BC Home Sales Set to Rise 9.8% in 2014, Prices 5.6%: BCREA

BC Home Sales Set to Rise 9.8% in 2014, Prices 5.6%: BCREA hero image
BCREA report predicts annual residential sales will surpass the 80,000 threshold for first time in five years and hit the 15-year average

BC home sales are predicted to rise 9.8 per cent to 80,100 units in 2014, compared with a rise of 7.8 per cent to 72,936 units in 2013, according to a July 31 update from the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA).

The association said this will be the first time in five years that annual residential sales will surpass the 80,000 threshold and hit the 15-year average.

After a relatively poor first quarter, home sales rose sharply in Q2 as low interest rates and stronger economic conditions helped drive the market, said the BCREA.

The report added that the increase in consumer demand is spread widely across the province. Having struggled to rebound quickly after the recession, many Interior markets are now seeing even more growth than the Lower Mainland, with the biggest increases in unit sales expected in the Okanagan and the Kootenays.

The association expects residential sales to increase a further 4 per cent to 83,300 units in 2015 as housing stock is expands in line with overall population and household growth.

BCREA also reported that the average house price is forecast to rise 5.6 per cent to $567,300 in 2014, largely because of demand for single-family homes. Stronger demand for condominiums in 2015, combined with a likely rise in interest rates, is expected to increase the average price of a home in BC by between 1 and 2 per cent, said the association.

Northern BC and the Okanagan are expected to see the highest percentage house price rises in 2014, at 6.3 and 6 per cent respectively, with the Fraser Valley third highest at 5.6 per cent. Greater Vancouver was fourth highest for predicted percentage price rise, with a 5.2 per cent increase expected to take the average house price in the metropolis to $808,000 by the end of the year.

Housing starts are expected to increase 1.8 to 2 per cent in 2014 and 2015 respectively, after increasing 1 per cent to 27,000 in 2013. This rise would take housing starts to 28,000 units in 2015.

The association added that BC real estate board areas are seeing balanced markets on the whole, with Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and the Okanagan beginning to see sellers' market conditions.

To see the report, click here.


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