Based on projections for the remainder of the year, MLS® residential sales are expected to decline 9% to 94,200 units compared to 103,700 units in 2017. As well, 2019 and 2020 forecasts predict sales to decrease to 94,000 and 84,800 units, respectively.
The Lower Mainland - Southwest region of the province (which includes the Greater Vancouver Area, the Fraser Valley and Chilliwack) constitutes ~60% of the housing demand in BC. Housing demand fell sharply in the first four months of 2018 as a result of tighter mortgage qualifications. There was minimal impact on home prices as a result of the slower housing demand.
The type of housing market varies depending on housing type. The detached market in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley is showing a balanced market whereas the attached and apartment markets remain significantly undersupplied.
While the housing market is slowing in growth, it is still continuing to be supported by a strong economy. Looking at the health of BC's economy has been promising. The economy has expanded at an above-trend growth rate for four consecutive years resulting in increased interprovincial migration, employment growth and overall strong consumer confidence. Early 2018 data has been consistent with the interpretation that the "BC economy will continue to produce the remarkable economic and employment growth enjoyed since 2014".
Currently, there are over 60,000 residential units under construction in BC. The increase in new home completions coupled with the slowing housing demand will result in trending most BC markets towards balanced conditions this year, and lead to less upward pressure on home prices.
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Source: British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA)