BC, Vancouver Housing Starts to Hold Steady in 2015: CMHC

Joannah Connolly
October 30, 2014

BC housing starts are forecast to reach 28,300 homes next year and 29,000 homes in 2016, according to a report released October 30 by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

This compares with the CMHC’s September prediction of 27,500 housing starts in 2014.

The CMHC forecasts that MLS® resales in BC will total 79,200 units in 2015 and 79,300 units in 2016.

The province’s average home price is forecast to increase only slightly next year, rising to $566,300 in 2015 and $573,000 in 2016.

Carol Frketich, BC regional economist at CMHC, said, “Housing demand will be supported by employment and population growth, but tempered by gradually rising mortgage interest rates.

“Total housing starts will edge higher as resale market conditions remain balanced and the supply of completed and unabsorbed (unsold) new homes trends lower.”

Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) housing starts will also continue at a steady pace, with 18,700 and 19,250 units forecast for 2015 and 2016, compared with a projected 18,900 units in 2014, said the CMHC.

"Housing starts are expected to dip slightly in 2015 but overall, the trend is stable," said Robyn Adamache, CMHC's senior market analyst for Vancouver. "Condominium apartments and rental housing, both purpose-built rental as well as mortgage helpers, will drive multiple-family housing starts over the next two years."

The CMHC said that Greater Vancouver MLS® sales are projected to reach 32,800 in 2014 but higher mortgage interest rates during the latter part of 2015 will temper 2015 and 2016 sales to 32,250 and 31,600 units. A shift towards lower-cost housing options is forecast to moderate average MLS® price growth to 1.2 per cent and 1.7 per cent in 2015 and 2016.

Abbotsford-Mission CMA new housing construction is projected to edge lower to 590 and 570 starts in 2015 and 2016 compared with a projected 610 units in 2014.

MLS® sales in the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board area are forecast to progress at a moderate, steady pace this year and next.

Nationwide, the 2015, the average MLS® resale price is expected to be $410,600 in 2015 and  $417,300 in 2016.

Joannah Connolly
Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condo, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 22 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio.