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

Council OKs Rosemont disc golf for one-year trial

Course will be installed in Art Gibbon Park

PHOTOS: Nelson honours veterans on Remembrance Day 2019

Residents laid a record 125 wreaths at the cenotaph

BCTF rejects mediator’s recommendations for settlement

Negotiations between B.C. teachers and the province will continue

Nelson Leafs atop league after splitting weekend games

The Leafs lost in Spokane but won in Fernie

Night of Grief and Mystery coming to Capitol Theatre

Gregory Hoskins and Stephen Jenkinson bring their unique show to Nelson on Tuesday.

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Devils strike early, hang on for 2-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver now 0-8-3 in last 11 games versus New Jersey

Most Read