Will housing market slow as NL slips into recession?
A new report by BMO Nesbitt Burns suggests that Newfoundland and Labrador could slip into a shallow recession this year with Alberta on the borderline. The outlook is for NL to see negative growth of 0.5 per cent as the province suffers from the weakened oil industry. Alberta is expected to be flat at best but could also slightly tip into negative growth while Saskatchewan is likely to slow to 1 per cent growth. Overall though the outlook for the Canadian economy is more positive with the report suggesting 2 per cent growth this year and possibly higher in 2016 as oil prices have recovered from the lowest points of the slump. The report does not specifically suggest a slowdown in the housing markets in the three oil-producing provinces although consumer sentiment has already affected sales and prices to some extent and is likely to be compounded by the predicted weakening of growth.
MP calls for data on foreign ownership
Kennedy Stewart, the MP for Burnaby, has again called for a housing study to be conducted by government agencies and for them to include data on foreign ownership. Stewart says that the CMHC and Statistics Canada need to do the work as cities don’t have the time and resources to do so. Speaking to Burnaby Now he said that “It could be that there’s a lot of foreign investment, and we get the sense that seems to be in Burnaby. We don’t really know the extent of whether this is happening or not.” The MP tabled a motion last year calling for similar action but it is unlikely that it will be debated before the election.
Ottawa’s commercial real estate market showing recovery
The commercial real estate market in Ottawa is improving according to a report from Colliers International. Its latest transactional report, covering Q1 2015, shows that there was a 12 per cent increase in sales volume year-over-year. Industrial assets achieved a 120 per cent rise in the number of sales and overall transactional volume up 134 per cent. However the total dollar value of all transactions was lower. “The Ottawa commercial real estate market continues to be an attractive investment location for local and international investors,” says Collier’s Oliver Tighe who noted: “There continues to be concern regarding large-scale retail assets, which in turn tempers demand for assets with these vacancies. The most challenging sites will be those in which Target was the sole anchor and where major competitors, such as Walmart and Loblaws, are already operating nearby.” Colliers says that the condo market continues to struggle although notes that some developers have turned their attention to purpose-built rental units which are showing some success. Overall the firm’s outlook for 2015 is that it will improve on 2014 figures.