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

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

Province bringing 421 new affordable childcare spaces to Fraser Valley

Supporting early childhood educators and creating spaces go hand in hand, minister says

Aspiring pot-sellers can apply in two weeks to operate stores in Abbotsford

City will accept applications to operate one of four new stores; public consultation to follow

Abbotsford homeless advocate killed by RCMP in Lytton

Barry Shantz spearheaded getting harm-reduction services in city, changing bylaws around homeless

SLIDESHOW: Vancouver Motorcycle Show back in Abbotsford

Annual event runs all weekend long on Tradex

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

Surrey tells Uber to cease operations in city, but company ‘respectfully’ declines

Ridesharing company told to stop operating within the city by 9 p.m. Jan. 24

Coronavirus concerns cause cancellation of Langley Lunar New Year celebration

Close to 1,000 were expected to attend the annual Live In Langley event on Saturday

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Most Read