Price and sales volume decline in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley have ripple effects on the rest of the province. (Central 1 Credit Union)

B.C. housing sales predicted to slow, prices to fall in 2019

Government policies expected to drive decline for third year

This year will be the third straight where home sales decline, and for the first time since 2012, so will B.C. average home prices, Central 1 Credit Union says in its latest forecast.

“Early 2019 home sales continue to deteriorate as federal and provincial policies continue to weigh on demand and lead to price declines among some of the larger urban markets,” says the organization representing credit unions in B.C. and Ontario.

The report, Resale Housing Outlook 2019-2021, says new home starts have held steady early this year, “but a sharp pullback is expected in the second half of 2019 as weakening resale market and pre-sale conditions cool construction.”

Central 1 forecasts that housing starts will decline 14 per cent this year to 35,000 units and slip further to around 33,000 units in 2020 and 2021. The report notes that this is still above 2016 levels, and the declines are confined to larger urban markets.

The report says smaller real estate markets have generally held steady, and northern B.C. housing demand is being supported by work beginning on liquefied natural gas facilities and pipelines. Alberta’s slow economy is identified as slowing sales of recreational properties in the B.C. Interior.

RELATED: Victoria housing starts mostly rentals, CMHC says

RELATED: Canada-wide housing starts picked up in March

The federal government’s addition of a “stress test” for bank mortgages in 2018 has required borrowers to qualify their ability to pay if interest rates increase, after a long period of low rates led to personal debt rates rising. B.C. has focused on increased taxes for foreign buyers and second homes in urban areas that have low rental vacancy rates and high purchase prices.

B.C.’s foreign buyer tax and speculation tax were extended to urban areas outside Metro Vancouver, where 20 per cent declines have been seen in high-end properties and high-priced locations such as Vancouver and West Vancouver.

“Similarly, sales in Kelowna, Abbotsford-Mission and Victoria have seen their sales slumps extend into 2019,” the report says. “While not of the same magnitude, sales are lower by more than 20 per cent, year over year.

“Weak activity in Metro Vancouver is contributing to fewer recreational and retirement home purchases in other markets, as homeowners face lower price/equity and difficulty selling their properties.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Vehicle found “burnt to a crisp” off of Hwy 5

Update from Clearwater RCMP detachment

How the Friendly Club came to be

Started in 1967, the Friendly Club still meets to this day

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Most Read