Housing market outlook upbeat despite ‘overvaluation’

CMHC projects continued real estate gains in Metro Vancouver

Bob Dugan




A new market outlook from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. predicts higher real estate prices, housing starts and sales this year in the Lower Mainland, despite what it flags as “problematic price acceleration” near Vancouver.

“There is evidence that overvaluation is detected in the Vancouver housing market,” according to the CMHC report.

It forecasts the average MLS resale price across all home types in Metro Vancouver will continue to climb from $903,000 in 2015 to between $1.022 and 1.128 million in 2016 and to between $1.045 and 1.179 million in 2017.

The CMHC report said the gains could be at the lower end of that range if there’s easing of what it calls the imbalance between current elevated house prices and what’s supported by underlying fundamentals.

“Alternatively, in the absence of a shock to trigger this scenario, the province’s housing market would see levels of starts, sales and prices in the upper part of the wide ranges.”

The report said threats that could dampen the market include the growing number of highly indebted households that will be more vulnerable to job loss or a jump in interest rates, as well as a sharper-than-expected slowdown in economic growth in China, which would ripple through the Canadian economy.

RELATED: B.C. changes rules to stop real estate ‘shadow flipping’

Metro Vancouver home prices were up 26 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 compared to a year earlier.

The CMHC expects more listings over the next 18 months, as prospective sellers are attracted by the recent steep price jumps.

But it notes some sellers may be hesitant to list their homes if they’re unsure if they can find another home in the region. Others willing to relocate to another region will see it as an opportunity to cash in on high prices.

“Single detached homes, particularly in central locations, will continue to attract high net worth buyers, both local and offshore,” it predicts.

The price gains for detached houses have outpaced condos in Metro Vancouver. That’s been most noticeable in suburbs, where house prices have climbed at more than twice the rate of apartment condo prices, while the gap in outsized house gains has begun to narrow in Vancouver and West Van, where apartment price gains have lately been higher than houses.

Average rents in the region are forecast to climb by close to three per cent a year.

Just Posted

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

Gallery: Local Lights

Residents of Seabird Island, Agassiz and Harrison show off their Christmas spirit

UPDATE: Evacuations still in place for homes along Rockwell Drive

District of Kent mayor says no one was injured but slope stability remains a concern

#MeToo at work: How reporting sexual harassment works – and how it doesn’t

British Columbians have four options to report harassment or assault, but none of them are easy

Local mother-son duo fight stigma around being ‘different’

New Agassiz residents hope to make connections in community

Week in review – December 15

KHSAR aid rescue, emergency route plans and more

VIDEO: balloons and games and music at Basic for Babies in Langley

Event helps Food Banks stock supplies for infants

Kamloops RCMP warning public to stay away from unfolding domestic dispute

The public is being asked to avoid Sabiston Creek Road off of the highway

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Letter: Agassiz resident opposes cell tower

Cites health and environment concerns

Most Read