VRBA’s Crystal Ball Housing Forecast was presented recently by:
- Kyle Kerr, President, Victoria Real Estate Board
- Cameron Muir, Chief Economist, BC Real Estate Association
- Steven Hurst, Vice President, Analytics, Yellow Sheet Construction Data
- Braden Batch, Senior Market Analyst, Canada Mortgage and Housing
The good news is BC’s economy is strong and Victoria’s unemployment rate is low.
A strong economy and growing population create rising demand. High prices are mostly the result of historically low supply, despite Victoria’s high housing starts of 3,862 units.
Victoria’s population growth is mostly from other provinces, followed by communities from within BC. A small portion is from immigration. Foreign buyers represent only about 4% of housing sales.
Another interesting statistic – in 2000, single family homes represented 75% of Toronto’s new housing. By 2017, multi-family was 82% of housing due to increasing regulations and costs on development including limited land supply.
Strong demand in Victoria should continue in 2018 with a cautionary nod to “headwinds” including new mortgage rules, rising interest rates, U.S tariffs on lumber and low housing supply.
Improving land availability and removing burdensome regulations will be critical to addressing Victoria’s housing affordability challenges and avoiding a path similar to Toronto.