Tuesday, 2 February 2016

2016 First Quarter Housing Forecast Update



The British Columbia Real Estate Association has released 2016 First Quarter Housing Forecast Update the other day. The Multiple Listing Service residential sales in the province look like they may have a slight turn back 6.2 per cent to 96,100 units this year, after reaching 102,517 units in 2015. Strong consumer demand is expected to push MLS residential sales up by 2 per cent to 98,000 units in 2017.

Housing demand in the province is being supported by a relatively robust economy, leading to strong employment growth and rising wages. In addition, with net inter-provincial migration on an upswing as many Albertans look to BC for job opportunities. BC home sales are forecast to remain well above the ten-year average of 83,200 units over the next two years.

The inventory of homes for sale is now at its lowest level in almost a decade. Fewer homes for sale and strong consumer demand are expected to push home prices higher in most BC regions this year and in 2017. The average MLS residential price in the province is projected to increase 6.4 per cent to $677,200 this year and a further 4.1 per cent to $705,300 in 2017. All good news for those selling their homes!

New home construction activity is expected to remain at elevated levels corresponding to strong consumer demand and relatively low inventories, particularly on the South Coast.  Total housing starts in the province are forecast to remain close to an annual pace of 30,000 units through 2017, which will be the strongest two year performance since the 2007-2008 period.

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