What’s in store for BC’s housing market in 2014?

B.C.’s housing market will remain strong in the coming year as residential real estate sales and average prices nationally have soared to a five-year high, according to a new report by Re/Max.

The Housing Market Outlook 2014, released Wednesday, said improved economic performance combined with historically low interest rates and rising consumer confidence should spark greater gains in 2014, with housing sales and values expected to further appreciate.

The report said the number of homes sold this year is expected to match or exceed 2012 levels in almost two-thirds of markets across the country, led by strong activity in B.C., including Vancouver and Kelowna.

Home buying in B.C. kicked into high-gear in June, led by the Lower Mainland, Kelowna and Victoria. Although there are several factors that are expected to contribute to rising housing values nationally, one of the most pressing is continued construction in Vancouver and Toronto, said Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president of Re/Max of Western Canada.

The availability of low-rise homes relative to the population is expected to contract, in favour of vertical growth, and its affordable price point is representative of the future.

“We’re definitely seeing a greater commitment to higher density at a municipal level,” Ash says. “In fact, the trend already underway in Vancouver and Toronto has gained serious momentum in smaller markets where cities are moving to infuse vibrancy into the urban core through mixeduse residential/commercial/retail development. The level of investment is substantial – dovetailing with revitalization efforts currently underway.”

Nationally, an estimated 466,000 homes will change hands in 2013, an increase of three per cent over sales recorded in 2012.

Canadian home sales are expected to climb two per cent to 475,000 units by the end of next year. The average price of a Canadian home is forecast to appreciate four per cent to $380,000 in 2013, up from $363,740 in 2012.

Values are expected to continue to escalate in 2014, rising three per cent to $390,000 by year end, the report said.

Source: Tiffany Crawford, Vancouver Sun

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