Condo prices in Vancouver area expected to drop: real estate analyst
Posted May 19, 2020 5:24 pm PDT
Last Updated May 19, 2020 at 7:45 pm PDT
VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Now isn’t the time to buy real estate if someone is willing to wait for a better deal, according to a local analyst who predicts condo prices in the Vancouver area are set to decline for years.
Eitel Insights founder Dane Eitel says it’s not the time to try to catch a falling knife, or rather the longer someone holds on to a property they can’t afford, the harder it will be to get rid of it.
He’s advising buyers who can afford to wait for a better price to hold off until at least next year since “need-based selling” will be coming into the market in 2020. He says many investors facing hardship because of the pandemic are also feeling mounting pressure to sell.
“So, I would definitely hold off purchasing a condo. You could really almost sell your condo property right now and go away for a long time, come back and you’ll see that similar type property at extremely lower values.”
The average price for a condo is more than $660,000, but he says that’s going to change.
“For the condo market, January 2018 was the peak at $750,000. Currently, we’re down 12 per cent from that. We’re right at $660,000 for roughly six months in a row in the condo market average sale price,” Eitel explains.
Within two years, he says that price should fall to $525,000 in a few yeas, and heavily-mortgaged owners may soon be forced to sell.
“There are buildings that have been completed and they’re roughly 60 per cent available –30 per cent for sale, 30 per cent for rent– so, all these investors that purchased are going to be put in a tough place and you’ll see a continuation of increased inventory,” Eitel says.
He adds as of April, nearly 4000 condos are listed for sale across the Lower Mainland, but just under 508 sold.
However, Eitel also says the situation is not as bad for single-detached homes where the average price in that market could drop below $1.4-million dollars, down from more than $1.6-million it is now.
B.C. health minister wants to see border closed to non-essential travel past June 21
Posted May 19, 2020 5:59 pm PDT
Health minister says he is not convinced number of COVID-19 cases stateside would see a significant downturn by June 21
He thinks it's going to be a longer wait before people are allowed to cross between the two countries
VICTORIA – B.C. Health Minister says the border between Canada and the United States should be closed to non-essential visitors even longer than the month imposed by the federal government.
Adrian Dix says while they know exactly what other provinces are doing to stop the spread of COVID-19, that isn’t the case in the United States.
“The situation is much less clear there [in the U.S.] I’m not, convinced there’s much chance that it will clear sufficiently in the next month to change at least my mind about whether we should open the border,” Dix says.
The federal government announced Tuesday that the border would remain closed until June 21.
“The short answer is that we support the federal action today [Tuesday]. We think it’s the right thing to do. We think it’s going to be almost certainly needed after one month from now, and that is going to be a significant period of time,” Dix adds.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says officials do need to think about ways of reconnecting families that live on either side of the border.
“What my recommendations are is that we continue to require isolation plans and that we have a process in place, but that we expand the people who are allowed to come across the border to include people who are, who have family or who are residents and some form of family reunification,” she says.
She adds if border regulations were expanded to allow families to reunify, it would still mean those travelling to B.C. would have to self-isolate for two weeks.
This is the second time the Canadian and U.S. governments have extended border measures amid the coronavirus pandemic.
As many businesses move to reopen in the province, Henry says she wants to reassure the public that health officials wouldn’t be easing the restrictions if they didn’t think they could do so safely.
B.C. records just two new cases, but three COVID-19 deaths
Posted May 19, 2020 3:19 pm PDT
Last Updated May 19, 2020 at 9:01 pm PDT
VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — The province recorded two new COVID-19 cases on the fist day B.C. allowed businesses to begin reopening as part of its restart plan.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced three more people died from COVID-19, all of them in long-term care.
One of the deaths involved Langley Lodge, where a second outbreak was announced last week.
An employee of Langley Lodge was first reported to be in isolation at the end of March, but that outbreak was later declared over. A second staff member there tested positive for the virus late last month.
Henry said 43 residents and seven staff total at the facility have contracted the virus, while eight people from Langley Lodge have now died from COVID-19.
“So, yes, that reflects transmission within the facility and I know that Fraser Health [Authority] has been working very hard with the facility to try and make sure that all of the provisions that they need are put in place, but it has been proven to be a very challenging one.”
Henry said 14 outbreaks remain active in care facilities, while the total number of deaths from the virus in B.C. is now 146. The recovery rate climbed to 81 per cent.
“As people in B.C. are no doubt aware, today’s an important milestone for our province,” Henry said. “Today’s the first day that many businesses can begin to reopen for employees, customers and business owners. I want to reassure you that we would not be easing these restrictions if we did not feel we could do so safely.”
While Canada-U.S. border restrictions were extended earlier in the day to June 21, Health Minister Adian Dix said it will be a while before they are loosened to allow non-essential travel.
“I’m not convinced there’s much chance that it will clear sufficiently in the next month to change, at least my mind, about whether we should open the border,” he said. “I think it’s going to be significantly longer than that for visitors.”
However, Henry is reluctant to start screening at provincial borders, but remains open to family reunification across the Canadian-U.S. border.
“Now that we know what has happened in many parts of the U.S., we do need to think about ways of allowing families to be together across our border,” she said.
“That doesn’t mean, though, it’s a free-for-all, but I think we, what my recommendations are, is that we continue to require isolation plans and that we have a process in place, but that we expand the people who are allowed to come across the border to include people who are, who have family or who are residents and some form of family reunification.”
Henry was also asked about a spate hate crimes in Vancouver, especially those with anti-Chinese sentiment.
“The only way that we can get through this incredibly challenging and terribly difficult time is by being together and working together, and being considerate and kind to each other,” she said. “There is no one race that is affected by this, there is no one age group, there’s no one sex, it’s all of us in together, who need to work together and support each other, and have compassion to get us through this. And there is no place, no place in our society for racism.”
Dix added COVID-19 has affected more than 100 countries.
“It seems seems to me that racism represents the opposite of what we need to do, something we need to condemn, something that that undermines everything we’re trying to do together as a society,” he said.
Henry was also asked again about wearing non-medical masks and said said they are an additional measure to keep droplets in and protect others.
“So it’s not something you do instead of, but we should be, I believe, at this point, prepared to wear a non-medical mask in certain situations where we cannot maintain our physical distance,” she added.
“So if I’m sitting on a bus and there’s somebody that is three feet away from me instead of six feet away from me, if we both have masks on, that’s a good thing. If I’m getting my hair done, which I expect to do hopefully soon, you know, I will wear a mask and so will my person who’s doing my hair so that we can protect each other for that period of time.”
To date, B.C. has recorded 2,446 cases of the virus, while 325 are active. Of those, 45 people remain in hospital, including 12 in intensive care.
The province did not report any new outbreaks Tuesday, when B.C. began the second phase of its economic restart plan.
Dix said elective surgeries have resumed at 49 sites across B.C.,while nearly 15,000 N95 masks have been delivered in past week, along with 786,000 surgical masks and 15 million gloves.
Point Roberts businesses take a hit as border stays closed
Posted May 19, 2020 4:16 pm PDT
Last Updated May 19, 2020 at 4:17 pm PDT
POINT ROBERTS (NEWS 1130) — The tiny town of Point Roberts is still off-limits, and businesses are hungry for Canadians to return.
With no one crossing the Canada-U.S. border for gas, the town’s economy is taking a hit.
Point Roberts Fire Chief Christopher Carleton says businesses will feel the effect of the border staying closed longer than some people expected.
“I think that’ going to further impact our local economy for the small businesses trying to stay open, including fuel stations [and] postal stations. Restaurants are trying to do takeout and pick up orders, and it’s just going to negatively affect them even further.”
He says people in his community were hoping for the border to open again as soon as possible.
“You know there’s definitely some disappointment within the community to people I’m speaking with. They were hoping the border would be opened up by June 1.”
Even so, Carleton says safety is still key.
“The majority of our community understands and understands the protection that it provides us through that date,” he says.
There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Point Roberts, which is home to about 1,300 people.
On Wednesday, the border closure was extended to June 21 for non-essential travel.
-With files from Tim James
Dr. Bonnie Henry says focus shifting making sure overall compliance strong as economy recovery phase starts
Posted May 19, 2020 6:38 pm PDT
Last Updated May 19, 2020 at 6:40 pm PDT