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Here’s the rising number of condo projects expected to flood Greater Vancouver’s market in 2019

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Developers in BC’s Lower Mainland are expected to launch more condo projects this year than they did in 2018 despite evaporating demand as the market corrects from previous highs, a new report suggests.

In a 2019 forecast, MLA Advisory, the research department of condo-marketing firm MLA Canada, anticipates developers are going to launch 73 projects across the Greater Vancouver this year, up from the approximately 50 that were brought to market in 2018.

The expected launches for this year encompass a total of 13,975 homes, compared to the 11,584 pre-sale units introduced to the market in 2018.

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The numbers only include new concrete developments, which are typically high-rise towers, from Squamish to Abbotsford.

Almost half of all new launches anticipated this year are in the municipalities of Richmond, Coquitlam and Central Surrey. It’s expected to be a quieter for homebuilders in Burnaby, the busiest market for concrete product in recent years.

“As inventory levels rise and projects take longer to sell, we anticipate some of these projects to be delayed due to market conditions,” writes MLA Advisory in the forecast.

Dampening demand is already been apparent when looking at existing condo sales. This past December, sales of existing condo apartments plunged 34 percent to a total of 535 units, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

Meantime, prices are declining. The benchmark price of a condo apartment was $664,100 last month, down 0.6 percent from November (although that’s still 0.6 percent above December 2017 pricing).

So why are developers launching more and more projects at a time when homebuyers and investors are pulling back?

Speaking to heightened launches late last year, MLA executive director Cameron McNeil told Livabl that home prices were still up considerably from two years ago, which is likely around the time when developers bringing projects to market now purchased their land.

It also takes at least two years for a developer to start selling pre-construction units as they must go through a process that includes municipal approvals, acquiring building permits, and marketing.

“These long timelines commit a developer years ahead of time to move forward with a project and in most cases they can’t afford to just sit and wait and watch, they have to bring it forward and do their best, given the market conditions — within reason,” McNeil explained.

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New home? Prepare for the unexpected

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(NC) Buying a house, getting married or having your first baby are all major life events that are likely to affect your finances. But whether you’re in the midst of a major life event or not, it’s important to check in on your finances regularly to maintain good financial health.

Your financial health encompasses things like your spending, savings, borrowing and future financial plans. It also means dedicating a set amount of savings for unexpected future events. It can even include optional credit protection insurance, such as TD protection plans, to help cover your debt balances in case of death, a covered critical illness or total disability.

Even though it can be tough to think about the unexpected, life is unpredictable and it’s important to plan for the unexpected. Find more information at td.com.

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Mortgage pitfalls to avoid

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(NC) Throughout life, you may have moments where you’ll make a large purchase or invest in a costly item, like your family home. But whether you’re in the market for your first new property or already have a mortgage, leaving this asset unprotected can be costly.   

Insuring your housing financial debt, as well as debt for other big-ticket items like a new boat for your lakefront cottage or keepsake jewelry like an engagement ring, is a smart investment in your well-being.

To help protect your debt balances like a mortgage, your bank may have optional credit protection insurance products.

“Your home is one of your biggest assets, yet illness can happen at any stage of life. Worrying about your mortgage when the focus should be on health isn’t a situation anyone would wish for,” explains Shirley Malloy, vice president at TD. “Fortunately, we offer mortgage protection to provide coverage for your outstanding balance should you face a covered critical health event.”

Mortgage protection can be purchased whether you’re in the process of applying for a mortgage or already have a home financing solution. But what about protection options for credit card debt?

“Given the unprecedented circumstances of this year, many Canadians are trying to plan for the unexpected to protect themselves and their finances,” says Malloy. “TD balance protection plus is an optional product designed to help you deal with your credit card payment obligations in the event of a covered event, such as loss of employment.”

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Is your internet too slow? It’s probably not you

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(NC) We all know the aggravation of a school lesson that just won’t stop freezing or the family video call that looks more like a photo montage. And, as we adjust to the impact of COVID-19 on our day-to-day, that slow connection can have frustrating consequences.

Working from home and learning remotely, both need fast, stable internet, something not enough Canadians have yet. Even if you have fast devices in your home, if the infrastructure in your area is not optimal, your connection won’t be either.

Right now, cities have the infrastructure needed to ensure access. But rural and remote communities are hugely underserved, with fewer than half having high-speed internet, and fewer than a third of households on reservations have high-speed connections.

Fortunately, change is coming. The Universal Broadband Fund is backing projects across Canada right now to ensure the reliable, high-speed internet connections families need to work, study, access services online, and safely stay in touch with each other.

The fund existed before COVID, but as a response to the pandemic, its timetable has been moved up by four years to a target of 98 per cent of Canadians with high-speed internet access by 2026. With the faster pace, at least 90 per cent of us should be connected by the end of 2021.

The fund is focused on improvements in rural and remote communities across Canada to fix the disconnect between internet access for urban and rural households.  This means more remote work opportunities, better access to remote learning and safer access to healthcare, no matter where you live.

It’s not just for good connections at home, either. The improvements mean much better access to mobile networks on highways between remote communities. The result is better, safer navigation and access to emergency services for your family, even on the road in the middle of nowhere. Mobile projects will be focused on serving Indigenous communities and the roads leading to them.

The shape these improvements will take in your area will depend on where you live. Canada is huge, and its communities are hugely diverse, with diverse needs. Keep an eye out for local projects — they’re a small part of something much bigger.

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