Steve Saretsky

Recent Posts on BCBusiness

May 4, 2020
Property Watch: COVID-19 has clobbered real estate sales in B.C., but will it push prices lower?

After getting off to a hot start for 2020, the Vancouver housing market took it on the nose from the COVID-19 pandemic. This black swan event derailed optimism for what should have been a brisk spring. Suddenly, sales ground to...

Feb 5, 2020
Property Watch: B.C. rental construction is on the rise

Buyer beware? In B.C., it’s more like buyer despair. The province’s volatile housing market has led to a drop in prices, but affordability remains a problem. Even with low unemployment and rising wages, owning a home remains out of reach...

Dec 19, 2019
Property Watch: B.C.’s 2020 real estate forecast is decidedly cloudy

It’s been a whirlwind of a year for the B.C. housing market. Gossip about real estate, often considered British Columbians’ favourite pastime, quieted to a whisper at the start of 2019. Sales volumes reached six-year lows and prices began falling—a...

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...

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