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B.C. real estate sales to keep climbing this year: forecast

Home purchases have doubled since January's near collapse, says economist

Vancouver Sun: Thursday, August 27, 2009 11:13 AM

 

The provincial average price for a home of $451,200 will be one per cent below the 2008 level, and should show a one-per-cent gain to $457,600 in 2010.

Photo Credit: Reuters files,

 

VANCOUVERBritish Columbia real estate sales should continue to rise through the remainder of 2009 from last year's market fall, according to the B.C. Real Estate Association's latest forecast.

Home sales have doubled since January's near collapse in sales, association chief economist Cameron Muir said in a news release, and he expects transactions recorded through the Multiple Listing Service to climb some 15 per cent from 2008 to 79,400 units.

Prices, although edging up from their declines through the last half of 2008, will remain below last year's levels before showing slight gains again in 2010, according to Muir's forecast.

The provincial average price for a home of $451,200 will be one per cent below the 2008 level, and should show a one-per-cent gain to $457,600 in 2010.

"After 12 months of significant volatility in B.C.'s housing markets, greater stability is expected through 2010," Muir said.

Economic forecasts continue to indicate that the province's recovery from recession will be slow. Central 1 Credit Union was the latest with its forecast that B.C. will experience below-average growth until 2012.

Muir, however, sees housing as a brighter spot in the economy signaling that "the economy is coming out of recession, with a recovery in the broader economy expected to develop over the next three quarters."

He added that not all regions of the province will experience the recovery in the same way.

Vancouver and Victoria have seen a sharper recovery in sales, Muir noted, while other regions, will return to more balanced conditions at a slower pace.

 

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