis indicates that around $900 billion in mortgages will require refinancing from 2024 to 2026. If the Bank of Canada maintains its high benchmark policy rate, mortgage holders could see significant payment increases. However, the banks are considered stable enough to handle these challenges, with potential rate cuts by the central bank anticipated to alleviate the situation.

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