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Steve Saretsky

Recent Posts on BCBusiness

Nov 15, 2019
Property Watch: An oversupply of condos is not a good sign

To put it mildly, the B.C. real estate sector has had a difficult 2019. As of the end of August, home sales sat well below last year’s levels, down 16 percent. While there have been encouraging signs in recent months that activity is picking up, the market and those who make their...

Oct 18, 2019
Property Watch: Rental construction resurges in B.C.

As developers struggle with weak condo sales, here come renters to the rescue No matter how old you are, the incredible real estate boom that inflated home prices across B.C. has made housing unaffordable. But few people feel this pressure more acutely than the millennial generation, whose growing desire for mobility and freedom...

Sep 11, 2019
Property Watch: More affordability in real estate comes with more turbulence

No matter where you stand on the debate over housing prices, it’s a safe bet that the B.C. property market will keep delivering a bumpy ride for the rest of 2019. There was no shortage of turbulence in June, which...

Aug 15, 2019
Property Watch: Condo sales downturn causes ripple effects

As the Vancouver housing market grinds to a halt, property developers are pulling back. Under the provincial Real Estate Development and Marketing Act, builders must sell about 60 percent of a project within nine months to obtain construction financing. Good...

Jun 21, 2019
Property Watch: Developers are on borrowed time

Although B.C. has arguably been the biggest beneficiary of the most recent housing boom, a tidal wave of cheap money has flooded across the nation and into the hands of real estate developers desperately trying to keep up with a...

Jun 7, 2019
Property Watch: How government intervention is affecting the market

It’s been more than a year since the B.C. government introduced a spate of policies aimed at cooling the provincial housing market, among them an increase to the foreign buyer’s tax and a speculation and vacancy tax. These changes, combined with a nationwide mortgage stress test and strict Chinese capital...

Apr 2, 2019
Property Watch: Will the federal government throw the housing market a lifeline?

Following a barrage of criticism and growing angst within the real estate industry, Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) assistant superintendent Carolyn Rogers faced the noise in a recent speech to the Economic Club of Canada. Rogers reminded the...

Mar 4, 2019
Property Watch: Have governments and other would-be tamers of the real estate market gone too far?

Despite a slowdown across the country, particularly in Metro Vancouver, which recently saw home sales plummet to their lowest annual total since 2000, policy-makers remain intent on depriving the housing market of much-needed oxygen in 2019. At the federal level, a...

Feb 5, 2019
Property Watch: Is the B.C. housing market on the ropes?

As expected, the B.C. government forged ahead with its speculation and vacancy tax, which took effect on January 1. This politically controversial yet publicly supported levy will penalize foreigners who don’t pay income taxes and leave a home empty for...

Jan 4, 2019
Property Watch: Will rising debt and borrowing costs send the province (and the country) into a housing crisis?

Central bankers worried about Canada’s economic health should listen to top U.S. hedge fund manager Ray Dalio. “Typically the worst debt bubbles are not accompanied by high and rising inflation, but by asset price inflation financed by debt growth,” the...

Oct 26, 2018
Property Watch: Will taxing profits from condo presales cause some projects to fold?

It seems like just yesterday that the Vancouver condominium presale market attracted hordes of buyers. Condo prices were climbing rapidly, and the desirability and curb appeal of a brand-new unit looked too good to pass up. Desperate buyers would camp out...

Sep 4, 2018
Property Watch: New mortgage rules are making their mark on B.C. home buyers and sellers

Housing markets are highly correlated with mortgage debt. If such debt is increasing, you can expect house prices to rise, and if it’s decreasing, look for them to fall. This trend has been well documented by Steve Keen, an economics...

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