Barbara Yaffe: Vancouver’s real estate forecast to stay hot into next year, study finds -
Foreign money and a robust provincial economy will preclude any cooling of Vancouver’s red-hot property market next year, according to a major real estate study being released Wednesday. Office space is the one real-estate category where an oversupply is forecast in the city, to be accompanied by potential downward pressure on pricing.

Fort St. John anticipates Site C real estate bump -
Fort St. John’s sizzling real estate market will gain even more heat if the province approves BC Hydro’s proposed $7.9-billion Site C dam project in northeast B.C. That was the consensus Tuesday among city real estate participants as the provincial cabinet works toward a final decision on the hydroelectric development that would be built about seven kilometres from Fort St. John.

$350-M skyscraper project proposed for Fort McMurray -
A Vancouver-based company is proposing a $350-million development project that promises to forever change the face of Fort McMurray. If approved, the Golden Buffalo Centre would be constructed over three years beginning next spring and include two skyscrapers offering more than 600,000 combined square feet of office, hotel and retail space.

Barbara Yaffe: ‘Bullish’ market for Vancouver apartment buildings -
Affordable mortgage rates and low numbers of residential vacancies are making 2014 “a breakout year” for sales of apartment buildings across Metro Vancouver. The Goodman Report, a local newsletter covering multi-family investment property, notes that selling volumes have been robust, with prices per-suite in suburban Vancouver markets up 22 per cent over 2013, 13 per cent for buildings in the city.

Edmonton wins nine awards at CHBA-Alberta annual gala -
The Canadian Home Builders’ Association - Alberta presented its top prizes for 2014 Friday night, recognizing the best in the province’s residential construction industry. The annual gala, held at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, saw Edmonton pick up honours in nine of the 23 categories, with Calgary taking home 10, central Alberta three and Lethbridge one. Builder of the year — large volume is Calgary’s Albi Homes, while the small-volume builder of the year is Lethbridge’s Ashcroft Master Builder. Homes by Avi went home with the award for multi-family builder of the year for its projects in Calgary and Edmonton.

Barbara Yaffe: Even condos becoming out of reach in Vancouver’s sky-high housing market -
Condos have long been touted as the affordable housing option in Vancouver. Not so much, anymore.

House prices keep going up but they are more affordable thanks to cheap debt -
Mortgage rates near all-time lows is what is keeping costs down, but don't look for that to continue much longer, says RBC

Barbara Yaffe: Townhomes an affordable alternative in Vancouver -
Can’t afford a single-family home in Vancouver, and not enamoured with condo living? There is another option, albeit a frustratingly elusive one: townhomes. It’s a great option for people who want to be able to walk out their front door and be outside — as opposed to exiting via a corridor full of neighbouring units, an occasionally slow elevator and a lobby.

Emerging tech firms home in on Mount Pleasant -
A change in tenancy this fall at a major office building in Mount Pleasant signals what a commercial real estate expert says is another step for Vancouver’s emerging technology companies as they hunt for office space without downtown prices.

Barbara Yaffe: Broken windows, damaged fences as neighbours battle construction crews across the city -
When a construction crew began work last March on a property next to mine, I could not have anticipated the mayhem that would be visited on my quiet Kitsilano street.

UDI/FortisBC Index: Four people, four incomes, yet one house remains an elusive target -
While the Affordability Index hasn’t moved much in the past year, that is cold comfort for Kate Stewart and her husband Glen, who have been looking since May for a single-family house to buy in North Vancouver.

Barbara Yaffe: Demand grows for larger, family-size condo units downtown -
A push is on to build larger condo units in Vancouver, as young families increasingly opt for a type of housing that is at once more affordable and cosmopolitan. In recognition of the growing trend, developers are starting to build a greater number of three-bedroom units, once as rare as hen’s teeth.

Controversial Vancouver highrise moves closer to breaking ground -
A controversial condo development planned for Mount Pleasant is one step closer to reality after it was conditionally approved by the Vancouver development permit board.

Boom times for Vancouver high-end real estate -
Demand for luxury real estate in Vancouver is booming and should increase through the year, according to a new report by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. Eager buyers snapped up almost 40 per cent more million-dollar-plus condominiums and detached single-family homes in the first half of 2014 than they did during the same period in 2013, according to the luxury real estate report, a biannual study on market trends for pricey pads in Canada’s largest markets — Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal.

Township of Langley wins appeal, can resume construction of 3-story building on heritage site -
Construction of a sprawling three-story complex on a heritage site in the centre of Fort Langley that has been on hold since the fall can resume after Langley Township won an appeal in court this week.
The Coulter Berry Building project, which is a 44,000-sq.-ft retail and office building with an adjoining restaurant and 10 residential suites, came to a halt in November after the B.C. Supreme Court ruled the building exceeded the township’s height and lot requirements for a heritage conservation area.

Drop in mortgage rates giving boost to B.C. housing market -
Another healthy jump in real estate sales across the Lower Mainland in June is putting some areas “on the cusp” of a seller’s market where demand outstrips supply and pushes prices higher, according to reports released Thursday by the region’s major real estate boards.

Mortgage wars at big banks helps drive B.C. home sales: Economist -
The mortgage wars between big banks helped stoke British Columbia’s real estate markets to their busiest May since 2007, according to the B.C. Real Estate Association.

B.C. realtors post busiest May since 2007 -
The mortgage competition between big banks helped stoke British Columbia’s real estate markets to their busiest May since 2007, according to the B.C. Real Estate Association. The province’s 13 real estate boards recorded 8,729 sales through the Multiple Listing Service, a 14-per-cent increase from the same month a year ago with big bumps in the key Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley markets influencing the provincial increase.

CMHC to stop insuring mortgages on million-dollar homes, condo construction -
OTTAWA - Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says it will no longer offer mortgage insurance for homes that cost $1 million or more, starting July 31, even if the buyer has made a deposit of 20 per cent or more.

Is the ‘racist’ label being abused in Vancouver’s housing debate? -
An ethnic Chinese newspaper reporter is the latest to challenge the way Metro Vancouver real estate developers and their supporters have long used the “racist” label to muddy debates over the extraordinarily high cost of housing.

Barbara Yaffe: Brothers cashing in on real estate space race -
Flex space. Multi-functional. Affordable. Those buzzwords describe Vancouver’s latest response to crazy housing prices. Developers increasingly are building compact condos, with units as small as a few hundred square feet. Obviously in this scenario space maximization becomes key.

Lower Mainland real estate sales trend continues rise -
Property sales across the Lower Mainland continued at a rising pace in May, extending a trend of strengthening demand that began in the earlier months of 2013.

Barbara Yaffe: Condo marketed as ownership with privileges -
Condo towers are sprouting like mushrooms around Metro Vancouver, forcing competition among developers to find novel ways of attracting buyers. The River Green development in Richmond, with 458 condo units priced from $459,000 to $3.6 million, is pitching membership in an exclusive club for those signing on the dotted line.

Scotiabank joins wave as mortgage rates slided downward -
TORONTO — Scotiabank is the latest lender to create waves in the mortgage market after lowering its special fixed five-year rate to 2.97 per cent, the lowest fixed rate among the big banks.

Monthly cost of Metro Vancouver home eats up 82 per cent of typical income -
A rebound in Metro Vancouver prices in the first quarter of 2014 has pushed single-family homes back into the upper reaches of unaffordability on RBC’s regular housing-affordability index. The rise is a matter of supply and demand, said RBC senior economist Robert Hogue. Builders keep building more condominiums — which remain relatively affordable in Metro Vancouver — and buyers keep bidding up prices on single-family homes.

Home affordability expected to get even tougher, Royal Bank report says -
It’s becoming increasingly difficult for families to own a home in Canada and affordability is expected to get worse going forward, according to the Royal Bank of Canada. With house prices continuing to rise, RBC […]

Leaky condo crisis rears its head again in B.C. -
Evidence of a second wave in British Columbia’s leaky-condo crisis is beginning to emerge, 15 years after the first one subsided. It is becoming more apparent as condo strata corporations prepare mandated depreciation reports on their buildings. That process is forcing them to own up to the condition of their properties and the shortcomings of maintenance programs for structures that weren’t fixed in the first wave of repairs.

Out with the cold (city), in with the new neighbours -
Knock on any condo door in Metro Vancouver and you’re liable to hear of horror stories, hurt feelings and other fiascos. At best, you’ll find residents living in virtual isolation, often not even knowing their next-door neighbours. These stories about “condo hell” prompted Joseph Nakhla to launch Bazinga!, a service that’s bringing social networking to apartment living, a little like the fledgling Facebook did when it first connected students on campus.

Barbara Yaffe: ‘Globalized’ real estate market driving Vancouver prices -
“We no longer live in Vancouver. We live on the planet.” With that remark, renowned Vancouver realtor Bob Rennie attempted to explain the evolution of this city’s exasperating housing market.

Metro Vancouver baby boomers sitting on $163 billion of property -
Baby boomers in Metro Vancouver are sitting on more than $163 billion in mortgage-free property at a time when demand is increasing for new forms of affordable housing, real estate guru Bob Rennie said Thursday. In his annual statistics-filled address to the Urban Development Institute, the king of condo marketers said that equity will increasingly be freed up as retirees downsize.

Drive for density transforms Vancouver housing -
A single house in Vancouver is no longer a single house in the age of eco-density.

Higher rents forcing low-income residents from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside -
Low-income residents in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside who can only afford welfare rates are facing an increasing dilemma as the neighbourhood stock of single-room-occupancy hotels decreases.

Province wakes up to effect of developers’ fees on house prices -
Over many years, I have written countless times about the significant impact municipal regulations, policies and especially levies and fees have on housing prices.

New Westminster home rich with character -
Location two blocks from SkyTrain station and panoramic views also among the draws

Barbara Yaffe: Absence of data on Vancouver real estate market ‘mind boggling’ -
Charles Hou is a retired social studies teacher who has lived in Dunbar for 48 years. He has a bone to pick. “On my block, there are three empty million-dollar houses,” writes Hou, whose home is on West 39th Ave. “The house behind mine sits empty for 90 per cent of the year.

Vacation properties need to be marketed to poorer buyers for sector to rebound: real estate industry panel -
A recovery in the resort real-estate sector will depend on the ability of developers to connect with a less wealthy buyer than they targeted before the recession and cater to the values of multiple generations, a panel at the Urban Land Institute’s spring conference heard Friday. “We can’t be selling forever to this very narrow segment of the upper echelon of the marketplace,” said panelist Ed Romanowski, CEO of Calgary-based Bellstar Hotels & Resorts. “It just won’t sustain itself.”

Vancouver’s Granville Island held up as urban beacon -
Granville Island cited as prime example of merging housing, shopping and office space, Urban Land Institute audience hears

Don Cayo: Vancouver is biggest winner when forests, farms and mines do well -
A lot of city slickers underestimate the value of resources to the B.C. economy, but a new think-tank makes the case that it is Metro Vancouver that benefits most when traditional hinterland industries prosper and grow. “An initial boost to natural resources in B.C. spreads to other industries through demand for inputs or more spending induced by higher incomes,” writes Philip Cross, formerly StatsCan’s chief economic analyst, in a paper released today by Resource Works, a newly minted, Vancouver-based think-tank that intends to specialize in resource-related issues.

Buyers were on the hunt for houses in March -
Buyers favoured houses in the suburbs and condos in pricier urban communities in March, according to sales results released Wednesday for the Lower Mainland’s main property markets. March sales showed an improvement from a year ago, but transactions continued to trend below their 10-year average, according to the reports.

Barbara Yaffe: Rising cost of Vancouver houses means it may be worthwhile to rent -
VANCOUVER — Renting a place may be the last, best real estate bargain in Vancouver, and a majority of the city’s residents are taking full advantage. With unaffordable house prices in the region getting all the attention, it’s easy to forget that 52 per cent of Vancouverites rent.