The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2016 Third Quarter Housing Forecast Update today.
Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province are forecast to climb 10.4 per cent to a record 113,000 units this year, eclipsing the previous record of 106,310 units in 2005. Housing demand is expected to moderate next year, with home sales declining nearly 8 per cent to 104,400 units. However, housing demand is expected to remain well above the ten-year average of 85,000 unit sales.
“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. “However, other regions of the province are performing above expectations and at the provincial level, largely offsetting Metro Vancouver’s deceleration.”
The average MLS® residential price in the province is forecast to increase 11 per cent to $706,900 this year and a further 5.2 per cent to $743,700 in 2017.
“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, added Muir. Housing starts in the province are expected to reach near record levels this year, and the highest amount since 1993. In Metro Vancouver, a record number of homes are now under construction. “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.”