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REAL ESTATE IN BC - SOME INSIGHTS

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The real estate market in Canada has been in a slump during the past couple of years. BC has been particularly hard hit. Despite this, BC still has the most expensive real estate in the country.

There is considerable variation across the province in terms of average sale prices of residential properties. This ranges from a low of $256,384 in the Northern Lights Board (basically, the northern half of the province) to a high of $984,637 in Greater Vancouver. An analysis of the percentage change in the average sale price and units sold is particularly telling. For example, Greater Vancouver had a modest price increase of +10.7% over this four-year period, and a substantial decrease of -46.3% in units sold. Most of the other real estate boards enjoyed a price increase in the 20% to 30% range. The changes in unit sales were mixed, although most of the larger markets suffered a decline.

Noteworthy, is Chilliwack, which experienced an average sale price percentage increase of +60.0% over this four-year period. This is all to say that the real estate market in Greater Vancouver has suffered the most by the recent real estate slump, and as a consequence, the gap between the price in Greater Vancouver and many areas in the rest of the province has narrowed significantly. Similarly, the gap between BC and the rest of Canada has narrowed. Whereas BC experienced a price increase of only +9.5%, the rest of Canada (excluding BC) saw a gain of +15.7%. From a comparative perspective, Ontario had an average sale price of $598,263 in the first eight months of 2019, up +28.5% from the same period in 2015. Greater Vancouver and Metropolitan Toronto have had a major effect on average sales prices at the national level. However, the areas surrounding these centres now have an increasing influence with average sale prices above the national level. Outside Vancouver, the Fraser Valley has an average sale price of $714,943 and Chilliwack is at $526,017. Outside Metropolitan Toronto, Hamilton-Burlington has an average sale price of $585,564 and Kitchener-Waterloo is at $520,076.