B.C. Finance Minister Carole James presents first quarter financial results, Sept. 10, 2019. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Slow home sales cool B.C. government revenues this year

Finance Minister Carole James releases first 2019 results

A 16 per cent reduction in home sales and a slump in the forest industry have reduced the B.C. government’s estimated surplus by $95 million, Finance Minister Carole James says.

Home sales fell by 16 per cent from April through July, compared to the first quarter of the last fiscal year, James said as she released the B.C. government’s first quarter results for the fiscal year.

Home sales fell by 16 per cent from April through July, compared to the first quarter of the last fiscal year, James said as she released the B.C. government’s first quarter results for the fiscal year.

James said the government will continue to monitor the effect of the speculation and vacancy tax and other measures, watching for housing prices come down so more people can afford to buy a home.

“I don’t think there’s a British Columbian, particularly young people who are trying to get into the market, who would say we have reached the affordability level,” James said.

Comparing the first quarter results to the budget presented by James in February, taxation revenue is $277 million below budget and spending is above. The finance ministry shifted $300 million from contingency funds to yield a surplus forecast of $179 million.

RELATED: 12,000 B.C. residents paying speculation tax

RELATED: B.C. housing prices predicted to fall in 2019

The biggest adjustment in the first quarter is property transfer tax, down $385 million from the budget. That was partially offset by income tax revenue, which came in $215 million more than budgeted.

Despite struggles in the forest industry and continued cooling of the housing market, the province’s private sector economic forecast council expects its annual growth for 2020 to lead the country.

Economic growth is forecast at 2.4 per cent for B.C., compared to 2.2 per cent for Alberta and 1.8 per cent in Ontario, according to council member Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank, Royal Bank, ScotiaBank and TD.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Residents treated for smoke inhalation after fire in Maple Ridge building

Fire took place in the 11800 block of Laity Street

Muse proceeds with cannabis store in Westgate Shopping Centre

Private retail store would be within 1,000m of proposed government store in Maple Ridge

VIDEO: Person falls from roof in Maple Ridge

Air ambulance was called but victim taken by ground instead

Friends do ‘amazing’ home makeover for retired police officer

Pitt Meadows RCMP veteran was away getting treatment for PTSD

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

One dead as fish boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Joe Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington

Displaced tenant ‘heartbroken’ to find Langley City condo robbed after fire

Wedding rings of Michelle Buchan’s have since been recovered, but much is still missing

Canucks fan risks life to celebrate at Surrey intersection

‘All fun and games until somebody falls out an open side door of the van’

Most Read