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.

Just Posted

Pride Festival just around the corner

The Fernie and Elk Valley Pride Festival is just around the corner,… Continue reading

Kootenay Learning Campus opens in Fernie

School District 5 celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the… Continue reading

Diamond of the Elk Valley turns 30

Island Lake Lodge, located only 14 km from Fernie, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Kootenay-Columbia incumbent MP responds to Trudeau brownface scandal

Stetski proud of NDP leader Singh’s reaction, which focused on people not power

It’s time for change, or not, say B.C. residents

Approximately 93 per cent of B.C. residents say time’s up for bi-annual… Continue reading

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

Fernie Fire Department celebrates FireSmart education

“The greatest safety is a neighbourhood that is FireSmart,” said Alan Westhaver.

Trails in Fernie’s Ridgemont area reopen

Fernie Trails Alliance urging trail users to abide by and obey closures still in place

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Most Read