CMHC sees home prices ready to rise
Housing markets across the Lower Mainland are headed higher next year, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. predicts.
A combination of more sales and fewer active listings will push average house prices higher in 2010, CMHC said yesterday.
"Home prices in most Lower Mainland centres are still below their previous peak," CMHC senior market analyst Robyn Adamache said.
"Prices will rise as buyers take advantage of lower prices and favourable mortgage-interest rates."
In 2010, average MLS prices in the Vancouver area are forecast to rise to $605,000 from $580,000. Vancouver's average MLS price last year was $593,767.
In the Abbotsford area, the average price should climb to $346,000 in 2010 from $340,000 in 2009. But that will be less than the average 2008 price of $355,099, CMHC said.
Victoria should see prices rise to $487,000 in 2010 from $474,000 in 2009, the housing agency said.
Housing starts will rise over the next 15 months but stay below the levels of recent years, CMHC said.
"New and resale home inventories are being absorbed, pushing home prices higher and providing an incentive to start new residential projects," CMHC said.
For the province, starts are forecast to rise to between 20,200 and 26,800 next year from a range of 14,850 to 15,600 this year. There were 34,321 starts across B.C. last year.
In the Vancouver area, starts should rise to 13,000 in 2010 from 9,000 this year. The area's home-building activity remains well below the levels of 2008, when there were 19,591 starts.
House sales for the Vancouver area will strength to 35,000 next year from 33,000 this year, CMHC said.
Nationally, starts are forecast to reach 141,900 in 2009 and rise to 164,900 next year, CMHC said.
Such levels still pale to 2008's final tally of 211,056 -- the seventh-straight year of 200,000-plus housing starts.