New report: B.C.'s housing market recovering more quickly than anticipated

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      The slowdown in the B.C. housing market is over, according to Central 1 deputy chief economist Brian Yu.

      In fact, Central 1's "Resale Housing Market Housing Outlook 2019–21" report suggests that a recovery is occurring much more quickly than anticipated.

      The number of resales across the province is expected to be seven percent higher this year and 13 percent higher in 2020.

      This is being driven by a growing population, steady economic growth, steep declines in mortgage rates, and price declines in large urban markets, especially the Lower Mainland.

      “Metro Vancouver will lead this increase which will undoubtedly bring affordability challenges back into the spotlight,” Yu said in a news release.

      He anticipates a four percent increase in sales in 2021, reaching 85,475 units.

      That will still be below 2017, when nearly 100,000 units changed hands.

      The median home value in B.C. in 2019 is $522,000, which is off 2.4 percent from last year.

      Yu expects the median value to rise 3.8 percent in 2020 and another four percent in 2021.

      “Home ownership remains out of reach for many households,” Yu noted.

      Central 1 deputy chief economist Brian Yu has noted a significant increase in rental-housing starts in recent years.

      Metro Van condo starts will decline in 2020

      Housing stars are expected to increase by eight percent in 2019 to 44,000 units.

      "Growth this year has predominantly been driven by a surge in condominium construction in the Vancouver CMA," the report states. "Elevated construction of rental properties and nonmarket housing projects have also boosted starts."

      Over the past two years, rentals have accounted for just over a quarter of housing starts, up from less than 10 percent three to five years ago.

      Housing stars are expected to fall 16 percent next year to about 37,000 units. That will be driven by a "pullback" in Metro Vancouver condominium projects.

      And things won't be rosy for all tenants.

      “Decades of insufficient construction of purpose-built rental building, rising price trends over the past 10 years and a growing population and economy continue to underpin a tight rental market despite rising rental construction trends in recent years," Yu said. "Mortgage stress tests have further added to rental market pressure with some would-be purchasers having to delay their purchase decisions due to more stringent qualification rates.”