In a rare event, both Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty were called to testify on the state of the Canadian economy in front of the Commons Finance Committee this morning. The meeting was called because policymakers are concerned over recent market turbulence, and weak global economic data. Recessionary fears have reared their ugly head once again.

Indeed, as pointed out by both policymakers today, Canadian economic growth is headed for a slowdown. A bout of weak domestic and international spending suggests that Canadian real GDP posted no growth in the second quarter. In fact, this week’s release of June real manufacturing (-1.6%) and wholesale trade (-0.7%) increases the risk that it could easily dip into negative territory. The economic data heading into the third quarter have been equally disappointing. Softening consumer confidence appears to be weighing on household purchases of big-ticket items.

And, this was all before the recent market gyrations in August. In view of recent events, Governor Mark Carney suggested that the Bank of Canada will downgrade their economic outlook somewhat, but is confident that economic growth will accelerate in the second half of 2011. Nonetheless, the number of international headwinds outlined in July’s monetary policy are starting to “blow harder”.

Today’s testimony also provided the two policymakers an opportunity to comment on what policy actions will be needed to support the economy. Both the Bank of Canada Governor, and Finance Minister highlighted that recent market turmoil is being driven by a loss in confidence in the ability of advanced economies to manage their government debt. As such, fiscal responsibility among governments (and households) is very important at this time. Minister Flaherty indicated that they are likely to stay the course with the 2011 budget plan which aims to balance the books by fiscal 2014-15. However, should a recession strike they would take measures to support jobs and the business sector.

Meanwhile, Governor Mark Carney’s testimony did not reveal a significant shift in monetary policy either. The Governor’s comments certainly were slightly more dovish than the communiqué in July when the Bank stated that monetary stimulus would start to be withdrawn conditional on an improvement in economic growth and the easing of international risks. At the same time he was not dovish enough to suggest that the Bank will resort to rate cuts, as is currently being priced into markets. The Governor stated that the course of monetary policy will change only if the inflation and growth outlook were to change materially. We take this to mean that the Bank of Canada may be on hold longer than markets were anticipating back in July, but a rate cut is not likely.

Overall, Governor Mark Carney’s comments do not alter our view on the future course of monetary policy. As outlined in this month’s issue of Global Markets – released on Wednesday – we are of the view that the growing number of economic and financial risks, in combination with our expectations for Canadian economic growth to remain sub- 2.0% for the remainder of 2011, will keep the central bank on the sidelines until July of 2012. Because many of the international risks are medium-term in nature, and economic growth is expected to remain modest through 2013 we expect a very gradual pace of monetary tightening thereafter. We forecast for the overnight rate to reach 2.00% by the end of 2012, and 3.00% by the end of 2013. In other words, expect interest rates to remain low for an extended period of time.


source: Diana Petramala

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Property Photo: TH18 1281 CORDOVA ST W in Vancouver
I have listed a new property at TH18 1281 CORDOVA ST W in Vancouver.
LUXURIOUS waterfront corner townhome at the Calisto in Coal Harbour! This incredible 3 level, 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom home enjoys what is easily the best layout in the building! Has two seperate private entrances, 4 patios/decksincl. a private 4th level roof top deck. Features floor-to-ceiling windows facing 3 directions offering unparalleled views of Coal Harbour & plenty of natural light! Features include a modern large custom gourmet kitchen, quality appliances, granite countertops, top of the line finishings, a/c and private elevator to all floors incl. your own secured u/g 2 car garage and storage! Just steps to Stanley Park, the seawall, Canada Place, Robson and everything else Downtown Vancouver has to offer.
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Property Photo: 1903 1028 BARCLAY ST in Vancouver
Please visit our Open House at 1903 1028 BARCLAY ST in Vancouver.
Open House on Saturday, August 13, 2011 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
LUXURIOUS home at the brand NEW Patina by Concert. Stunning 1272 sf 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom open floor plan with views of the Mountains and City. Very central location in the heart of downtown, with YMCA right in the complex, shopping,theaters, restaurants - between corporate district, English Bay and Stanley Park. This home sports the highest quality of finishings and workmanship. Granite counter tops, Leibherr and Miele appliances, Italian ceramic, in floor bathroom heating, A/C, roller blinds, recessed lighting, latest wiring for advanced telecom. Bike room, gym, boardroom, social suite opens to beautiful rooftop garden and patios. This one is priced to SELL! Open House Aug 13, Saturday, 2-4pm
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While the balance between home buyer and seller activity remains in an equilibrium range in the Greater Vancouver housing market, last month’s home sale total was below the 10-year average for July.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reports that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties on the region’s Multiple Listing Service reached 2,571 in July, a 14 per cent increase compared to the 2,255 sales in July 2010 and a 21.2 per cent decline compared to the 3,262 sales in June 2011.

We’re seeing less multiple offer situations in the market today compared to the last few months, but homes priced competitively continue to sell at a relatively swift pace.  It’s taking, on average, 41 days to sell a property in the region, which is unchanged from June of this year.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,097 in July. This represents a 23.2 per cent increase compared to July 2010 when 4,138 properties were listed for sale on the MLS and a 12 per cent decline compared to the 5,793 new listings reported in June 2011.

Last month’s new listing total was 8.6 per cent higher than the 10-year average for July, while residential sales were 17.3 per cent below the ten-year average for sales in July. At 15,226, the total number of residential property listings on the MLS increased 0.8 per cent in July compared to last month and declined 7.3 per cent from this time last year.

The number of homes listed for sale in the region has increased each month since the start of the year, which is giving buyers more selection to choose from and more time to make decisions. The MLSLink Housing Price Index benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver over the last 12 months has increased 9.2 per cent to $630,251 in July 2011 from $577,074 in July 2010.

Sales of detached properties on the MLS in July 2011 reached 1,099, an increase of 21 per cent from the 908 detached sales recorded in July 2010, and a 31.9 percent decrease from the 1,614 units sold in July 2009. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 13.3 per cent from July 2010 to $898,886.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,040 in July 2011, a 6.2 per cent increase compared to the 979 sales in July 2010, and a decrease of 39.1 per cent compared to the 1,708 sales in July 2009. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 4.5 per cent from July 2010 to $405,306.
Attached property sales in July 2011 totalled 432, a 17.4 per cent increase compared to the 368 sales in July 2010, and a 45.5 per cent decrease from the 792 attached properties sold in July 2009. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 6.9 per cent between July 2010 and 2011 to $524,909.

Moving forward to our Fall market, I expect an increase in housing/land prices and a stable condo/townhome market. The exception will be view properties, which will see a significant spike in demand and pricing in an increasingly competitive market.

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Property Photo: 4077 32ND AVE W in Vancouver
Please visit our Open House at 4077 32ND AVE W in Vancouver.
Open House on Saturday, August 6, 2011 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Fabulous opportunity to hold or build on this 33 x 130 ft Dunbar Property. Steps from Pacific Spirit Park and Dunbar Community Center. Close to all of Dunbar Village stores, transportation and best schools.Public Open House, August 6, Saturday, 2-4pm
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