The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its Housing Forecast for the first quarter of 2011 today.
BC Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales are forecast to increase 8 per cent from 74,640 units in 2010 to 80,900 units this year, and increase another 4 per cent to 83,950 units in 2012.
“British Columbia housing markets are returning to normalcy after two years of volatility,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Employment and population growth will fuel consumer demand over the next two years. However, higher mortgage interest rates and tighter credit conditions for low equity home buyers will limit home sales to below the ten-year average of 87,600 units.”
“Total active residential listings in the province declined 14 per cent since last spring. However, the inventory of homes for sale is expected to edge higher as the number of new listings to the market advances during the first two quarters of 2011,” added Muir. “Regional market differences continue in the province, with Vancouver trending into a seller’s market, while the Okanagan, Kootenay and Kamloops markets trend from a buyer’s market toward balanced conditions.”
The average MLS® residential price is forecast to increase 2 per cent to $517,000 this year and remain relatively unchanged in 2012, albeit declining by 0.4 per cent to $515,400.