Housing Demand Strong Everywhere Except Northern B.C.
Prince George, B.C. – Northern B.C. is expected to buck the trend when it comes to housing demand this year.
This according to the British Columbia Real Estate Association’s (BCREA) Second Quarter Housing Forecast.
“Across the province, nine of B.C.’s 11 real estate board areas are forecast to experience increased housing demand this year,” says chief economist Cameron Muir. “Vancouver and the Fraser Valley are forecast to lead the province with a 16 to 17 percent increase in residential sales, while Northern BC, the board with the largest geographic area, is expected to experience some retrenchment this year before returning on a growth path in 2016.”
He expects demand to fall by close to 7% to 4,200 units this year in the North which he attributes to “fallout from depressed oil prices and slower than anticipated investment in commodity exploration and transmission infrastructure.”
Muir adds “delays in proposed LNG plants and contingent pipelines are also pushing some purchase decisions to the back burner.”
However he also foresees a rebound in 2016 noting “a more robust US economy and a competitive exchange rate are leading to rising BC exports and providing a much needed boost to tourism.
This, combined with more pronounced investment activity in 2016, is expected to push home sales up more than 10 percent to 4,625 units next year.”
Muir says the average price of a home “is expected to edge up 2.6 percent to $269,000 this year, and a further 2.2 percent to $275,000 in 2016,” though he notes prices vary greatly throughout the region.
“It’s such a large geographic area, comprised of many different and disparate markets, it’s very hard to pin the average price on any particular area in the North.”