December 2022

All posts from December 2022

Canada – Home To the Largest Real Estate Bubble

by Bevony on December 21, 2022 Comments Off on Canada – Home To the Largest Real Estate Bubble

In November of 2022, housing affordability eroded all across the country. The RBC notes it is now harder to buy a home than it was in the last bubble seen in the 1980’s. The 2021 price surge has definitely caused lasting damage that will take years to correct. 

Many buyers today may call some housing prices affordable. But the truth is that Canadian households have never had to spend such a large share of their income on owning a home. The incredibly sharp increase is 14.5 points higher than the previous year across the country. 

Canada’s Least Affordable Real Estate Markets 

While every market in Canada is seeing higher prices, Ontario and British Columbia are showing the highest numbers. A Toronto household will need to spend 85.2% of their income on a mortgage. That doesn’t leave much room for living. 

No generation in Canada has seen the need to dedicate so much of their income towards servicing a mortgage. The sudden erosion has caused rising interest rates, but this isn’t the major issue in most markets. 

Hopes for Market Correction 

Before the interest rates increased, there was an excess demand, which drove the erosion of affordability. RBC notes that interest rates are stabilizing, and that will help to correct the prices. But we can’t expect this very soon. A 14% correction would be one of the largest in history, rivaling the corrections in the 80’s and 90’s. 

Some household incomes are growing, and this should help with affordability. With incomes rising, prices will stagnate and affordability will return to the housing market. But this will take some time. 

If you have never considered building a home, maybe now is the best time to consider this option. Give us a call, we’d love to hear from you and guide you through the process of building your home. 

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Burnaby and Vancouver Energy Step Code Requirements

by Bevony on December 8, 2022 Comments Off on Burnaby and Vancouver Energy Step Code Requirements

The BC energy step code has been in place for over a year, but not many people know how the Step Code works. Each city has their own requirements, and the federal government indicates that by 2032, all residential buildings with seven or fewer stories must meet net-zero standards. The step code is currently a voluntary program to help get to this goal. This applies to newly built houses and existing homes, with a significant portion being renovated. 

Building to Meet Step Codes is the Future

The step code has five levels, and each level has its own performance target. Designers, builders and homeowners have options for different materials and techniques that can be used at each step. 

Step 1 – Improved Energy Efficiency Above the BC Building Code 

  • No requirement for air changes per hour. 
  • No specific requirements for energy use per year.

Step 2 – 10% More Energy Efficiency

  • Air changes out 3 times per hour. 
  • Energy use per year of 35 kWh/m2/year.

Step 3 – 20% More Energy Efficiency

  •  Air changes out 2.5 times per hour. 
  • Energy use per year of 30 kWh/m2/year.

Step 4 – 40% More Energy Efficiency

  • Air changes out 1.5 times per hour. 
  • Energy use per year of 20 kWh/m2/year.

Step 5 – Net-Zero Construction

  •  Air changes out 1 time per hour. 
  • Energy use per year of 15 kWh/m2/year.

How the BC Energy Step Code is Implemented in Vancouver and Burnaby 

District of North Vancouver

North Vancouver has opted in at Step 3. If you are building in this area, you will need your home to be 20% more energy efficient. 

City of North Vancouver 

This city has opted for Step 3, but there are some neighborhoods that require Step 4. This step was put into place on the 1st of July 2018. 

West Vancouver 

The standard here is Step 3. This was enforced on July 1st 2018. 

Burnaby

There are currently no requirements in place, but the process of developing a step code proposal under Part 9 has been initiated. No start date has been declared, but we expect this to be put in place shortly.  

If you intend to build, you can build to the step code requirements if your city doesn’t have a code in place. We recommend new buildings meet step 5 requirements. This will be better for the environment and for your health. It will also save you from making costly renovations when the Net-Zero step comes into play in 2050.

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BevonyBurnaby and Vancouver Energy Step Code Requirements