VANCOUVER — The British Columbia Real Estate Association says housing sales in the province are expected to drop 10 per cent in 2017 compared with last year, but it is still predicting a strong year ahead for the industry.
The association says residential sales should reach 101,000 units this year, down from the 112,200 sold in 2016 but far ahead of the 10-year provincial average of 84,700 units.
The association expects sales to remain healthy this year, saying demand has mostly shed the effects of policies aimed at cooling the market, such as the foreign buyers tax, while the economy is robust and workers from other provinces continue to flock to B.C.
The association's chief economist, Cameron Muir, says the number of homes for sale has not matched demand, resulting in higher prices for condos and detached houses.
He says the average residential home price across B.C. is forecast to decline 1.1 per cent to $683,500 this year, and increase 5.2 per cent to $719,100 in 2018, partly because of a greater focus on condo sales and sales outside Metro Vancouver.
"The decline is largely due to a shift in the mix and share of homes sold, and not representative of rising values of the typical home," the association says in a news release.
The association's second quarter forecast predicts discounted mortgage rates may bump up slightly by the end of 2017, although posted rates are expected to stay steady and it sees no immediate end to the seller's market across most B.C. regions and home types.
The Canadian Press