Residential Investor Outlook 2019: Scout opportunities outside of the Lower Mainland for best returns on home buying and rental plays
Despite a 35 per cent plunge in Lower Mainland housing sales this year, home prices remain the highest in Canada while rising mortgage rates will also help to keep buyers sidelined. As of October there were more than 20,000 homes for sale through the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, up 42 per cent from a year earlier, as sales cratered in both markets. Yet the composite benchmark home price in the Lower Mainland is $995,000 – nearly twice as high as the national average and up 2.9 per cent from October 2017, according to the REBGV. The benchmark detached-house price, now at $1.28 million, is down 2.7 per cent from the same period last year.
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The Metro region will welcome 59,300 new residents this year and another 61,000 in 2019, more than 90 per cent of whom will move into the Lower Mainland. The majority of the newcomers will be renters, because Metro Vancouver has the least affordable homes in Canada, based on home prices and incomes, according to both the Royal Bank of Canada and Zoocasa Realty Inc.
The BCREA is forecasting that, after falling to 80,000 sales this year, total residential transactions through provincial real estate boards will increase 12 per cent in 2019 to 89,500 units.