Strong Housing Demand Forecast Through 2017

Strong Housing Demand Forecast Through 2017
BCREA 2016 First Quarter Housing Forecast Update

Vancouver, BC – January 28, 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.

Nanoose Bay/Nanaimo/Vancouver Island Update

Seacliff Properties Ltd. of Vancouver bought the Fairwinds golf and marina residential development at Nanoose Bay, near Nanaimo, from the BC Investment Management Corp. whose clients include B.C. public pensions.

Seacliff paid approximately $25 million for the entire 900 – acre property.

“We b ought it to move forward with the plan that has been put in place, “said Ian Porter, Seacliff director of real estate.

Meanwhile, Insight Holdings Ltd. is proposing a 32 storey strata-title hotel for Nanaimo’s waterfront. Hilton would manage the property, which would have 303 rooms. Rezoning was approved in 2015.

Mount Washington – Vancouver Island’s Mount Washington Alpine Resort has been sold to U.S.-based Pacific Group Resorts of Utah, which plans to take Vancouver Island’s only alpine ski hill “to the next level.”

The sale includes all of the resort’s ski and recreational operations as well as most of the development land near and around its base. As reported in the January edition of the Western Investor.

The resort is about 30 kilometers from Comox and from the south, approximatelya 45 minute drive from Bowser.




VIREB – Housing Market Ends 2015 on a High Note

January 4, 2016
Housing Market Ends 2015 on a High Note

NANAIMO, BC – Housing sales in the VIREB area decreased in December, reflecting seasonal market conditions, but annual sales volume rose 13 per cent over 2014.
A total of 4,886 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in 2015, an increase of 13 per cent over the 4,335 sales recorded the previous year.

Both the benchmark and average prices increased last year, up 6.91 per cent and four per cent respectively. Inventory levels were at their lowest since 2005, down 17 per cent from the previous December. Limited inventory continues to place upward pressure on prices, which has created market conditions that favour sellers.

BCREA Chief Economist Cameron Muir predicts that housing sales in 2016 will remain robust throughout most of the province although we may not see the same level of acceleration that presented in 2015.

“The housing market is in a very healthy position heading into 2016, fueled by consumer demand and low interest rates,” said Muir. “Lack of inventory throughout much of the province will see home buyers competing for properties, particularly in the single-family-detached market.”

Although the Canadian economy improved in 2015, uncertain economic conditions will likely keep interest rates low, with any increase coming late in the year, if at all, said Muir.

VIREB President Margo Hoffman confirms that the VIREB housing market is now in seller’s territory, primarily caused by inventory levels that steadily declined month over month in 2015.

“We’ve been expecting house prices to rise because there are now more buyers than sellers in most of our zones,” said Hoffman. “However, the VIREB market is still very price-sensitive, with overpriced homes taking much longer to sell. Pricing your home properly for your neighbourhood is key, which is where the services of a REALTOR® come in.”

In December 2015, 277 single-family homes sold in the VIREB coverage area, up eight per cent from the 257 sales recorded the previous December and a 21 per cent drop from November 2015. The benchmark price for a single-family home was $338,500, up 6.91 per cent from one year ago. Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.

The average MLS® price of a single-family home in December was $362,128, up two per cent from December 2014.

The December 2015 benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $265,200, down slightly from last year. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price was $332,900, up 4.24 per cent from 2014. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $302,300, an increase of 7.87 per cent over the same month in 2014. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 5.36 per cent to $356,300 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price rise by 6.53 per cent to $380,900. The price for a benchmark home in Port Alberni was $197,700, an increase of 12.47 per cent since December 2014.