B.C. housing markets switch positions

Sales in Greater Vancouver in February were down 16.6% from a year earlier, while Chilliwack was down 22.8%. BC Northern saw a 31.1% gain in sales, there was a 28% gain in Powell River, and a whopping 129.2% gain in sales in Northern Lights.

“Sales gains in the interior and the north were offset again in February by less robust demand on the south coast,” said BCREA Chief Economist Cameron Muir. “Improving economic conditions in both BC and Alberta are positively influencing consumer demand outside of large urban areas, closing the gap between regional housing markets.”

There still is a wide price gap between various BC markets, but some of the lower-priced regions started to make up some ground in February. While Vancouver’s past real estate gains have been at least partly attributed to the influence of Chinese investors, the inland gains in some other BC markets have been helped in part by Alberta investors, according to some local real estate experts.

Average Greater Vancouver prices rose 1.8% in February compared to a year ago to reach $806,094, while Victoria saw prices decline 5.4% to reach $464,570. But others regions, such as Power River and Northern Lights saw double-digit gains in average prices, at 17.3% and 21.9% respectively compared to a year earlier, reaching averages of $230,371 and $266,921.

Kamloops also saw an 11.6% gain in average price to reach $338,512 in February.

Muir said the overall conditions in British Columbia continue to favor buyers.

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