Tighter mortgage rules and higher interest rates have dented buying power, but health of the economy backs higher demand.
The British Columbia Real Estate Association estimates that economic growth will remain strong enough to support a boost in sales next year after a substantial decline in 2018, according to its latest forecast.
When the dust settles at the end of this year, association chief economist Cameron Muir expects sales recorded through the Multiple Listing Service will have fallen 23 per cent to 80,000 transactions, compared with 103,768 in 2017.
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“However, continuing strong performance in the economy combined with favourable demographics is expected to push home sales above their 10-year average in 2019,” Muir said Thursday in releasing the forecast.
Province wide, Muir’s forecast is for sales to rise 12 per cent to almost 90,000 units, but with a record number of new homes under construction and high levels of inventory, home prices will be more in keeping with inflation.