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BC Housing Markets to Moderate

BC Housing Markets to Moderate
BCREA Releases Spring 2008 Housing Forecast


Vancouver, BC — May 6, 2008. BC home sales are retreating from historically high levels, according to the British Columbia Real Estate Association’s (BCREA) spring Housing Forecast, released today. The report analyzes the British Columbia economy and housing markets, including detailed forecasts by home type of the province’s 12 real estate board areas.

“Some weakness on the export side of the economy and eroding affordability will have an impact on housing demand over the next two years,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. Residential sales on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) are expected to decline 9 per cent to 93,800 units in the province in 2008, and a further 2 per cent to 92,000 units in 2009.

“Most housing markets in the province are exhibiting balance between demand and supply,” added Muir. Home sales were down 14 per cent in the first quarter of 2008, while active listings were up 24 per cent. “More balance between demand and supply means less upward pressure on home prices. It also reduces the chance of multiple bids on the same home, giving homebuyers more time to investigate properties thoroughly before purchasing.”

The average MLS® residential price in the province climbed 12 per cent to $438,975 in 2007. This year, the average MLS® residential price is forecast to increase 9 per cent to $479,000, and a more modest 4 per cent to $499,000 in 2009.

“While a weak US economy is negatively impacting the forest industry and tourism, the BC economy is forecast to grow 2.5 per cent this year and 2.7 per cent in 2009, a higher rate of growth than most other provinces. Consumer spending, employment growth and net migration in the province are expected to remain robust and will continue to underpin housing demand through 2009,” noted Muir.



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