Graph of composite residential real estate price movements in Greater Vancouver since 2005

Further home price dips forecast in 2013 for Lower Mainland

High-end Vancouver sales skew averages, which don't reflect typical prices

Greater Vancouver’s average home prices should drop nearly two per cent next year after falling 5.9 per cent in 2012, according to a new housing forecast from the B.C. Real Estate Association.

The weakness in the real estate market is projected to be softest in single detached houses next year, with a 2.7 per cent drop to $1.09 million in the average price paid in Greater Vancouver in 2013.

Attached homes are projected to decline 0.7 per cent in average price to $555,000, while condos would gain 0.3 per cent to $443,000.

The BCREA report cautions those average prices were skewed up in 2011 by a spate of high-end home sales in the Vancouver area.

More typical homes in the region didn’t run up as fast as the average, nor have they slipped as much since the peak, it said, adding most home prices should remain “essentially flat” through 2013.

Sales are expected to rebound by almost 14 per cent after falling by an estimated 20 per cent in 2012.

Demand from buyers has ebbed since the federal government imposed tighter mortgage qualification rules.

Those measures, aimed to curb rising levels of consumer debt, were equivalent to a one per cent jump in mortgage rates for first-time buyers, according to economists at the BCREA.

“Market fundamentals suggest stronger sales activity ahead,” the BCREA report says in its Greater Vancouver outlook.

“Full-time employment has been growing at a three to four per cent clip for several months, mortgage interest rates remain at or near historic lows and the population base continues to expand.”

It says that should mean a return to “more balanced” real estate market conditions in Metro Vancouver as the current buyer’s market moderates.

Multi-family buildings are expected to account for 80 per cent of new units built this year, while single-family house starts are forecast to drop below 8,000 units for the first time since 2009.

The province’s economy is projected to grow at a rate of 2.3 per cent next year and the unemployment rate is to slip below seven per cent.

In the Fraser Valley real estate zone, which includes Surrey, White Rock and North Delta, the forecast calls for a 0.3 per cent drop in detached house prices to an average $600,000 in 2013, a 0.7 per cent drop in attached homes to $333,500 and a 1.4 per cent gain in apartments to $225,000.

It estimates overall average residential prices in the Fraser Valley will have fallen 3.1 per cent by the end of this year.

The report cautions that fluctuation mainly reflects changes in the mix of homes selling and that typical homes, tracked through benchmark prices, have shown “only modest change” since the end of 2009.

Sales are expected to rise 5.7 per cent next year after a more than 10 per cent drop in 2012.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Langley environmentists enhance native pollinator habitat

Langley Environmental Partners Society begins a pollinator pathway along BC Hydro right of way.

VIDEO: Langley hockey tournament remembers young fan

Hundreds take part in annual Jordan Owens memorial

Giants earn road victory in first playoff game

A Langley-based WHL hockey team pulls out a 2-1 defeat over Victoria Friday, plays again Saturday.

Marathon day of golf earns Langley junior golfer a title

Andy Kim won the Humber College PGM Championship.

VIDEO: Fire shuts down 232 Street in Langley

Traffic being re-routed following Langley structure fire

VIDEO: Horseshoers battle for national spot in farrier championship

The Canadian horseshoeing main event was held in Chilliwack this weekend

B.C. umpire has developed thick skin after 30 years listening to insults

Scott McLaren pays no mind to comments from the cheap seats

Musicians Sarah Harmer, Grimes join B.C. anti-pipeline protests

Musicians are in Vancouver for the Juno Awards on Sunday night

Gas prices likely driving Canadians to US pumps

Customs say cost of fuel, nice weather, spring break are contributing factors of uptick of traffic

Canadian cities hold March for our Lives events in wake of Florida shooting

Hundreds of people support the massive March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C.

Health officials called after acid spill near B.C.-Alberta border leaks into creek

Tanker truck crashed south of Dawson Creek, spilling 17,000 litres of hydrochloric acid

Embattled band Hedley plays last show in B.C. before hiatus

About 3,000 tickets had sold for final performance at Kelowna’s Prospera Place

Trudeau to exonerate B.C. First Nations chiefs hanged in 1860s

Prime Minister to absolve Tsilhqot’in chiefs in relation to deaths of 14 construction workers

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Most Read