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Hot property

Date published : November 19, 2009 - Vancouver, British Columbia

If you want to make a cool 100 grand by flipping your Vancouver condo, then Keith is your go-guy. Did someone say bubble?
 
Housing booms & roofs over heads

Those looking for signs of recovery in the Canadian economy are quick to seize on the rebounding housing market. Having plummeted precipitously last fall and winter, Canadian home sales have bounced back with surprising vigour - and the glitzy Vancouver and Toronto markets are leading the way.

The Canadian Real Estate Association is reporting that home sales in some key markets are better than ever.  Housing sales for August 2009 were up 18.5 % compared to the same period last year, and the average house price rose by 11.3 % over the same period.

But a booming housing market does not mean that Canadians are better housed. “This recent hike in housing prices actually widens the gap between the house-rich and house-poor,” says Michael Shapcott, Director of Affordable Housing and Social Innovation at the Toronto-based Wellesley Institute, a non-profit research and policy institute.

To get comprehensive data on Canadians living without adequate housing, one has to go back to 2006 when census figures showed that almost 1.5 million Canadian households were in “core housing need” – an official category that includes people living in overcrowded or substandard housing, along with those spending more than 30% of pre-tax income on housing. Calculating an average of 2.9 people per household, well over 4 million Canadians were in “core housing need” in 2006.

That figure is likely to have increased during the current economic crisis, says Shapcott, citing a wealth of anecdotal evidence from housing and social agencies.  “Now with speculation pushing prices to pre-crisis highs and beyond, it gets even harder for low and mid-income Canadians, particularly tenants, to secure adequate housing.”

Facts & figures

Canada’s rebounding housing market: According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, 42,483 Canadian homes changed hands in August 2009, representing an increase of 18.5 % compared to August 2008.  In contrast, the sales figure for January 2009 barely reached 16,000.Record low interest rates and renewed consumer confidence are factors in the market recovery.

Vancouver leads the way: The sale of existing homes in Vancouver was up 117% in August 2009, compared to the same period in 2008. In Toronto the increase was 27 % for the same period, and in Montreal, it was 9 %.

New housing starts: The Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation (CHMC) predicts that construction will start on about 141,900 new homes in 2009 – and 150,300 in 2010. In BC alone, the CHMC projects 16,250 new homes in 2009 and 22,000 in 2010. In 2008, 34,321new homes were built  in in BC.

Core housing need: Canadians are considered to be in “core housing need” when they live in substandard or overcrowded housing, or if they spend 30 % or more of their before-tax income on housing. The most recent census indicates that 13.7% of all Canadian households in core housing need. This figure goes up to 15.8% for BC.

Growing income gap, more housing insecurity: According to a study by the Wellesley Institute, growing income inequality in Canada is causing increased housing insecurity, with one in four Canadians now living in housing insecurity.

Sources: CREA, CBC, Wellesley Institute, CHMC
 
Field director
Joe Moulins

Editor
Miguel Raymond

Director-coordinator
Hélène Choquette

Original score
Robert-Marcel Lepage


© 2009 NFB – All rights reserved
 
Is part of the story:
 
Theme
 
  • About 4 million Canadians are in "core
  • housing need" - they either live in inadequate
  • housing or pay more than
  • 30% of income on accomodation.
  • Source: 2006 Census, Statistics Canada
 

Comments(5)

Mr.

 

By Rick Stender - Date published: December 30, 2009 - Toronto, Ontario

@Stunned. In fact, the realtor said he uses tickets to bribe tenants into accommodating access to the apartment for showings; not to bribe clients. @Why? Why shouldn't the NFB profile a realtor? This series shows how people are dealing with economic uncertainty. Yes, a career in real estate offers potential for great reward, but it comes with no guarantees and carries it's share of risk,...

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The Market Sets The Price

 

By Keith Roy - Date published: December 12, 2009 - Vancouver, British Columbia

Hey, "why?" - the realtor doesn't cause the price to go up and down. Realtors all across Canada help people buy and sell homes, they don't set prices.

 

Why Stunned?

 

By Hannah McIntyre - Date published: December 11, 2009 - Salmon Arm, British Columbia

Those who are stunned and crying "Shame!" that money was spent making this piece are naive, and missing the point. They're making a moral judgement about something that, like it or not, is prevalent in practice. Look at it then, as educational for the new buyer who, having seen this clip, will immediately recognize similar offers as what this guy came right out here clearly saying what they...

More+
 

Why?

 

By fdasfds - Date published: December 11, 2009 - Vancouver, British Columbia

I agree with stunned. Why is taxpayer money being used to show the life of a realtor? This just seems like an ad for him and an ad to try to get people into the real estate business. It is this type of work that has caused Vancouver to be one of the most expensive cities in the world (with respect to local income).

 

Stunned

 

By Augusto Arrarte - Date published: December 9, 2009

I am stunned that you use taxpayer money to profile someone who is making a career by admittedly bribing clients in order to fund his lifestyle. Shame.

 

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