Greater Vancouver home sales and prices to soar in 2016

BCREA expects Greater Vancouver unit sales will increase 8.9% this year

Home sales in Greater Vancouver are on a hot streak, and the professional association representing all the real estate boards in the province is bumping up its forecast for 2016, predicting escalating prices and a jump in the number of homes sold.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association forecasts unit sales in the Greater Vancouver region will increase 8.9 per cent in 2016, from 43,145 homes sold in 2015 to 47,000 this year.

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For B.C. as a whole, unit sales are forecast to increase 12.3 per cent to 115,200 units, breaking the previous record of 106,310 units sold in 2005.

“Robust employment growth and a marked increase in migration from other provinces is buoying consumer confidence and housing demand in most regions of the province,” said BCREA chief economist Cameron Muir.

“Record housing demand has depleted inventories in many urban areas, and the resulting imbalance between supply and demand has pushed home prices considerably higher.”

The average sales price for homes in Greater Vancouver is expected to reach $1.125 million this year, up 24.6 per cent from $902,801 in 2015. Across the province, the average price is forecast to increase 20.4 per cent this year, from $636,600 last year to $766,600 in 2016.

This latest forecast is in sharp contrast to the BCREA’s previous release, in which it had predicted an 8.2 per cent drop in unit sales across Greater Vancouver and a 6.2 per cent decline across the province as a whole.

The BCREA had previously said home sales would fall because of a lack of supply. It now says a jump in new home construction is set to help meet demand.

“Waning inventories of newly completed and unoccupied units are being offset by a market increase in the number of homes under construction,” the BCREA said in a news release.

“Total housing starts in the province are forecast to climb 20 per cent to 37,800 units this year, before edging back to 34,200 units in 2017.”

ecrawford@biv.com

@EmmaHampelBIV

For business news go to biv.com

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