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Canada’s housing correction now runs “far and wide” as higher interest rates continued to take a “huge toll” in July.

In a recent report, Robert Hogue, assistant chief economist at RBC, said the downturn has deepened in housing markets across the country.

In Toronto and Vancouver — the two least affordable markets — the decline is “quickly” becoming one of the sharpest drops in the last 50 years.

“Prices are sliding fast, and the exuberance that permeated these markets earlier this year is being replaced by fear,” Hogue said. “[Toronto and Vancouver] are most at risk in light of their excessively stretched affordability and outsized price gains during the pandemic.”

In Toronto, the pullback is in full force, and the “frenzy” that propelled the city’s housing market to unforeseen heights last winter is “completely gone,” the economist noted.
Excluding the lockdown of April 2020, housing activity is at its slowest pace in more than 13 years. Previously rock-bottom inventories have risen 58% year-over-year, while Toronto’s composite MLS Home Price Index (HPI) has fallen 13% since March 2022, to $1,160,000.

“We expect buyers to remain on the defensive in the months ahead as they deal with rising interest rates and poor affordability,” Hogue said.

“We see them in a position to extract further price concessions, especially in the 905 belt where property values soared during the pandemic. Condos in the City of Toronto are likely to remain relatively more resilient.”

Since the spring, rising interest rates have been pouring “buckets of ice-cold water” on Vancouver’s housing market. Activity has fallen 40% in the last four months and prices are weakening — the composite MLS HPI has fallen 4.5% since April.

RBC believes the city’s correction is still in its early stages, and buyers in the region will only face further pressure as rates rise and affordability reaches “suffocating levels.”
Sellers have considerably less power, and property values are expected to fall “rapidly” in the coming months. The pain will be felt particularly in single detached homes, while condo apartments will prove to be more resilient.

“Soaring interest rates have been the catalyst for this widespread correction,” Hogue said.

“Higher borrowing costs have pushed many buyers to the sidelines and reduced the purchasing budget of others.”

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Hiking in the summer heat calls for drinking lots of water, wearing sun protection, and seeking shade. It’s also an excellent excuse to take a refreshing dip in a cold lake. Accordingly, here are four fantastic summer hikes to swimming holes near Vancouver.

Cheakamus Lake
Distance: 14.5 km
Elevation gain: 145 m
Location: Garibaldi Provincial Park

Come for the turquoise waters of Cheakamus Lake. Stay for the majestic Douglas-fir and western red cedar giants. From the Cheakamus Lake parking lot, set off on an old road. In a half-hour, reach a junction. The Helm Creek Trail goes right to cross the Cheakamus River; however, continue straight ahead on the Cheakamus Lake Trail. After little more than an hour of hiking, arrive at the Cheakamus Lake campground. It’s worth pushing on, following the undulating trail east. After 2 hours on foot, reach the end of the maintained trail at the Singing Creek campground. Wander down to the mouth of Singing Creek, enjoy lunch on the pebbly beach, and head back to the trailhead. Day-use vehicle passes are in effect this summer. Camping is allowed at designated sites only, and reservations are required year-round. Dogs, drones, and fires are prohibited in the park.

Chadsey Lake
Distance: 10 km
Elevation gain: 510 m
Location: Sumas Mountain Interregional Park

A hike on the Centennial Trail to Chadsey Lake rewards with shady forest for much of the way. From the trailhead on Sumas Mountain Road, enter the mixed woods and take a bridge over a stream. Head up a ravine, cross a creek, and ascend an old roadbed.
Approach a logged area, and emerge on a gravel road, after 1 hour on foot. Turn right then left at an entrance indicated by flagging. Hike up between clear-cuts. From the forest edge, earn southwest views. Sidehill across steep wooded slopes to reach trail signs and the 4.5-km marker. Cross a log bridge and head upstream under Douglas-firs. Descend into the Chadsey Lake basin. Hit a junction. The Centennial Trail goes left; however, opt right to arrive at the lakeshore. Retrace your steps.

Pierce Lake
Distance: 11.5 km
Elevation gain: 1080 m
Location: Chilliwack River Valley

The hike to Pierce Lake is a terrifically steep grind. From the trailhead off Chilliwack Lake Road, walk south on Pierce Lake Forest Service Road. In a few minutes, spot the signpost marking the old trailhead to the right. Head into the shady timber on an old road and begin the relentless uphill trudge. Cross a logging road. After 30 minutes, go across an overgrown road. Reach the Pierce Lake Trail’s 2-km marker after an old boulder patch. An orange arrow points right at a switchback. Enter a big rockslide, and go up and across. A lush forest of old-growth fir awaits on the other side. Cross Pierce Creek, after more than 1.5 hours on foot. Pay attention to flagging to stay on the switchbacks. More than an hour past the Pierce Creek crossing, look for a trail dropping down to the right in the woods. Descend the path through thimbleberries and wildflowers to arrive on the north shore of beautiful Pierce Lake. Hiking poles will prove their value as you head back down the way you came.

Poland Lake
Distance: 16.5 km
Elevation gain: 480 m
Location: E.C. Manning Provincial Park

The Poland Lake Trail is a breeze compared to many other hikes in E.C. Manning Provincial Park, as it largely follows a fire-access road. Find the trailhead on the north side of Gibson Pass Road, opposite Strawberry Flats. Spurning the North Gibson Trail, set off west on the Poland Lake Trail. In several minutes, head right on a gravel road, which rises to enter the ski area. Fork right and duck under the Orange Chair. Where the road curves right, 2.6 km from your start, bear left on a path through meadows. (Horse riders and bikers stick with the road.) Switchback up the ski area and follow a double track to rejoin the bike and horse route. The road curves left to peak near the top of Grassy Mountain. A gentle descent reveals a succession of meadows and vantages of mountains across the valley. The road rises to traverse the south slopes of Bojo Mountain. From the hitching post at the road’s end (no bikes or horses beyond this point), follow the path up Poland Creek to arrive at Poland Lake, just over 2.5 hours from the trailhead. Round the eastern shore and turn left at a signpost to find Poland Lake Camp (backcountry camping permit required) in a broad meadow. Dogs must be on-leash at all times.

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