The effects of stricter mortgage qualification rules – known as B20 guidelines – that came into effect January 1 have driven housing demand down across B.C and are expected to push housing sales down further this year, according to a new British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) forecast.
Sales in greater Vancouver are expected to fall 25.7% this year, according to the forecast, with unit sales reaching 27,200, compared with 36,604 units in 2017. The average MLS sales price is forecast to creep upward, however; the BCREA said it expects the average to reach $1,050,000 – a 1.9% increase compared with $1,030,000 last year.
Vancouver Real Estate News, Market Updates, Insider Tips, Stats, & Analysis
Across the province as a whole, sales are expected to fall 21% to 82,000 units. Decreases are forecast in all regions except in the northern part of the province, where sales are expected to rise 1.9%. The average B.C. sales price is expected to increase 1.9% to $723,200.
“The B.C. housing market is grappling with a sharp decline in affordability caused by tough B20 stress test rules for conventional mortgages,” BCREA chief economist Cameron Muir said.