VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – If you’re looking to buy property in our region next year, don’t expect to get a discount. That’s the view of Royal LePage.
The real estate company expects prices to rise once again, despite new mortgage rules and the prospect of potential interest rate hikes.
Even though many buyers will lose purchasing power when the stricter borrowing regulations kick in in January, Royal LePage expects prices to rise 5.2 per cent to $1.3 million on average across all home types in Greater Vancouver.
Royal LePage president and chief executive Phil Soper says one of the big challenges for those thinking of selling will be where to go next, although that situation won’t be as tough as it has been in recent years.
“The market is more balanced,” says Soper. “The demand has cooled and there are new properties coming on board, with really strong housing starts.”
The condo market will once again have a big part to play, according to Royal LePage.
“Condominiums are, almost by definition, more affordable,” says Soper. “They use less of that precious land. They will continue to be the driving form of housing growth in our big Canadian cities.”
Soper doesn’t expect the central bank will raise interest rates.
“There definitely is upward pressure in the economies in both B.C. and Ontario,” says Soper. “With just that, the governor of the bank of Canada might say, we’re going to raise interest rates because we’re worried about inflation. But he’s also worried about the NAFTA talks and the impact of protectionism in the United States, so for now I believe he’ll take the cautious road and not raise interest rates in case we need to stimulate the economy if trade is impacted by the policies of the still relatively new American administration.”
Nationally, Royal LePage expects home prices to rise 4.9 per cent.