New data shows strong demand for B.C. homes

Consumer demand and lower inventory available for homebuyers in B.C. are contributing to some of the strongest levels of demand since 2007 as prices in Greater Vancouver reach a new milestone.

“More robust economic growth, strong consumer confidence and rock-bottom mortgage interest rates are expected to push housing demand this year to its highest level since 2007,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA's chief economist,

Newly published figures from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reinforce the BCREA's forecast, showing that sales of detached house in May reached 1,723, an increase of 18.6 per cent from a year earlier.

“We continue to see strong competition for homes that are priced right for today’s market,” said Darcy McLeod, president of the REBGV.

“It’s important to remember that real estate is hyper local, particularly in a seller’s market. This means that conditions and prices vary depending on property type, neighbourhood, and other factors."

The REBGV figures show that apartment sales were up 24.4 per cent from a year ago. Across all housing types, sales were up by 23.4 per cent from a year ago to 4,056 units; however, sales were 2.9 per cent lower than in April this year.

The BCREA predicts that residential sales in the provice will edge back 2.9 per cent to 91,600 units. The 10-year average is 83,600 units while the record was set at 106,300 in 2005.

“Modest upward pressure on mortgage interest and rising new home completions are expected to ease pressure on home prices in 2016,” predicted Muir.

The average MLS residential sales price is forecast to increase by 1.7 per cent to $621,000 in 2016, among the highest for average home prices in Canada and almost double the national average.

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