The BC provincial budget released yesterday contains some predictions for the BC housing market.
First, what happened last year: According to budget documents, BC housing starts increased 4.8 per cent in 2014 after contracting by 1.5 per cent in 2013. Residential building permits increased 6.8 per cent for the year.
Looking to the future, the budget forecasts housing starts will decrease 2.7 per cent in 2015 to about 27,600 units, with a further slight decrease to about 27,500 units in 2016 and 27,000 units per year from 2017 to 2019.
The budget also contains a summary of the opinions of the Economic Forecast Council, a group of 14 leading economists from several major Canadian banks and private research institutions with whom the Minister of Finance is required to consult when preparing BC’s economic outlook for the budget. The summary reports:
“Council members assessed BC’s housing market as being reasonably healthy. Most members expected the BC and Canadian housing markets to moderate slightly in the coming years, while a couple of members stated that this ‘soft landing’ has already materialized and that the outlook for housing activity remains firm.”