A harris/Decima Poll conducted at the end of February shows Canadian consumer confidence at 67% for the period from December to February, the highest it has been since August last year but below the highs seen in recent years. “The roller-coaster ride may not be over yet, but the data suggest many feel that we have hit bottom and will gradually move upward from here,” said Jeff Walker, senior vice president of Harris/Decima. Currently 41% of Canadians feel it is a good time to make a major purchase, compared to 35% in December. Do you agree?
Secondly, yesterday the Bank of Canada dropped interest rates by .50 points and the Banks followed suit. Prime rate is now 2.5%. You can get as low as 4% on a 5 year term mortgage with monthly payments of $526. Calculate your payments.
Thirdly, Vancouver received 37,000 (net)new immigrants last year and is expected to see the same this year. For 2007 top source countries were China, India, The Philipines, USA, Pakistan, UK, Iran, Korea, France and Colombia. Since 1996 immigration from China & India are down 36% and 21% respectively and immigration from UK is up 38% and the numbers from USA and France are also up.
Fourthly, Vancouver rental vacancy rate is 0.5% and could double due to the number of condo owners that are unable to sell and have opted to rent instead.
According to the recently released Ipsos Reid BC Home Buyers report, four-in-ten (42%) British Columbians expect housing prices to be lower in twelve months, down from 57% in November. Overall, British Columbians are forecasting a 3.0 percent average drop in home prices in their community, an improvement from the end of 2008 when a 6.7 percent decline was projected. Three-in-ten (32%) predict prices will remain the same while two-in-ten (20%) predict prices will be higher. Residents of the Lower Mainland foresee an average decrease of 2.3 percent while those in the rest of BC expect a decrease of 3.8%. Consumers forecasting a bottom?
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