According to the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA)’s recent 2016 Third Quarter Housing Forecast Update, the province’s MLS residential sales are expected to jump 10.4 per cent to a record 113,000 units this year, surpassing the previous high of 106,310 units in 2005.
Housing demand in the province is expected to moderate in 2017 as home sales fall nearly eight per cent to 104,400 units. However, housing demand is expected to stay well above the 10-year average of 85,000 units.
“The introduction of a 15 per cent tax on foreign national home buyers in Metro Vancouver is expected to accelerate a moderating trend in the market that began earlier in the year,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA chief economist, in a press release. “However, other regions of the province are performing above expectations and at the provincial level, largely offsetting Metro Vancouver’s deceleration.”
The average price of a home in the province is forecast to climb 11 per cent to $706,900 this year and an extra 5.2 per cent to $743,700 in 2017.
Meanwhile, housing starts in the province are expected to reach close to record numbers this year, making it the highest amount since 1993. In Metro Vancouver, a record number of homes are currently under construction.
“While the cyclical nature of housing markets can exact a harsh toll on affordability in the short term, there is some relief for beleaguered home buyers on the horizon,” said Muir. “A moderation in housing demand combined with a rising number of both new and resale homes on the market is expected to create more balance and less upward pressure on home prices.”