Steve Baldwin


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What is a Home Sale Worth to the Economy?

Each time a home changes hands in British Columbia, the transaction generates significant spin-offs, creates jobs and wealth and helps keep our communities growing.

Exactly how much economic activity does a home sale generate?  It depends on how it is measured.
A new report from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and Altus Group, Economic Impacts of MLS® Home Sales and Purchases in Canada and the Provinces 2006-2008 (April 2009), finds that in BC, a residential home sale transaction generates $60,200 in economic spin-offs and 0.42 jobs.

When multiplied by the 24,626 homes that changed hands in the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) area in 2008, total spin-offs amount to $1.48 billion and 10,343 jobs.

A September 2008 report from BC Real Estate Association, Multiple Listing Service® Residential Sales, finds that each residential sale in BC generates about $42,000 in spending and about 0.28 jobs. This amounts to $1.03 billion in economic activity and 6,895 jobs in the REBGV area in 2008.

What accounts for this difference?

“BCREA research focuses on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) impacts the year of purchase, which in our study was 2007,” explains BC Real Estate Association Chief Economist Cameron Muir. “Whereas the CREA/Altus Group research focuses on GDP impacts during the first, second and third years after a home buyer purchases a home, which as 2006-2008.”
If we think about what home buyers might buy in the second year of owning their home, the amounts certainly do add up. Renovation expenses alone could be a large cost, as could new appliances or even new drapes or window coverings. And in the third year of owning their home, home buyers might landscape or get new drain tiles or gutters, all of which add to the spin-offs of the original purchase.
Thus, both studies are accurate. Each covers a different time period, which is the reason for the difference.

What is also interesting is that the dollar amount of spin-offs has been growing each year for Canada as a whole.
Canada-wide, using data from 2006 to 2008, CREA/Altus Group estimates a resale transaction Canada-wide generated $46,400 in economic spin-offs. From 2004 to 2006, that same resale transaction generated $32,200 in spin-offs, while from 2002 to 2004, spin-off spending was $24,697.
“No matter which numbers you choose to use,” says Muir, “one thing is certain: real estate continues to be a major engine driving our economy.”
Compliments of REBGV


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