STRONG ECONOMY VERSUS HOUSING HEADWINDS
Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province are estimated to reach 102,350 units this year, a decline of nearly 9 per cent from a record 112,200 unit sales in 2016. MLS® residential sales are forecast to decrease a further 10 per cent to 91,750 units in 2018. Housing demand is expected to remain above the ten-year average of approximately 85,000 units through 2018. The BC housing market is being supported by a strong-performing economy and corresponding employment growth, as well as associated consumer confidence.
The BC economy is forecast to expand by 3.8 per cent this year, the fourth consecutive year of 3 per cent or more real GDP growth. The cumulative effect has fuelled employment growth to its strongest performance in almost 20 years. Since January 2015, the province has added nearly 180,000 jobs. This has bolstered consumer confidence, with retail sales in BC expected to increase by an extraordinary 9 per cent this year.