CMHC – Expect BC Housing Prices to rise

Demand for housing in British Columbia is expected to increase this year and next, driven by employment growth and an increasing population, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The average price for home sales across the province is forecast at $550,400 in 2014, with an increase in higher-end real estate sales. The average price in 2015 is expected to be $552,300.

The CMHC forecasts that the resale market will remain balanced. Home resales are expected to be 76,200 in 2014 and 77,300 in 2015.

Single detached-home home starts are expected to increase to 9,200 units in 2014 and 9,500 in 2015. Multi-unit home starts are anticipated to be 18,600 units in 2014 and 18,400 in 2015.

“Starts of apartment condominiums, townhomes and semi-detached homes are forecast to edge lower, as the combination of multi-unit homes under construction, the existing inventory of completed and unabsorbed units, and a well-supplied resale market are expected to satisfy some of the demand for denser housing types going forward,” the report said.

The CMHC forecasts employment to increase by 1.5% in 2014 and 2.3% in 2015, while unemployment is expected to remain low, with both factors supporting housing demand. At the end of April, B.C.’s unemployment rate was 5.8%, according to Statistics Canada, and the CMHC expects this to remain in this lower range.

The population will grow by 1% this year, which will increase home sales and house prices and lead to lower rental vacancy rates.

Business investment and increased exports to the United States will strengthen B.C.’s economy.

“Accompanying job gains and ongoing population growth will support consumer demand for goods and services,” said the CMHC in its Housing Market Outlook.

“Real GDP is forecast to grow 2.3% in 2014 and 2.8% in 2015, versus an estimated 1.8% increase in 2013.”

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