Housing market strong

No cooling is expected in B.C.’s hot housing market over the next couple of years, according to the latest forecast by Central 1 Credit Union.

In Kamloops, meanwhile, the fall outlook is strong and the median price is expected to continue its steady climb, fuelled by the same factors — low interest rates, growing economy and population increases.

In its long-range outlook issued Wednesday, Aug. 24, Central 1 predicts that high demand and tight supply mean prices will continue to rise in B.C., but new foreign buyer tax will temporarily slow Metro Vancouver activity, Central 1 predicts in its long-range outlook.

Sales will be lower than previously forecast but still at an elevated level due to tightening of housing policy measures. The foreign buyer tax will result in a temporary but substantial short-term cut in Metro Vancouver sales trend of 10 per cent that extends into 2017, Yu said.

“The tax puts further downward sales pressure on a market already slowing from spring fever. However, strength in the local economy will underpin sales and prices.”

While policy changes are expected to dampen home sales in Metro Vancouver, Central 1 has lifted its outlook for Vancouver Island markets and parts of the B.C. southern Interior as in-migration and low interest rates will drive sales and tightening inventory will lift prices.

Katherine Rutherford, president of Kamloops and District Real Estate Association, said city realtors  have seen a ripple effect this year as a result of soaring residential property prices in the Lower Mainland.

“For lifestyle or just because of our price point,” Rutherford said. “We’re still below Vernon and Kelowna in price point.”

She’s heard of only one consequence in Kamloops as a result of the foreign buyer tax brought in this summer. A realtor in Kamloops had a deal crash as a result of the new foreign buyer tax. A sale in the Lower Mainland collapsed and a purchase here crashed as a result.

“We’ve had a little bit of a slow summer, but that’s seasonal; home sales are always down in summer. All indications show we’re going to have a strong fall.”

Although there has been conjecture that the foreign buyer tax might bring some market fallout to the Interior, Rutherford said she can’t predict what the market may do beyond short term.

“We don’t have an international airport here. There is no indication that international clients are just going to flock here soon. I would love for them to come and see our beautiful little city, but we haven’t had any indication of that yet.”

In its latest update, KDREA reported a fairly busy summer with a seller’s market for homes up to the $400,000 range, a balanced market in the middle range and a buyer’s market in higher priced homes. Residential sales ere up 13 percent in July over the same month a year ago.

The residential median price in Kamloops increased to $413,900, representing a 12.5 percent increase over July 2015 when it was $367,500.


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