File photo. (Ragnar Haagen/News staff)

‘Subdued’ housing market predicted in B.C. through 2021: report

The Central 1 Credit Union report predicts “rising but subdued sales” over the next three years, with little movement in median home prices.

Another dismal forecast for British Columbia’s housing market, one day after the Canadian Real Estate Associate predicted home sales will continue to dip in the province next year.

Central One Credit Union, which provides services to more than 300 credit unions across Canada, says in its housing forecast for 2018 to 2021 that B.C. experienced a “mild provincial housing recession” this year.

The report points to the federal government’s mortgage stress test, higher interest rates and various provincial policy measures for the downturn and predicts “rising but subdued sales” over the next three years, with little movement in median home prices.

Bryan Yu, Central 1’s deputy chief economist, says builders have noted the shift and the result is a sharp drop in housing starts since September, especially in urban areas.

He says starts in B.C. are predicted to fall to about 32,000 units in each of the next two years after nearly 40,000 units were under construction this year and 43,500 in 2017.

But the update also predicts positive housing market outlooks in some areas, including Vancouver Island, where retirees fuel the market, and in Northern B.C., where demand is boosted by a liquefied natural gas project and associated pipelines.

Read more: B.C.’s skyrocketing real estate market will ‘correct’ in 2019: analyst

Read more: Vacancies remain low as rents rise in B.C.

As work ramps up on the $40-billion LNG Canada project in and around Kitimat, Central 1 says housing markets in the north are forecast to outperform those in southern B.C., which were hit the hardest this year.

“Sales in B.C.’s combined metro markets of Vancouver, Abbotsford-Mission, Kelowna and Victoria are down 40 per cent compared with the end of 2017, led by the Lower Mainland markets,” Yu says in a news release.

The report shows annual resale home transactions plunged 17 per cent in 2018 and median resale prices slipped two per cent to $520,000.

“Gone are the days of rapid price escalation,” says Yu.

Negative growth in residential investment will drag on the broader B.C. economy, but the Central 1 update says the effect should be blunted by ongoing consumer demand linked to the lowest unemployment rate in Canada, high job vacancy rates, wage gains and population growth.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

CITIZEN’S INK: Striving to be a hero during COVID-19 pandemic

Easier to be a hero in short spirts, but we might have to prep for more of a long-term gig

IN IT TOGETHER: Trying something new can help

In this time of stress, change helps overrides negative feelings by tricking nervous systems

Donations pour in to ensure Maple Ridge hospital staff are fed

Restaurants owners, and others, helping to ensure frontline crew at Ridge Meadows Hospital eat

Ridge Meadows Home Show returns in 2021

Organizers hoped to simply postpone the spring event, but ultimately had to cancel for 2020

VIDEO: Maple Ridge man’s family makes his 85th birthday special

Barney Schollen’s kids and grandkids made signs and sang to him on March 28

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

B.C. community service provider hosts friendly art competition for youth

Theme for Pacific Community Resources contest is ‘finding the silver lining in difficult times’

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

TransLink to reduce service on some bus routes, SeaBus, West Coast Express

Changes start April 6 ‘due to low ridership and financial pressures’ amid COVID-19

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Most Read