Market Implications of Foreign Buyers

Strong Housing Demand Forecast Through 2017

Vancouver, BC – January, 2016. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released 2016 First Quarter Housing Forecast Update today.

Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) rresidential sales in the province are forecast to edge back 6.2 per cent to 96,100 units this year, after reaching 102,517 units in 2015. Strong consumer demand is expected to push MLS® residential sales up by 2 per cent to 98,000 units in 2017.

Housing demand in the province is being supported by a relatively robust economy, leading to strong employment growth and rising wages. In addition, net interprovincial migration is on an upswing as many Albertans look to BC for job opportunities. BC home sales are forecast to remain well above the ten-year average of 83,200 units over the next two years.

 

“The inventory of homes for sale is now at its lowest level in almost a decade,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Fewer homes for sale and strong consumer demand are expected to push home prices higher in most BC regions this year and in 2017.” The average MLS® residential price in the province is projected to increase 6.4 per cent to $677,200 this year and a further 4.1 per cent to $705,300 in 2017.

New home construction activity is expected to remain at elevated levels corresponding to strong consumer demand and relatively thin inventories, particularly on the South Coast.  Total housing starts in the province are forecast to remain close to an annual pace of 30,000 units through 2017, which will be the strongest two year performance since the 2007-2008 period.

 

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SALES SUMMARY AS AT December, 2015

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Canadian Retail Sales and Inflation – January, 2015

After recording flat sales in October, Canadian retail sales rose 1.7 per cent in November. All retail sub-sectors showed rising sales,  with the notable exception of gasoline stations where falling prices prompted the nominal value of sales to decline. In BC, retail sales were up 1.8 per cent on a monthly basis and 5.4 per cent compared to November 2014. Year-to-date, retail sales in the province are up 6.8 per cent over last year. 

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures the rate of inflation in Canada,  rose 1.6 per cent in the 12 months to December, up 0.2 points from the previous month. After 13 straight declines, the transportation component of the index,  which contains gasoline prices, increased in December. Food prices were also higher, rising 4.1 per cent largely due to impact of the lower exchange rate. The Bank of Canada’s core measure of inflation, which excludes volatile components like food and gasoline dipped slightly to 1.9 per cent from 2 per cent in November.  In BC, the provincial CPI was 1.9 per cent higher in the 12-months to December. 

For more information, please contact:  Gino Pezzani.

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