Monthly Rental Report - November 2018

November Real Estate Happenings

In their latest move against the housing crisis, the NDP government launched a condo flipping registry. The registry tracks presale condo assignments, a segment of the market that was previously opaque. These assignments are one way to transfer the right to purchase a presale unit between different parties. Due to lack of transparency, they can be used to dodge taxes on any appreciation of the unbuilt property. Flips are likely a symptom of the real estate madness, rather than a driving factor, so I don't expect this change to cause a major impact. This legislation does, however, convey how serious the government is in tackling the lack of affordability.

CMHC released their annual rental market report. Their report mainly covers the purpose-built rentals sector, which also showed rapidly escalating rental prices. Since last October, rents for two bedrooms in the Vancouver metro area has increased +5.5%. This increase was not surprising because CMHC tracks rents paid, which lags the market rents tracked here. We already observed this rapid escalation mid last year.

Finally, Global News released an explosive story uncovering how the fentanyl crisis is intimately linked to our housing situation. In a five part series, Sam Cooper and his associates detail how as much as $1 billion dollars have been washed through Vancouver real estate in 2016. In a plot worthy of a Netflix series, the report details the cycle used by criminals to generate money, and how the ill-gotten gains made their way into a mansion full of cash, machine guns, and luxury cars. Make sure you grab some popcorn before clicking the link.

November Rental Stats

Rental listing volume was up 4.3% YoY, but down slightly (-2%) from October. Persistently higher listing volumes this year have finally resulted in slightly lower asking rents. It took half a year of static rents, but landlords are now asking for a bit less. Median rents are down in all unit types except furnished two bedrooms.

Rents for one bedrooms were down 1.3% overall. This was led by a large 4.3% MoM decline for furnished one bedrooms. Even more encouraging, unfurnished units have come down 1.4%. The gap between a furnished and unfurnished one bedroom unit now sits at 23.3%.

The drop in rents is repeated across two and three bedroom units. This easing could be a temporary blip in response to a lack of movers in November. However, given the rapidly slowing sales market, I believe that the long term trends are favouring renters over owners.

Prices

  • 1 bedrooms $1925 (-1.3%)
  • 2 bedrooms $2650 (-0.0%)
  • 3 bedrooms $3080 (-3.8%)

Furnished:

Beds Unfurnished Vol Furnished Vol Furnished Pct
1 1566 (+2.4%) 841 (0.4%) 34.9%
2 1492 (-3.6%) 613 (-3.6%) 29.1%
3 383 (-4.5%) 125 (-9.4%) 24.6%
Beds Unfurnished Price Furnished Price Premium
1 $1825 (-1.4%) $2250 (-4.3%) 23.3%
2 $2450 (-1.8%) $3200 (-0.0%) 30.6%
3 $2850 (-3.7%) $3850 (-3.8%) 35.1%

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By @Louie Dinh in
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