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2008 Victoria and BC Housing Outlook

VICTORIA, British Columbia, November 15, 2007 — Demand for homeownership will keep housing starts and existing home sales at above-average levels in BC and Victoria, and push new and existing home prices higher in 2008.

“In Victoria, housing demand will be supported through 2008 by ongoing job growth and a steady flow of people moving to the region” said Peggy Prill, CMHC’s Victoria Senior Market Analyst. Home prices will continue to rise, spurring demand from move-up and move-down buyers, as well as investors. In 2008, both new home starts and existing home sales will stay above the average of the last ten years, but edge down slightly from 2007’s strong levels. Look for new and resale home prices in Metro Victoria communities to increase, but at a slower pace than in recent years.

“Housing starts in BC will top 33,250 next year down slightly from this year’s level but still above average levels”, noted Carol Frketich, BC Regional Economist. Factors behind this demand include: unemployment near record lows, strong employment growth, rising wages, relatively low mortgage rates and growing migration. Recent financial market turmoil in the United States and a strong Canadian dollar will keep interest rates relatively flat in Canada despite upward inflationary pressures.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada's national housing agency for more than 60 years. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians access a wide choice of quality, affordable homes, while making vibrant, healthy communities and cities a reality across the country.

For further information, please contact:

Val Rosenthal
Cell: 604-202-2609 (November 15, 2007)
Tel: 604-737-4123 (After November 15, 2007)

Carol Frketich
BC Regional Economist
Cell: 604-787-5598

Peggy Prill
Victoria Senior Market Analyst
Cell: 250-360-7322

Housing Market Outlook
Total Housing Starts 2006
British Columbia 36,443 36,200 33,250
Abbotsford CMA1 1,207 1,150 1,200
Kelowna CMA 2,692 2,750 2,700
Vancouver CMA 18,705 19,000 18,500
Victoria CMA 2,739 2,445 2,275
Total MLS® Sales2 2006
British Columbia 96,671 100,500 93,750
Abbotsford CMA 3,853 3,700 3,650
Kelowna CMA 4,158 5,500 5,200
Vancouver CMA 36,479 38,300 37,200
Victoria CMA 7,500 8,300 7,600
Average MLS® Price ($)1 2006
British Columbia 390,963 438,200 464,500
Abbotsford CMA 303,959 361,700 398,000
Kelowna CMA 349,805 415,000 448,000
Vancouver CMA 509,876 571,000 623,000
Victoria CMA 427,154 465,000 485,000

SOURCE: CMHC Housing Market Outlook, British Columbia Region Highlights, Fourth Quarter 2007.

1 Census Metropolitan Area (CMA).

2 The term MLS® stands for Multiple Listing Service and is a registered trademark of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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