B.C. home prices to increase over next 2 years: RBC forecast

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

Growth is expected to decelerate by the end of 2016

Emma Crawford Hampel
Van. Courier

The price of homes in British Columbia will continue to increase over the next two years, according to an RBC forecast released August 19, but the rate of growth will slow by the end of 2016.

Home sale prices across Canada will also rise in both 2015 and 2016, at rates of 4.6 per cent and 3.2 per cent, respectively. This slight deceleration will be dependent on an increase in interest rates over the period, RBC said in its forecast.

“Our base case scenario is that the Bank of Canada will begin to remove monetary stimulus by the middle of 2016 and raise the overnight rate by 75 basis points to 1.25 per cent during the second half of next year,” the bank said in the forecast.

Nationwide increases will be driven by price growth in B.C. and Ontario, specifically Vancouver and Toronto.

“The affordability stresses found at the national level almost entirely reflect the situation in two major markets: Vancouver and Toronto,” RBC said in its forecast.

“Affordability – and therefore, valuation – conforms to historical norms in virtually every other market in Canada, thereby suggesting little in the way of widespread excessive valuation across the country.”

Consistent with what has been seen thus far in 2015 , detached homes will take the lead in terms of price growth, RBC said.

“[In Vancouver and Toronto], affordability is most stretched for single-detached homes, whereas affordability of condominium apartments is just a little worse than it has been on average over the past 30 years.”

The average home sale price is forecast to be $595,200 across the province for 2015 as a whole – up 7.8 per cent compared with $552,300 in 2014. Through 2016, the average price will continue to grow, but the increase for that year will slow to 4.9 per cent with the price reaching $624,600.

The number of homes sold in B.C. will be up 20.5 per cent by the end of this year when compared with last year. In 2014, 84,000 homes were sold. The forecast for total sales in 2015 is 101,200 units. In 2016, this will fall by 4.8 per cent, RBC forecasts, to 96,300 homes.

Housing starts are expected to follow a similar pattern. A total of 33,100 starts in B.C. for this year is expected in the province – up 16.7 per cent compared with last year. In 2016, starts will fall 6.3 per cent to 31,000 units.

© 2015 Vancouver Courier

Comments are closed.