See what’s in store for Metro Vancouver’s real estate market

Real estate has been slumping in the Lower Mainland, with sales volumes off by a third from long-term averages and prices down about five per cent from their peak.

Central 1 Credit Union is predicting a slow, weak recovery for real estate in British Columbia, saying it expects a flat market for both unit sales and prices for the next few years.

In its annual forecast released last week, the credit union predicts home sales in the province will gather a bit of strength this fall and hold steady for the rest of the year.

“The year-long correction in home sales is likely to bottom out in the first quarter of 2013, and we’ll see a slow recovery through the rest of the year. But the gains will be modest,” said Bryan Yu, an economist with the credit union.

Yu said there is always a market for homes that are priced well or have a special selling point.

“There’s always going to be some properties that sell quickly, if they’re priced well, or under-priced, perhaps,” Yu said. “But we’re not seeing that reflection in the over-all market that it’s anywhere near a strong market. Listings are high, overall sales levels are low and the reality is the price trends have been negative over the past couple of quarters.”

Yu said it is normal for the real estate market to become busier in the spring.

135 single-family homes have sold on the west side of Vancouver this March, which should result in 160 sales once the month is done; in March 2012, there were 152 sales.

Last year hit a 12-year low in sales, with only 64,400 sold (compared with 76,817 in 2011), and Yu anticipates there will be slightly fewer homes sold this year.

Yu said the resale housing market is hampered by sluggish employment and population growth as well as tighter mortgage requirements that have pushed some first-time buyers out of the market.

Following 2012’s four-per-cent decline, the credit union expects the province’s median annual price to slip five per cent in 2013 to about $363,000, a level last seen in 2009.

In Greater Vancouver, annual resale activity is forecast to decline about four per cent this year to 31,500 homes. The median price will dip six per cent to $474,000 but is expected to rise by the end of 2013, according to the forecast.

The report also says house sales in the Okanagan, Kootenay and Vancouver Island are expected to rise but for now remain near recessionary levels because of weak demand and excess inventory.

The forecast calls for an uptick of 13 per cent in unit sales in 2014 and a further eight per cent in 2015 as the economy improves and consumer confidence grows. Yu expects prices to remain flat through 2015.

Source: Tracy Sherlock/Tiffany Crawford Vancouver Sun

One Response to “See what’s in store for Metro Vancouver’s real estate market”

  1. See what's in store for Metro Vancouver's real estate market … | | Vancouver Realty News BlogVancouver Realty News Blog Says:

    […] See what's in store for Metro Vancouver's real estate market …See what's in store for Metro Vancouver's real estate market. Metro real estate market shows signs of spring. Real estate has been slumping in the Lower ……/what-will-happen-to-metro-vancouv… […]

Leave a Reply

Real Estate Blogs