Home sales in B.C. in 2018 would have been approximately 10 per cent, or 7,500 units, higher if the B20 mortgage stress test hadn’t been introduced, according to a new economic study by the B.C. Real Estate Association (BCREA).
The rest of the real estate slowdown can be explained by other market factors such as rising interest rates and lack of affordability, along with provincial government housing policy interventions, said the association.
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Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA’s deputy chief economist, and Kellie Fong, economist, wrote in their report, “Home sales across Canada plummeted to start 2018. The near-coincident implementation of several new federal and provincial housing policies designed to temper B.C. housing demand has given rise to competing explanations for what ultimately caused the downturn. Was it the B20 mortgage stress test? Higher interest rates? The provincial speculation tax or the expansion of the foreign buyers’ tax?”