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British Columbia (BC) remains one of the most desirable places to live in the entire world, and we are about to tell you why. After learning about the BC housing market, you can choose a mortgage rate on this page to receive a mortgage quote from a lender in your area. In fact, we are the best place to get BC mortgage rates online because lenders compete for your business. This lowers mortgage rates for you, enabling you to save a lot of money over time on a home purchase. Read on for an overview of housing in British Columbia.
Factors Affecting the Housing Market in British Columbia
Although homes in BC are always going to be in high demand in comparison to the rest of Canada, short-term trends indicate that the provincial housing market is going to cool down a bit in the next few years. This is due to a variety of factors that influence the BC housing market:
• Economy — As in the other Canadian provinces, the state of the economy in BC is largely determinative of the health of the real estate market. Economic growth in British Columbia remains modest as of 2012, and it is only expected to be about 3 percent a year by 2013. Exports to Asia are down because of reduced Chinese demand, and a sluggish U.S. economy is hindering trade with Canada’s most important trading partner. This is keeping job growth stable and contributing to a significant jobless rate, which is predicted to remain above 6 percent into 2013.
• Provincial Tax Policies — British Columbia may see an increase in the number of first-time home buyers in the next couple of years because of a first-time home buyers’ grant of up to $10,000 that the provincial government is extending to BC residents. This policy encourages first-time home buyers to take advantage of the mortgage rates in BC that are lower than they have been in the past.
• Population Growth — BC continues to attract residents from all over Canada and, indeed, the entire world. Important international cities such as Vancouver continue to be the best places to find jobs even in a slow economy, so people are moving into the province to look for opportunity and to enjoy Canada’s high standard of living. This will help keep housing demand from declining significantly over the next few years, and it will guarantee that demand will remain in the decades ahead. Consequently, a home in BC is a good investment even if current market conditions are somewhat uncertain.
The Current State of the BC Housing Market
Having covered some of the basic, perennial factors that influence British Columbia’s housing market, we can now look at the current state of BC real estate. As of April 2012, the Canadian MLS reports that approximately 24,000 homes have been sold in the province. This indicates that home sale predictions for BC are largely on track, with many real estate experts foreseeing total MLS sales of anywhere between 70,000 and 78,000 by year’s end. This will be either slightly lower or slightly higher than 2011 MLS sales, which totaled nearly 76,800 units. Interestingly, Growth in the northern and interior regions of the province will keep MLS sales from experiencing a dramatic decline. As of May 2012, these regions of BC saw a 14 percent increase in the number of homes sold, while the lower mainland areas suffered a 10 percent decrease in total home sales.
Housing starts were originally predicted to decline slightly in 2012 in comparison to 2011. However, in April 2012, housing starts were revised to approximately 245,000 for the entire year because starts were greater in the first quarter of 2012 than first predicted. The increase in starts should continue into 2013. Multiple unit housing starts, which represent over half of all new housing starts in BC, will be the main driver of this increase.
Even though the province will continue to enjoy some of the best mortgage rates, BC home prices should remain relatively stable. This is because inventory is keeping up with demand. Average home prices will be around $549,000 throughout 2012, but this will increase by roughly $4,000 in 2013. This price growth is much slower than in the past few years, and the cooling off in the market provides an excellent opportunity for people to buy a home. Low interest rates are also encouraging people to buy at this time. The average mortgage rate for a 5-year fixed mortgage is predicted to fall within the 4–5 percent range over the next few years.
Where to Live in British Columbia
As far as buying homes at current mortgage rates, BC has many towns and cities where a house is a sound investment. Here are just a few of them:
• Vancouver — The Vancouver Metropolitan Area, including such towns and municipalities as Anmore, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Richmond, Langley, and others is an obvious location for a real estate purchase. The greater metropolitan area is Canada’s third largest in terms of population, and it is the most populous area in all of Western Canada. Forestry and tourism are major industries that employ many people, but the area also hosts many film production facilities. The city routinely ranks near the top of various lists of the most livable cities worldwide, and the demand for housing has pushed the average price for a home in the area to $750,000.
• Victoria — You can also confidently invest in a home purchase in Victoria. This island community has an economy fueled mainly by tourism and technology, and these industries create many jobs each year. Popular for its British flair and gardens, many retirees take advantage of Canadian mortgage rates and buy a home in the city. Currently, the average price of a home is just over $600,000.
• Whistler — Located within an easy drive of Vancouver (125 km), Whistler is a town that has grown tremendously over the past few decades. Tourism related to the ski industry is the driving force in the local economy. Average home prices hover around $500,000, but the Whistler Housing Authority has instituted a plan to make homes available for much less to those who live in the town permanently.
• Kelowna — One final city worth mentioning is Kelowna. This city is known for its wineries and tourism. Additionally, many companies use the city as a test market for their products, so there are also related advertising and marketing jobs. The average house price is about $480,000.
Find the Lowest Mortgage Rates in BC
Low mortgage rates in British Columbia are just a click away when you use our site. Choose a mortgage rate on this page or fill out the online mortgage application form to find a great mortgage rate for your BC home purchase.
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