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Sellers’ market conditions persist, B.C. housing prices to rise in 2018-19, Central 1 Credit Union forecasts

VANCOUVER, BC - Soaring prices seen in B.C.'s housing market through 2017 will moderate, but further appreciation lies ahead, according to an updated Central 1 Credit Union (Central 1) forecast.

While more restrictive mortgage regulations, rising interest rates and high prices will temper some demand-side pressure over the next two years, Central 1 expects the provincial median home value to climb another five per cent in 2018 (to $525,000) and three per cent in 2019 as inventory constraints in B.C. urban areas persist.

After a bounce-back in activity, fears the Metro Vancouver market would face a year of reckoning following more restrictive housing policy in 2016 appear to be largely unfounded, though buyers are adjusting their behaviour in response.

"This is a testament to the desirability of homeownership and strength in the economy. With detached homes moving further out of reach, buyers are shifting their purchases out to the suburbs and into higher density housing, sending multi-family prices higher," said Deputy Chief Economist Bryan Yu.

Similarly, housing markets on Vancouver Island and the Southern Interior of B.C. have experienced strong price growth and high sales, bolstered by economic growth, population growth and demographic factors.

"The demand for multi-family housing is near record-high levels, which speaks to a demand for affordable housing, particularly in large urban areas," explained Yu.

The series of federal measures to tighten credit availability, coupled with provincial measures, has led to the most stringent housing policy environment in decades - low interest rates will no longer provide an offset. As prices surge in the entry-level apartment and townhome markets, many would-be buyers will be sidelined, fueling further demand for already scarce rental housing and driving rents higher.

Although stricter regulatory conditions and deteriorating affordability will dampen sales, Central 1 expects sellers' market conditions to continue in 2018-19.

Highlights from the report:

  • B.C. housing market sales at robust levels and will exceed 102,000 units in 2017, before a 3.5 per cent decline in 2018 and two per cent drop in 2019
  • Median home value will climb five per cent to $525,000 in 2018, led by a seven per cent gain in Greater Vancouver to $735,000 and 6.5 per cent increase in the Victoria capital region to $575,000
  • MLS® active listings half of levels seen in 2010, with sellers' markets prevailing in large urban markets. Fewer sales will moderate conditions going forward, but markets to remain tilted to sellers' and conducive to higher prices
  • Moderation in economic growth and population inflows will temper activity and slow price growth outside Metro Vancouver over the next two years
  • Northern B.C. housing markets steady, but will remain below previous cycle highs, limiting growth in home values

Read the full report: B.C. Housing Outlook 2017-2019.

About Central 1

With offices in Vancouver, Mississauga and Toronto, Central 1 holds on balance sheet approximately $17.7 billion in assets. We provide wholesale financial products, trust services, payment processing solutions and direct banking services to about 300 credit unions and institutional clients from coast to coast.
In addition, Central 1 is the primary liquidity manager, payments provider and trade association for our 42 member credit unions in B.C. and 70 Ontario member credit unions. Our members represent a consumer-oriented, full-service retail financial system that collectively serves 3.3 million members and holds more than $124.5 billion in assets. For more information, visit


Heather Merry
Member & External Communications Manager
Central 1 Credit Union
T 604.737.5397 or 1.800.661.6813 ext. 5907

Bryan Yu
Deputy Chief Economist
Central 1 Credit Union
T 604.742.5346 or 1.800.661.6813 ext. 5346