Residential sales in every B.C. region to recover in 2020: forecast

Total home transactions across province expected to rise 11 per cent versus 2019, with average sale prices also predicted to increase in every area

Glacier Media Real Estate
September 5, 2019

BCREA BC home sales forecast Sept 2019
Source: BCREA Economics

Although every region in B.C. is expected to see lower home sales in 2019 than in 2018, sales will more than recover in 2020, according to a September 5 forecast by the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA).

Overall in 2019, residential transactions across the province are predicted to be five per cent lower, at about 75,000 units, than the 78,505 sales of 2018. Every one of B.C.’s 12 boards is expected to report a year-over-year decline in total sales across 2019, with drops ranging from one to 14 per cent.

However, BCREA forecasted that every board will see considerable sales jumps in 2020, totalling a province-wide increase of nearly 11 per cent to 82,700 homes — which the association said would be just below the 10-year annual average.

“B.C. markets are showing signs of recovery after nearly a year and a half of policy-induced declines,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA’s deputy chief economist. “We expect that recovery to continue into next year, with home sales normalizing around long-term averages.”

BCREA BC home sales forecast Sept 2019
Source: BCREA Economics

Having seen the steepest annual sales declines in 2018, and a forecast drop of 2.2 per cent in 2019, Greater Vancouver is expected to see the biggest recovery in 2020, said BCREA. Home resales in the Greater Vancouver region are predicted to rise 16.3 per cent to 28,500 units — still a far cry from 42,000 sales of 2015, but a marked improvement over both 2018 and 2019.

The optimistic Metro Vancouver forecast follows a September 4 report by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver that the region’s home sales in August rose nearly 16 per cent year over year, following a 23.5 per cent annual jump in July.

BCREA said the Fraser Valley is also expected to outperform the previous two years of home resales, with a forecast rise in 2020 of 12.4 per cent year over year.

Victoria and Vancouver Island, having not seen declines as steep as the Lower Mainland, are expected to see 2020 sales improve by less than the provincial average, at 7.5 and 5.5 per cent respectively.

Average home prices in 2020 are also expected to improve on those achieved in 2019, in every B.C. real estate board jurisdiction — albeit by modest amounts. The overall B.C. average sale price is forecast to rise by 3.3 per cent, with predicted rises ranging from 0.2 per cent in Victoria to four per cent in the B.C. Northern region.

Greater Vancouver sale prices are predicted to be down 5.6 per cent in 2019 to $990K, but are forecast to increase two per cent in 2020 to an average of $1.01 million.

Check out BCREA’s full regional sales and price forecast, below.

BCREA BC home sales forecast breakdown Sept 2019
Source: BCREA Economics

Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Media Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, Times Colonist, Prince George Citizen, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also writes and oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condos & Homes, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 23 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist talk radio show on Vancouver's Roundhouse Radio.
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