BC housing demand will ease but still remain high

There will be an easing of the growth in home sales in British Columbia in 2016 but the market will continue to be stronger than average. This year has been booming with the BC Real Estate Association expecting full-year sales of above 100,000 units to hit the third highest on record. It will also be the first year since 2007 that sales have been above the ten-year average.

BCREA figures show a 15 per cent rise in sales in 2014 and almost 20 per cent for 2015 but there will be a 7 per cent decline in 2016. That still leaves a lot of sales over the next 12 months with almost 94,000 expected. “Less latent pent-up demand and gradual upward momentum of mortgage interest rates is expected to ease housing demand next year,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist.

Prices will continue to be impacted by low inventory and this year’s average MLS price is expected to have increased by 10.2 per cent before easing to 2.2 per cent in 2016. That would mean an average price of $639,700 for 2016. Starts will hit 30,000 for this year and be around 28,800 next year.

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