KAMLOOPS — The B.C. Real Estate Association has released its first quarter housing forecast summary and it's projecting a slight boost in the number of sales and a steady increase in the price of homes in Kamloops and across the province.
"We've seen a tremendous amount of growth the last few years, and the unemployment rate is incredibly low right now. So it certainly signals full employment in many sectors, which is certainly positive for consumers, for housing demand," noted the chief economist for the B.C. Real Estate Association Cameron Muir, who is predicting the growth over the next two years.
Kamloops is following the downward trend of housing sales in 2018 — down 10.8 per cent in housing transactions last year compared to 2017. But housing sales in the River City, too, are expected to rebound this year and next with a slight 0.5 per cent jump in 2019 and 1.7 per cent increase in 2020.
"2017 was a record year. This year, in pace with what we experienced in 2018, which is still well above the 10-year average," said President of the Kamloops & District Real Estate Association Doren Quinton. "Overall strength in the market, no real surprises. Modest growth, but not a lot."
According to the BCREA forecast, Kamloops is projected to experience the second biggest jump in the province for 2019 in terms of the price of homes, only behind Northern B.C.
The average price of a home in Kamloops sits at $390,000, expected to increase by 3.7 per cent to $405,000 by the end of the year.
"Our affordability is still pretty good in Kamloops compared to the rest of the province," said Quinton. "We are getting a lot of people still moving up from the Lower Mainland, from the Kelowna area because our median price is quite a bit lower than those areas. We expect that movement to continue and that's creating a little bit more demand on housing, which is pushing up the price a little."
Quinton says the 2019 projections of higher housing prices are somewhere in between January real estate numbers that saw the average home sell for $411,000 and December stats when homes in the Kamloops area were bringing in an average of $393,000.
"I think [prices] will stabilize a bit. We are getting a 20 per cent increase in the number of listings," said Quinton. "So that's going to play a little bit on the supply side of the market."
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