CMHC Housing Market Outlook - 2nd Qtr 2008

BC will outperform most other provinces in economic and job growth during the next two years.
Existing home sales will decline slightly as mortgage carrying costs rise in response to higher home prices and mortgage rates. Income and population growth stemming from tight labour markets will put upward pressure on existing home sales, lessening the decline.

BC will outperform most other provinces in economic and job growth during the next two years. This relative strength will translate into a high level of existing home sales, housing starts and house


Move-up buyers and people downsizing their residences will keep the number of resale transactions above the ten-year average. Existing home sales will decline during the next two years in response to high home prices, a rise in mortgage rates in 2009, and slower job growth.

High home prices will result in more homes being listed for sale. This increase in supply will slow growth in the provincial average MLS® price from the double-digit pace of the past four years. Centres where the local economy is more diversified and homeownership demand remains strong will record double-digit price gains again in 2008.

Fewer homes will be started as tight resale market conditions ease and potential homebuyers are more able to satisfy their housing needs in established neighbourhoods. Single-detached home starts will trend lower, as builders balance the high cost of land and building materials with what price conscious homebuyers will pay. Multiple-unit starts will account for the lion’s share of new home construction. With demand shifting to denser housing forms, more than sixty per cent of starts will be in multiple-unit housing developments. The large number of projects already in the construction pipeline in Vancouver and Kelowna will ensure multiple-unit starts will be at high levels.
Mortgage rates are expected to trend marginally lower throughout 2008, but will be  within 25-50 basis points of their current levels. For 2009, posted mortgage rates will begin to drift up slightly as the year progresses. For 2008 and 2009, the one-year posted mortgage rate is forecast to be in the 6.50-7.50 per cent range, while three and five-year posted mortgage rates are forecast to be in the 6.75-7.50 per cent range.
Exerpts from CMHCs Housing Market Outlook - British Columbia Region Highlights - Second Quarter 2008. For complete report, visit


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