Is Stress Test Creating Pent-up Demand ?

By: Jashan Grewal

Is Stress Test Creating Pent-up Demand ?



Hello folks, i have been a Realtor in Surrey for 7 years. In my 7 years of experience as a Realtor, have seen different market trends upwards and downwards. Last three years from 2015 to 2018 was a exceptional market that didn't look downwards at all. Every home coming to market was selling in multiple offers, going way above asking price and without any conditions. Buyers were lining up at open houses and day of offer presentation, crossing there fingers that there offer will be the better one but there was only one winner. Things have changed in last 9 months after federal and provincial government intervened to slow down the market. Lot of changes were brought up like foreign buyers tax by provincial government and B20  stress test by Bank of Canada. It worked slowing down the market and lot of people were stuck in difficult situations which happens in upwards and downward markets. 

But first time home buyers were affected the most by B20 Stress test. First time home buyers usually have very less down payment than a second time buyer up-sizing or down sizing. With B20 stress test first time home buyers borrowing capacity was shrunk a lot, they couldn't buy type of the home they desired, so they sacrificed living space, lot size, detached to attached homes and from townhouse to a condo. Residents who could buy condo were not able to qualify for a condo at all. All this made rental market go up crazy in rents as the demand keeps going up with lot of new immigrants moving into our city. Why not its a beautiful city with mountains, water and great weather comparing to rest of Canada. 

Now if look at supply of new homes not keeping up with the demand of housing, prices will keep going up. With market slowing down, developers are slowing down in building new homes as demand is not there. We will keep this topic for another day to discuss. With lot of buyers on the sidelines sitting to buy who cant qualify will jump in the market when they are able to.  If you are looking to buy, in my opinion its the best time. Historically if look at the prices all over globe are rising. In case of a economic disaster, everyone is riding is in the same wagon and everyone will be affected by it period.

Now look at the report that just got published by The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) down here, you can decide on your own that what will happen when B20 Stress test will be gone.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 5,707 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March, 2019 a decline of 23 per cent from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $687,720, a decline of 5.4 per cent from March 2018. Total sales dollar volume was $3.9 billion, a 27.1 per cent decline from the same month last year.

“BC home sales continue to be adversely impacted by federal mortgage policy,” said BCREA Chief Economist Cameron Muir. “The erosion of affordability caused by the B20 stress test has created near recession level housing demand despite the province boasting the lowest unemployment rates in a decade.”

“The sharp erosion of affordability caused by the B20 stress test is now creating pent-up demand, as many would-be home buyers are forced to wait on the sidelines,” added Muir. “Unfortunately, new home construction is slowing as well, which will likely lead to another housing supply crunch down the road.”

Total MLS® residential active listings increased 36.2 per cent to 34,295 units compared to the same month last year. The ratio of sales to active residential listings declined from 29.4 per cent to 16.6 per cent over the same period.


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