When the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) published results of their survey aimed at measuring foreign ownership levels in the Canadian housing market, few believed the results. According to CMHC, rental condos under foreign ownership were just 2.4% in Toronto and 2.3% in Vancouver. Economists questioned the calculation methods. CMHC acknowledged “data gaps”. So it was interesting to hear that by all reports, Bob Rennie’s presentation at the B.C. Wholesale Lumber Association Smoker earlier this week was refreshing for its candor. Rennie unequivocally confirmed offshore money is largely responsible for supporting recent real estate activity in Vancouver and across the Lower Mainland.
While the drop in the Canadian dollar against U.S. currency is encouraging Canadian lumber exports to the U.S. market, both sides of the border are searching for direction amidst diverse economic and financial variables at play. All of this going on at the same time as winter weather has been doing its best to upstage Super Bowl hype. The time-lapse video below aired on CNN last night, capturing what 34 inches snowfall looked like in Berlin, Massachusetts.