These last few months have been a little better around the GVRD than the previous 18 months. May was a pretty reasonable month. June trickled off a little bit, and July came back stronger and was the second busiest month for sales in a traditionally slow month. At this point, August is looking pretty good and we will see the numbers in the next week or so. All in all, the market has shown a bit of a pulse in the last few months. We do, however, want to have a little bit of a look ahead and see what is going to happen this fall.
There are three things that I think could have a positive impact on the market this fall. Number one is the civil unrest in Hong Kong, which is something for us to keep our eyes on. 300,000 people living in Hong Kong hold Canadian passports. If we said 1% or 2% of those people show up in Vancouver over the next 6-12 months that would bring three to six thousand buyers into our marketplace. That could have an effect on the market and is one of the things that we are going to keep a really close eye on.
Secondly, the Bank of Canada folks are going to be meeting in the next week or so to discuss interest rates. Anyone I talk to who seems to be in the know about these things is telling me that there is a 50/50 chance that we could see up to a ¼ percent drop in interest rates. This certainly would help the market as well.
The third thing that is going to be really interesting to watch is to see if anybody the major political parties tries to buy the millennial vote this fall by giving some kind of relief on the stress test. Apparently, millennials do not vote with any great regularity and a lot of political insiders seem to feel that either getting rid of the stress test or cutting it from 2% to 1% may help bring them to the polls.
All in all the market seems a little better and we could see a little uptake this fall. We will know better when we see the August statistics. If the August statistics are really strong then I think we could have a couple of better months than we have seen in the last little bit.