The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2014 Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast today.
“Consumer demand has ratcheted up this year and is expected to remain at a more elevated level through 2015,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “While historically low mortgage rates support demand, the housing market is also being underpinned by a more robust economy and associated job growth, strong net migration and consumer confidence.”
BC Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales are forecast to increase 15.1 per cent to 83,900 units this year. Stronger economic conditions are expected to be somewhat offset by higher interest rates later next year, and keep home sales from advancing much further. As a result, MLS® residential sales are forecast to edge up a further 1.2 per cent to 84,900 units in 2015. The 15-year average is 80,400 unit sales and a record 106,300 MLS® residential sales were recorded in 2005.
The average MLS® residential price for the province is forecast to increase 6 per cent to a record $569,800 this year and a further 1.2 per cent to $574,300 in 2015. “New construction activity is generally keeping pace with population and household growth, keeping supply in line with consumer demand,” added Muir. BC housing starts are forecast to increase 4.6 per cent to 28,300 units this year and a further 1.4 per cent to 28,700 units in 2015.