“Since CREA’s last forecast published in September, housing markets in British Columbia and Ontario have strengthened further,” CREA said in its updated housing forecast. “As a result, CREA has raised sales and average price forecasts for these provinces.”
National sales for the rest of the year have also been revised higher.
Home sales in Ontario are expected to rise by 9.3%, which would be higher if prices in the GTA were more affordable, CREA said.
“British Columbia is projected to post the largest annual increase in sales activity in 2015 (+21.4 per cent), while Alberta (-21.4 per cent), Saskatchewan (-10.8 per cent), and Nova Scotia (-5.1 per cent) will record annual sales declines,” CREA said. “Activity in Manitoba is forecast to rise by 2.3 per cent this year.”
One bit of bad news, however, is that the recently announced mortgage rule changes – which will impact homes costing more than $500,000 – will have a larger reach than intended.
“Recently announced changes to mortgage regulations that take effect early next year risk cooling housing markets beyond Greater Vancouver and the GTA, their intended targets,” CREA said. “In particular, the regulatory changes are also likely to reduce sales activity in Calgary once they take effect in early 2016.”
Despite this, home sales are expected to reach 498,600 next year.
“The national average price is forecast to edge higher by 1.4 per cent to $448,700 in 2016,” CREA said. “Price gains in 2016 are forecast to be strongest in Ontario (+2.9 per cent) due to an ongoing shortage of listings for single family homes coupled with strong demand for them in and around the GTA.”
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The Canadian Real Estate Association has updated its forecast for 2016, with two provinces expected to lead the way.