Updates › November 2015

Canadian Housing - November 9, 2015


Canadian housing starts moderated from a very strong September, falling close to 15 per cent to a still robust 198,065 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) in October The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts of 206,089 units SAAR continues to rise and is currently above the rate of household formations in Canada, a sign that new home construction could slow next year. 

Housing starts in BC were up 21 per cent from September, rising to 33,737 units SAAR.  On a year-over-year basis, housing starts were up 48 per cent with single detached starts falling 2 per cent year-over year while multiple unit starts jumped 83 per cent compared to October 2014. Year-to-date, total housing starts in BC are up 13 per cent compared to 2014. 

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were up 70 per cent year-over-year in October as a result of a sharp rise in the construction of multiple units, which more than doubled compared to October 2014.  In the Victoria CMA, the rate of new home construction was also more than double the rate of last October with both single and multiple starts posting strong growth. Total housing starts in the Kelowna CMA were up 30 per cent year-over-year on broad strength in both single and multiple unit starts.  Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA were up close to 90 per cent compared to this time last year largely on strong growth in single unit starts. 



Housing Demand to Ease but Remain Elevated in 2016


Vancouver, BC – November 10, 2015. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2015 Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast Update today.

Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province are projected to surpass 100,000 units this year. This level of home sales will be the third strongest on record and mark the first year since 2007 that BC home sales exceed the ten year average.

After climbing 15 per cent in 2014 and nearly 20 per cent this year, BC MLS® residential sales are forecast to decline 7 per cent to 93,700 units in 2016. “Less latent pent-up demand and gradual upward momentum of mortgage interest rates is expected to ease housing demand next year,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist.

“The inventory of homes for sale is now at its lowest level in nearly eight years,” added Muir. “Sellers’ market conditions are prevailing in many communities and causing home prices to be pushed higher.” The average MLS® residential price in the province is projected to increase 10.2 per cent to $626,000 this year and forecast to slow to a 2.2 per cent increase at $639,700.

Total housing starts in the province are projected to reach over 30,000 units this year, the highest level of production since 2008. Capacity constraints and an edging back of consumer demand is largely behind a forecast decline of BC housing starts, albeit just to 28,800 units in 2016.



Robust Housing Demand Continues in October


Vancouver, BC – November 12, 2015. TheBritish Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 8,725 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October, up 14.1 per cent from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $5.8 billion, up 32.3 per cent compared to the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $667,480, up 16 per cent from October 2014.

“Consumer demand continued at a heightened pace in October,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA Economist. “Market conditions have diverged significantly in the province as very low supply and a near record pace of home sales in the metro-Vancouver area is offsetting resource sector driven weakness in northern markets.“

“There was a four month supply of residential inventory province wide in October, with markets in the Lower Mainland and Victoria closer to three months of supply. A balanced market typically exhibits a five to eight month supply of homes for sale.

The year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume increased 33.6 per cent to $55.3 billion, when compared with the same period in 2014. Residential unit sales climbed by 20.4 per cent to 87,895 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 11 per cent to $628,909.