Vancouver, Toronto real estate markets gone rogue: RBC

Plus, power outage problems and small business pessimism

Market: Impossible
While real estate prices in the rest of Canada remain relatively stable—with balanced supply and demand ratios and gradual price increases reflective of years past—this is not so in Vancouver and Toronto, according to an RBC report released Monday. “The Toronto and Vancouver markets really stand out because of their elevated and rapidly rising prices, and they are the main factors contributing to further modest erosion in affordability overall in Canada,” said RBC’s chief economist, Craig Wright, in the release. “Outside of Toronto and Vancouver, affordability levels are close to, or slightly better than, long-term averages, which suggests that housing affordability remains fairly neutral in most of Canada.”

Lights out
The Vancouver Sun reports that the windstorm that ripped through the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley this weekend—resulting in around 500,000 power outageshas also hit the bottom line for some businesses. Popular restaurant Burgoo, for example, closed its Kitsilano and Point Grey locations on Sunday, according to the Sun. Read the story here. As for BC Hydro, which has been bringing in workers from across the province to help restore power, a multi-day endeavour, check out our story from July for insight into how the organization staffs for such catastrophes.
Don’t stop believing
British Columbian small business owners are less optimistic than they were earlier this year, or last year—in fact, pessimism is the highest it’s been in roughly two years. That’s according to a new report—available here—from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, which surveys local small business owners on how they feel about future prospects and what their hiring plans are (or, you know, their laying-off plans). A sort of silver lining: as the chart below (an optimism index) shows, B.C. still beats the rest of Canada:

And things could certainly be worse. Here’s Alberta: