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B.C.’s housing market nears ‘cyclical bottom:’ RBC

Canada’s housing market is inching closer to its “cyclical bottom,” and British Columbia is following suit, with home resale activity in the province gradually stabilizing, according to a recent housing market update from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) (TSX:RY).

This has implications for the rest of B.C.’s economy. Activity levels in the resale market tend to lead the rest of the economy, according to Brendon Ogmundson, chief economist with the British Columbia Real Estate Association.

“If we’re in an economy that’s potentially headed for a recession in 2023, the pattern that you see throughout history is that sales decline well in advance of the recession, and then bottom out and start to recover one to four months or so into a recession,” Ogmundson said.

Currently, home sales in the Vancouver market, he said, are roughly 25 per cent below normal levels and are “about as low as they can get,” he added.

According to Robert Hogue, assistant chief economist at RBC, activity in the Lower Mainland and Victoria is levelling off.

“Recent declines have slowed quite considerably, and we’re probably not that far off from the bottom. But that being said, the level of activity, even in B.C., is historically low right now. Things are quiet,” he said.

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