Average Canadian home prices have surged $100,000 since August — the sharpest surge on record.

A new report by the Royal Bank of Canada notes that average home prices in Vancouver jumped a record $143,000 in six months, while Toronto homes have risen $139,000.

“Yet it was markets in the periphery that led the way. Single-family home prices soared $145,000 in the Fraser Valley since August. Hamilton-Burlington (up $137,000), Kitchener-Waterloo (up $114,000) and London-St. Thomas (up $104,000) weren’t far behind” RBC economist Robert Hogue wrote in a note Monday.

“Single-detached homes also got a lot more expensive in other B.C. markets, virtually all of southern Ontario, and parts of Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces.”

Latest data from the Canadian Real Estate Association for February shows national home sales jumped 6.6 per cent, compared to January. CREA’s home price index rose 3.3 per cent month-on-month in February — a record-setting rise.

CREA’s non-seasonally adjusted home price was up 17.3 per cent on a year-on-year basis in February — its biggest gain since April 2017 and close to the highest on record.

The rapid surge in home prices have brought in even more speculators and also triggering the so-called Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) instinct among buyers who were eager to enter the fray before prices run away further from them.

“A recent uptick in longer-term interest rates might also be dialing up the eagerness to act with some seeing the increase as a turning point for interest rates,” Hogue said. “In short, self-reinforcing price dynamics have taken hold in many parts of Canada, and are poised to keep things boiling in the near term.”

But there is little chance of speculators getting their comeuppance any time soon, with markets crashing and those sitting on the sidelines swooping in to pick up bargains.

Hogue expects a soft landing for home prices, as long-term interest rates eventually rise, and prices modestly decline by late 2022.

The supply side is also fuelling the market, with inventory levels at 1.8 months of sales, the lowest ever for February. Canadian home starts also stood at 246,000 in February, compared to 284,000 in January. While home starts remain at historically high levels, they are clearly not enough to calm markets.

Ksenia Bushmeneva, an economist at TD Bank Group, says that historically tight supply of houses on the market will continue to push prices higher in the near-term.

“However, home price growth is expected to moderate in the second half of this year, as prospective sellers become more comfortable listing amid accelerating vaccination pace and buyers shift their attention to more affordable options,” the economist noted in a report published Monday.

Daren King, economist at National Bank of Canada, expects some government regulations coming in to cool the sizzling market.

“With such a strong and widespread level of activity in the real estate market, we do not rule out the possibility that the government will consider macro-prudential measures in the coming months to cool the market,” King said.


Source: Financial Post


In 2020, buyers got a big boost in the housing market as mortgage rates dropped throughout the year. According to Freddie Mac, rates hit all-time lows 12 times this year, dipping below 3% for the first time ever while making buying a home more and more attractive as the year progressed.


When you continually hear how rates are hitting record lows, you may be wondering: Are they going to keep falling? Should I wait until they get even lower?


The Challenge with Waiting

The challenge with waiting is that you can easily miss this optimal window of time and then end up paying more in the long run. Last week, mortgage rates ticked up slightly. 

Mortgage rates jumped this week as a result of positive news about a COVID-19 vaccine. Despite this rise, mortgage rates remain about a percentage point below a year ago.” 


While rates are still lower today than they were one year ago, as the economy continues to get stronger and the pandemic is resolved, there’s a very good chance interest rates will rise again. Several top institutions in the real estate industry are projecting an increase in mortgage rates over the next four quarters.


As a buyer, you need to decide if waiting makes financial sense for you. If you’re planning to buy a home and want to take advantage of today’s low rates, now is the time to do so. Don’t assume they’re going to stay this low forever.

Let's connect you with a mortgage expert to find out your purchasing power.



Mortgage shoppers take note: Cheap money is here to stay, at least for the next two years, the Bank of Canada reaffirmed during its interest rate decision on Wednesday.

The BoC had previously provided guidance that rates would remain at their effective lower boundcurrently 0.25%“until 2 percent inflation target is sustainably achieved,” but went a step further this time by providing a specific year.

“The Governing Council will hold the policy interest rate at the effective lower bound until economic slack is absorbed…In our current projection, this does not happen until into 2023,” the Bank’s statement read.

As part of the announcement, the BoC decided to leave its current policy rate at 0.25%, where it’s been since March.

What Does this Mean for Mortgage Rates?

The Bank’s announcement affects both fixed and variable rates. Fixed rates are expected to remain low, and likely fall further, due to the Bank’s renewed commitment to purchasing longer-term bonds, which will help keep rates low for the ever popular 5-year fixed term.

And the Bank’s guidance on maintaining its overnight rate at 0.25% until at least 2023 bodes well for existing variable-rate holders, to the extent they can rest assured their rates won’t rise.

But the Bank’s continued reluctance to entertain negative rates also means that new floating-rate mortgage holders aren’t likely to see their rates fall any further. (Although, an additional rate cut can’t be completely ruled out. Overnight Index Swaps markets are still pricing in a 15% chance of a 25-bps cut in the next 12 months.)

In this environment, many borrowers are gravitating towards fixed rates.

A recent BMO survey found that 57% of first-time buyers said they’ll choose a fixed rate when they’re ready to secure their mortgage. Another 30% who were undecided said COVID has made them more likely to choose a fixed rate.

“The best nationally available 5-year fixed and variable rates are currently just 5 bps apart. Insured 5-year fixed rates are below variable rates,” wrote RateSpy founder Rob McLister. “Most consider a 5 bps rate premium peanuts for peace of mind, as they should…Even if the BoC dropped rates 25 bps, the cost of being wrong by choosing a 5-year fixed is modest ($245 of extra interest per year per $100,000 of mortgage).”

And while the Bank said rate hikes are off the table until at least 2023, some economists believe they’ll remain where they are for longer than that.

“We see this as a reasonable timeline but wouldn’t be surprised if the overnight rate remained at 0.25% into 2024 as well,” economists at National Bank of Canada wrote. “As always, the progression of the pandemic will be in the driver’s seat here and ultimately dictate the health of the economy, and thus, monetary policy.”

Let's connect you with a mortgage specilaist to determine your purchaseing power today by contacting Iwa at


The real estate boards and associations in the province, together with the Real Estate Council of BC, recently removed the recommendation that REALTORS® not hold open houses. This recommendation had been in place since mid-March.

The decision to hold or not hold an open house remains one for home sellers to make with their Realtors.

This change to permit open houses came with new safety guidelines that were approved by WorkSafeBC. If you plan to attend an open house soon, you’ll notice that Realtors are implementing a variety of safety measures to comply with today’s public health protocols.

With that in mind, here are seven things you can expect at open houses during today’s period of physical distancing:

1. You’ll need to sign in

The attending Realtor will ask you to sign in when you arrive at an open house. This is required for contact tracing. If you get sick later, it’s important to see who you came in contact with so they can be tested and potentially isolated.

2. You’ll need to wear a mask

Using a mask is an effective way of preventing the spread of COVID-19. Realtors will likely ask you to wear a mask when entering an open house to help protect you and other house hunters.

3. Follow direction and keep your distance

To help you keep physical distance, Realtors will remind you to keep at least two metres (six feet) distance from other parties at all times. In areas of the home where this becomes difficult, like hallways or staircases, the Realtor may create one-way paths. Follow their directions to keep everyone safe.

4. Look, don’t touch

Remember that an open house may still be someone’s home. Please refrain from touching any surfaces or using the bathroom. The Realtor will turn on all lights and keep all doorways open to help make this easier. If you would like to look at something closer, talk to the attending Realtor.

5. Wash your hands

Washing your hands helps prevent spreading the virus. The Realtor will set up a handwashing station at the entrance of the home.

6. Keep everything clean

Cleaning all surfaces is a key part of the provincial health protocols in place to fight COVID-19. If you’re looking to hold an open house, work with your Realtor to come up with an enhanced cleaning plan to keep your home clean and sanitary.

7. Pre-screen the home

Before choosing to attend a physical open house, do online research on the home to ensure that it is a good fit for you. Review the listings on, walk or drive through the neighbourhood to make sure that it’s located somewhere you’d like to live.

New technology, like livestreaming, virtual tours, 3D cameras, and “dollhouse” digital layout programs can effectively show you what the inside of the home is like without having to enter it.

Ultimately, the best thing to do is to talk to your Realtor. They’re experts when it comes to all things real estate and will be able to help guide you to make the right decisions to meet your housing needs.


If a strata property owner, or one of their family members, requires a support pet, a strata corporation must accommodate them, according to an April 2020 decision from the BC Human Rights Tribunal.

The case began last year when a strata owner who is a parent asked permission from their strata corporation to have a support dog for their disabled 14-year old daughter. 

The strata’s bylaws did not allow dogs. The parent requested an exemption from the no‐dog bylaw.

In response, the strata presented its strata owners with two motions at an AGM, which proposed either:

  1. amending the bylaws to allow one dog, or
  2. empowering the strata council to grant exemptions to the no‐dog bylaw for medical reasons.

Both motions failed and the strata told the parent there would be no exception to the bylaw.  

The parent filed a human rights complaint, alleging the strata’s refusal to exempt the daughter from the no‐dog bylaw discriminated against the daughter based on her disabilities, in violation of the BC Human Rights Code, section 8.  

The parent asked the Human Rights Tribunal to order that their daughter is exempt from the no‐dog bylaw.

The tribunal found that the application of the strata’s pet bylaw prohibiting a dog discriminated against the daughter based on her disability, contrary to the Human Rights Code, section 37(2)(a).

The tribunal ordered the strata to stop applying the pet bylaw to the daughter, and not to commit any similar contravention in future.

This decision doesn’t overturn the ability of a strata corporation to maintain or adopt bylaws that limit or restrict the number of pets in a strata lot. However, it does mean the corporation is obligated to make an exemption if the applicant’s request is reasonable.

“In a previous decision, the BC Human Rights Tribunal established a test that is clear for strata councils, specifically a strata can’t, through its membership, contract out of the BC Human Rights Code,” said Tony Gioventu, executive director of the Condominium Home Owners’ Association of BC (CHOA).

This means that a strata corporation can’t rely on a vote of its membership to deny an accommodation.

“Compliance with the BC Human Rights Code comes first and strata councils should make every attempt to work cooperatively with applicants as they relate to access to buildings or strata lots, environmental conditions, health issues, and accommodation or intended accommodation within a strata lot,” Gioventu said.

Information Guide: Accessibility in Strata Developments: What Does the Human Rights Code Require? (opens 8-page pdf)
For information visit the CHOA website at or phone 1-877-353-2462.


The Residential Tenancy Act has been amended to support renters and landlords during the provincial state of emergency and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The amendments are in effect for the duration of the state of emergency. Talk to your landlord and make sure they are aware of the changes that have been made.

Paying Rent

Tenants should pay rent wherever possible. The legislation still requires that tenants pay rent in full and on time.

- The state of emergency temporarily suspends a landlord’s ability to end a tenancy if a tenant does not pay the rent in full and on time

- A tenant who has not paid rent could face eviction once the state of emergency is over

Tenants facing difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 crisis should consider all assistance that is available to them, including:

- The B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers

- Temporary Rent Supplement

- Federal government financial supports

Temporary Rent Supplement

The temporary rent supplement will provide up to $500 per month.

- It will be available to low to-moderate-income renters who are facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, but do not qualify for existing rental assistance programs

- Applications for the supplement are now open on the BC Housing website

- The supplement will be paid directly to landlords

Rent Increases

A landlord can give a notice for rent increase during the state of emergency.

- The rent increase will not come into effect until the state of emergency is over

If a landlord has already given a notice for rent increase, the increase will not come into effect until after the state of emergency is over. 

- For example, if your rent was set to increase on April 1, 2020, you should continue to pay your existing, pre-increase amount

- If a tenant has given their landlord post-dated cheques, the tenant should request that the cheques be returned to them and they can issue new cheques

If a landlord does collect the increase amount during the state of emergency, the tenant can deduct the additional amount from future rent payments.

Accessing Rental Units & Common Areas

To encourage physical distancing and minimize the transmission of COVID-19, landlords are not permitted to enter the rental unit without the consent of the tenant (even if proper notice has been served) unless there is risk to personal property or life.

A tenant must give consent for a landlord to enter the rental unit for the following reasons:

- Making regular repairs

- Showing the unit to prospective tenants

- Hosting an open house

A landlord can reasonably restrict or schedule the use of common or shared areas to support social distancing and prevent the spread of the virus. 

- This applies to both tenants and guests of the rental building

- A landlord must not prevent or interfere with the access to the tenant’s rental unit


Most evictions are not allowed during the state of emergency.

- Notices to end tenancy cannot be given for any reason during the state of emergency

- In exceptional circumstances, a landlord may apply directly to the Residential Tenancy Branch to end the tenancy

Landlords cannot give notice to end tenancy for:

- Unpaid rent or utilities

- Cause

- Landlord or purchaser use

- End of employment as a caretaker

-  End of employment if the rental unit is being rented as a condition of employment

- Demolition, renovation, and conversion of a rental unit (or closure of a manufactured home park)

- Failure to qualify for a rental unit in subsidized housing

Landlords can apply to end a tenancy if it would be unreasonable, or unfair to the landlord or other occupants of the residential property, to wait for the state of emergency to end and the tenant or a person permitted on the residential property by the tenant has:

- Significantly interfered with or unreasonably disturbed another occupant or the landlord of the residential property

- Seriously jeopardized the health or safety or a lawful right or interest of the landlord or another occupant

- Put the landlord's property at significant risk

- Caused extraordinary damage to the residential property

- Engaged in illegal activity that has Caused or is likely to cause damage to the landlord's property, Adversely affected or is likely to adversely affect the quiet enjoyment, security, safety or physical well-being of another occupant of the residential property and Jeopardized or is likely to jeopardize a lawful right or interest of another occupant or the landlord

Landlords can also apply to end a tenancy if:

- The rental unit must be vacated to comply with an order of a municipal, provincial or federal authority

- The rental unit is uninhabitable

- The tenancy agreement is otherwise frustrated


CLICK HERE for more information on BC Residential Tenancies.


Concerns about COVID-19 continue to increase across the country and around the world, and measures to deal with the illness are impacting our daily lives.

People looking to buy or sell a home in today’s environment are rightly asking whether they should continue their pursuit or wait until the situation improves.

It’s important to talk with your REALTOR® and make decisions based on the latest guidance from local health experts and relevant government agencies.  

Here are some COVID-19 resources to follow the latest guidance:

Everyone’s situation is unique. It’s important to discuss and assess your personal situation in terms of health, risk, and your short and long term housing needs.

First and foremost, it’s important for everyone to:

  • not gather in groups of 50 or more people;
  • stay home and avoid others if you feel ill;
  • avoid all non-essential and self-isolate for 14 days if you’ve recently travelled abroad;
  • regularly wash your hands;
  • avoid social greetings such as handshakes; and
  • limit social interactions that could lead to the spread of illness.

Beyond these considerations, you’ll want to talk with your Realtor about responsible ways to reach your housing goals.

If you’re a buyer, do you want to attend a showing of a home? Are there virtual showings and other technology-based alternatives to face-to-face encounters?

If you’re a seller, do you want to host a showing or an open house? If so, what limits and sanitary processes should you put in place?

Have these conversations with your Realtor.

This is a fast-evolving situation. Guidance from public health experts is changing daily. Be sure to follow the latest information from reputable sources.



Vancouver one bedroom rent ranked as the second priciest at $2,150. Two bedrooms dropped 0.3% to settle at $2,990.

Vancouver has the second highest rent in the country, and the suburbs aren’t far behind according to a new report from a website that tracks rental units.

According to PadMapper, an average one-bedroom rental in Vancouver costs $2,150 a month.

The cost to rent a two-bedroom unit dropped slightly last month to $2,990, found the report.

The most expensive city to rent in the country is Toronto, where one bedrooms are ranked at $2,300.

The cost to rent bedrooms in Toronto increased by one per cent to $2,980, according to PadMapper.

The third most expensive city to rent a one-bedroom unit in the country is Burnaby at just over $1,700 a month, the report found.

Padmapper Spokesperson Crystal Chen says that number jumped 12 per cent since the same time last year.

“There seems to be some price fueling in Vancouver,” she said. “So people are looking at close cities that are more affordable like Burnaby.”

The city with the largest jump in the country since last month was Abbotsford.

Chen says it climbed to the 17th most expensive city at $1,090 per month.

“The next most affordable city in British Columbia is Kelowna, which is a jump to $1,350,” she said. “Abbotsford is less expensive for one bed, and it’s closer to Metro Vancouver, so that makes it more desirable for people.”

The report says overall, the top 10 markets were relatively stable since last month with no new cities entering or leaving.

In terms of monthly changes, the report says Victoria one-bedroom rentals had the largest growth at 5.3 per cent.

Barrie, Ontario had the biggest dip, with rents dropping 5.2 per cent.

Source: Global News

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