CMHC Housing Market Outlook – BC Regional Highlights

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The CMHC just released their 2015 First Quarter Housing Market Outlook for BC. The report looks at the number of housing starts expected for the year, the existing MLS® home sales, and the MLS® average price forecasts.

Here’s a quick summary of where things stand for the BC Region in 2015 as well as where they are projected to go in 2016.

Economic Outlook

  • The BC economy is forecast to expand 2.8 percent in 2015 and 2.9 percent in 2016.
  • As economic growth speeds up in the US in tandem with a lowered value Canadian dollar, provincial exports will grow.
  • Employment levels in 2015 will begin at two percent higher than in previous years.
  • The population will grow by approximately one percent to 30,000 households/year (in 2014, net interprovincial migration added almost 7,500 people to BC’s population)
  • Mortgage rates will continue to be supportive of housing demand as interest rates remain at or very close to current levels over the forecast horizon.

Housing Market Outlook

  • Single detached home starts are expected to total 9,500 units in 2015 and 9,600 in 2016 (with some expected crossover into the new home market) with resale prices rising due to sales growth outpacing listings growth.
  • Multiple-family home starts are expected to total 18,800 units in 2015 with a projected increase to 19,400 units in 2016 (due to a shift in buying behavior due to increasing mortgage interest rates).
  • MLS® sales are forecasted to moderate in 2015 (average home price = $577,700) and remained relatively unchanged in 2016 (average home price = $588,000), although rising rates may shift home sales to less expensive types, stifling price growth.
  • Vacancy rates in 2015 and 2016 will stay low and stable in B.C.’s larger urban centers, including Vancouver and Victoria Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) where demand will be fueled by population and job growth, and the supply of new purpose built rentals is expected to be limited by high land costs.
  • Rental vacancy rents will drop in Abbotsford-Mission CMA and Kamloops, remain stable in Prince George and Nanaimo, and increase in Kelowna (due to new rental supply additions).

To view a more detailed breakdown of the Economic and Housing Indicators, Housing Market Outlook, and Housing Forecast Ranges (including New Construction, Resale, and Rental Markets) for the B.C. Region, you can view the entire Housing Market Outlook report by clicking here.

Have questions or concerns? Please feel free to post a comment below or contact our office anytime at 1.888.824.7346.

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