VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The multi-million dollar Vancouver home sales that skewed the national average in 2011 are not expected to happen this year, according to an industry group.

The Canadian Real Estate Association says, “As a result, while prices are projected to hold steady near current levels, the national average price is forecast to dip by 1.1 per cent to $359,100.”

The CREA forecasts BC home sales will fall 1.9 per cent this year and predicts the average home price province-wide will drop 4 per cent to about $539,000 before gaining half a point next year.

Nationwide, it expects the average price will dip 1.1 per cent to $359,000.

The number of homes sold is expected to rise just 0.3 per cent this year, with demand in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia offsetting “softer activity” in BC, Ontario and New Brunswick.

CREA chief economist Gregory Klump says the forecast reflects recent positive trends for sales coupled with provincial economic outlooks. But he cautions the risk to the market remains elevated “owing to the European sovereign debt quagmire” and that continuing low interest rates will keep the housing market “under scrutiny for signs of overheating.”