BC Housing Starts Expected to Rise

According to the latest Housing Market Outlook published May 25 by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), BC housing starts will rise 1.2 per cent from 2014, ranging between 26,400 and 29,800 units in 2015 and rising to 26,100 to 30,500 units in 2016. This rise can be attributed to falling energy prices and the slowing down of oil-producing provinces.

“Lower oil prices are contributing to disparities between provincial housing markets. A slowdown in housing starts and resale transactions in oil-producing provinces such as Alberta will be partly offset by increased housing market activity in other provinces, such as Ontario and British Columbia, which benefit from the positive impacts of declining energy prices, a lower Canadian dollar and continued low mortgage rates,” said Bob Dugan, chief economist for CMHC.

The national forecast for Canada however, predicts a slight dip between 166,540 and 188,580 units in 2015, and between 162,840 units to 190,830 units in 2016.

“A higher level of housing starts will be supported by growth in employment and population during the next two years,” noted Carol Frketich, CMHC’s BC Regional Economist.

“Multiple-family starts will be stable in 2015 and then pick up in 2016 as demand for denser housing forms increases and inventories of completed and unabsorbed units are drawn down. Single-detached home starts are expected to remain relatively unchanged over the forecast horizon.”

Existing MLS® home sales are forecast to total 79,200 units in 2015 and 79,300 units in 2016, while the average price is forecast to be between $573,700 and $627,500 in 2015, rising again to between $577,000 and $652,000 in 2016.

Single-detached home starts are expected to total 9,500 units in 2015 and 9,600 units in 2016. There has been a rise in resale prices due to Resale sales growth outpacing listings growth.

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