The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2016 Second Quarter Housing Forecast today.
Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province are forecast to climb 12.3 per cent to a record 115,200 units this year, eclipsing the previous record of 106,310 units in 2005. Housing demand is expected to pull back by 8.3 per cent to 105,600 units in 2017. Strong economic fundamentals are expected to underpin the housing market and produce above average consumer demand through 2017. The ten-year average for the province is 83,000 MLS® residential unit sales.
“Robust employment growth and a marked increase in migration from other provinces is buoying consumer confidence and housing demand in most regions of the province,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Record housing demand has depleted inventories in many urban areas, and the resulting imbalance between supply and demand has pushed home prices considerably higher."
The average MLS® residential price in the province is forecast to increase 20.4 per cent to $766,600 this year and a further 3.4 per cent to $792,800 in 2017.
New home construction activity has ramped up to meet the extraordinary demand for housing. Waning inventories of newly completed and unoccupied units are being offset by a marked increase in the number of homes under construction. Total housing starts in the province are forecast to climb 20 per cent to 37,800 units this year, before edging back to 34,200 units in 2017.