Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province are expected to edge back 6.3 per cent to 96,100 units in 2016. Home sales surpassed the 100,000 unit threshold for only the third time on record last year, as strong market fundamentals and elevated consumer confidence charged demand. While fewer home sales are expected this year, economic conditions remain robust and will support relatively high levels of housing demand. Strengthening economic conditions at home and abroad are expected to bolster housing consumption activity in 2017. BC MLS® residential sales are forecast to increase 2 per cent to 98,000 units next year.

The BC economy is proving resilient to the collapse in oil prices and weak commodity demand. Consumer spending through retail sales is growing at its fastest rate in a decade, while employment in the province increased by over 2 per cent during the latter half of 2015, with a marked increase in full-time jobs. Tighter labour market conditions have also led to a 4 per cent rise in average wages. While BC exports have yet to fully realize the competitive advantage of the lower dollar, tourism has experienced significant gains. A record level of overnight visitors came to Vancouver over the last 12 months. Finally, interprovincial migration to BC is on an upswing, with waning job opportunities in Alberta driving workers from the province.

Market conditions are not consistent around the province. Regional economies with a heavy reliance on commodities have demonstrated weaker housing market conditions, while larger urban areas have experienced declining inventories and strong sellers’ market conditions. Indeed, Vancouver and the Fraser Valley are exhibiting accelerating market conditions. However, a marked increase in new construction activity, now at its highest level since 2008, and an increase in new listings during the spring market are expected to ease some of the upward pressure on home prices. After rising 12 per cent in 2015, the average MLS® residential price in the province is forecast to increase 6.4 per cent to $677,200 this year and a further 4.2 per cent to $705,300 in 2017.


The Bank of Canada today announced that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1/2 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 3/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 1/4 per cent.

Inflation in Canada is evolving broadly as expected. Total CPI inflation remains near the bottom of the Bank’s target range as the disinflationary effects of economic slack and low consumer energy prices are only partially offset by the inflationary impact of the lower Canadian dollar on the prices of imported goods. As all of these factors dissipate, the Bank expects inflation will rise to about 2 per cent by early 2017. Measures of core inflation should remain close to 2 per cent.

The dynamics of the global economy are broadly as anticipated in the Bank’s October Monetary Policy Report (MPR), with diverging economic prospects and shifting terms of trade. China continues its transition to a more sustainable growth path and the expansion in the United States is on track, despite temporary weakness in the fourth quarter of 2015. The U.S. Federal Reserve has begun to gradually withdraw its exceptional monetary stimulus. While risks to the world outlook remain and have been reflected in sharp price movements in a range of asset classes, global growth is expected to trend upwards beginning in 2016.

Prices for oil and other commodities have declined further and this represents a setback for the Canadian economy. GDP growth likely stalled in the fourth quarter of 2015, pulled down by temporary softness in the U.S. economy, weaker business investment and several other temporary factors. The Bank now expects the economy’s return to above-potential growth to be delayed until the second quarter of 2016. The protracted process of reorientation towards non-resource activity is underway, helped by stronger U.S. demand, the lower Canadian dollar, and accommodative monetary and financial conditions. National employment remains resilient despite job losses in the resource sector and household spending continues to expand.

The Bank projects Canada’s economy will grow by about 1 1/2 per cent in 2016 and 2 1/2 per cent in 2017. The complex nature of the ongoing structural adjustment makes the outlook for demand and potential output highly uncertain. The Bank’s current base case projection shows the output gap closing later than was anticipated in October, around the end of 2017. However, the Bank has not yet incorporated the positive impact of fiscal measures expected in the next federal budget.

All things considered, therefore, the risks to the profile for inflation are roughly balanced. Meanwhile, financial vulnerabilities continue to edge higher, as expected. The Bank’s Governing Council judges that the current stance of monetary policy is appropriate, and the target for the overnight rate remains at 1/2 per cent.


According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales edged lower in December 2015 compared to the previous month, but held above year-ago levels.

• National home sales edged back by 0.6% from November to December.
• Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 10% compared to December 2014.
• The number of newly listed homes rose 2.2% from November to December.
• The Canadian housing market remains balanced overall.
• The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 7.3% year-over-year in December.
• The national average sale price rose 12% on a year-over-year basis in December; excluding Greater Vancouver    and Greater Toronto, it increased by 5.4%.

The number of homes trading hands via MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations edged back by 0.6 percent in December 2015 compared to November. Activity nonetheless remains close to a six-year high.

December sales were down from the previous month in slightly more than half of all local markets. Monthly sales declines in Calgary, Edmonton, the York Region of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Hamilton-Burlington offset monthly activity gains recorded elsewhere.

“An increasingly short supply of listings in Vancouver and Toronto blunted the impact of changes to mortgage regulations announced in December that were aimed at cooling these housing markets,” said CREA President Pauline Aunger. “Buyers there had been expected to bring forward their purchase decisions before new regulations take effect in February 2016, but they faced a growing shortage of supply. Meanwhile, supply is ample in many other major urban markets, particularly those where buyers have become cautious amid economic uncertainty. All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.”

“December mirrored the main themes of 2015, with strong sales activity and price growth across much of British Columbia and Ontario offsetting declines in activity among oil producing regions,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “The recent decline and uncertain outlook for oil prices means that housing market prospects are unlikely to improve in the near term in regions where job market prospects are tied to oil production.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales rose 10.0 percent on a year-over-year basis in December 2015. Activity was up compared to December 2014 in about 60 percent of all local markets, led by the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, the GTA and Montreal.

Sales activity in the fourth quarter of 2015 advanced by 2.0% quarter-over-quarter and hit the highest quarterly level in six years. Annual home sales in 2015 were up 5.5 from the previous year and reached the second-highest annual level on record – just 3.0% short of the annual record set in 2007.

The number of newly listed homes rose 2.2 percent in December compared to November. The monthly increase built on the 3.3 percent gain logged in November and lifted new supply to the highest monthly level in almost six years. December’s increase was driven by gains in the Fraser Valley, Calgary, Edmonton, the GTA and Montreal.


The national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 55.5 percent in December – its lowest reading since March 2015. A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 percent is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively.

The ratio was within this range in about 40 percent of all local housing markets in December. Slightly more than one-third of local markets recorded a ratio above 60 percent, almost all of which are located in British Columbia and Ontario.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 5.4 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of December.


2015, unchanged from November and the lowest level in nearly six years. The national figure is being pulled lower by increasing market tightness in B.C. and Ontario. Many of these markets, particularly around Greater Vancouver and the GTA, ended 2015 with a record low or nearrecord low number of homes listed for sale.


The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 7.27 percent on a year-over-year basis in December – the largest gain in over five years. Yearover- year price growth accelerated for single family homes and townhouse/row units but slowed for apartment units.

Two-storey single family homes continue to post the biggest year-over-year price gains (+9.15 percent), followed by onestorey single family homes (+6.63 percent), townhouse/row units (+6.12 percent) and apartment units (+4.96 percent).

Year-over-year price growth continued to range widely among housing markets tracked by the index. Greater Vancouver (+18.87 percent) and the Fraser Valley (14.35 percent) posted the largest gains, followed closely by Greater Toronto (+10.01 percent). By comparison, Victoria and Vancouver Island prices posted year-over-year gains in the range from six to eight percent.

By contrast, prices retreated by about two percent on a year-over-year basis in Calgary and Saskatoon and by nearly four percent in Regina. While the home price declines in Calgary and Saskatoon are a fairly recent trend, prices in Regina have been trending lower since early 2014.

Prices crept higher on a year-over-year basis in Ottawa (+0.62 percent), rose modestly in Greater Montreal (+1.81 percent) and outstripped overall consumer price inflation in Greater Moncton (+3.88 percent).

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way that average price is.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in December 2015 was $454,342, up 12.0 percent on a year-over-year basis.

The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. If these two housing markets are excluded from calculations, the average is a more modest $336,994 and the year-over-year gain is reduced to 5.4 percent. Even then, the gain reflects a tug of war between strong average price gains in housing markets around the GTA and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia versus flat or declining average prices elsewhere in Canada. If British Columbia and Ontario are excluded from calculations, the average price slips even lower to $294,363, representing a year-over-year decline of 2.2 percent.


The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 203,502 units in December compared to 208,204 in November, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

“A decrease in both the multiple and single starts segments drove the December trend lower,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC Chief Economist. “Starts increased in 2015 compared to 2014, largely driven by the condominium market in Toronto. Had the Toronto condominium starts remained stable in 2015, national starts would have declined on a year-over-year basis.”

CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of the state of Canada’s housing market. In some situations analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading, as they are largely driven by the multi-unit segment of the market which can vary significantly from one month to the next.

The standalone monthly SAAR was 172,965 units in December, down from 212,028 units in November. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 19.1 per cent in December to 159,007 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 27.0 per cent to 101,264 units in December and the single-detached urban starts held steady at 57,743 units.

In December, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased in the Prairies, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada, but increased in British Columbia and Québec. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 13,958 units.


In a year when the number of homes listed for sale was below historical averages, actual home sales in Metro Vancouver set a new record.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that 2015 home sales were the highest annual total in REBGV history. This was powered early in the year by four straight months with more than 4,000 sales a month from March to June, another first for REBGV.

Sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in 2015 reached 42,326, a 27.8 per cent increase from the 33,116 sales recorded in 2014, and a 48.4 per cent increase over the 28,524 residential sales in 2013.

The total number of homes listed for sale on the MLS® in 2015 ranked fifth in the last ten years, while the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) saw double-digit year-over-year price increases.

The number of residential properties listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in 2015 reached 57,249. This is an increase of 2.1 per cent compared to the 56,066 properties listed in 2014 and an increase of 4.6 per cent compared to the 54,742 properties listed in 2013.

With sales-to-active-listings ratios above 25 per cent for 11 months in 2015, the Metro Vancouver market experienced seller’s market conditions for much of the year.

"Home buyers were active and motivated throughout 2015 despite the pressure on supply of homes on the market," Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said. "Housing markets typically experience quieter periods within a calendar year, but that wasn't the case in Metro Vancouver last year."

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver ends the year at $760,900. This represents an 18.9 per cent increase compared to December 2014.

“We often hear economists say that seller’s market conditions put upward pressure on home prices,” McLeod said. “That was certainly the case in 2015, with price increases ranging from 14 to 24 per cent depending on property type.”

December summary
Residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 2,827 in December 2015, an increase of 33.6 per cent from the 2,116 sales recorded in December 2014 and a 19.8 per cent decline compared to November 2015 when 3,524 home sales occurred.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 2,021 in December 2015. This represents a 7 per cent increase compared to the 1,888 units listed in December 2014 and a 40.4 per cent decline compared to November 2015 when 3,392 properties were listed.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 6,024, a 41.6 per cent decline compared to December 2014 and a 25.6 per cent decrease compared to November 2015.

Sales of detached properties in December 2015 reached 1,136, an increase of 36.4 per cent from the 833 detached sales recorded in December 2014. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 24.3 per cent from December 2014 to $1,248,600.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,225 in December 2015, an increase of 34.3 per cent compared to the 912 sales in December 2014.The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 14 per cent from December 2014 to $436,200.

Attached property sales in December 2015 totalled 466, an increase of 25.6 per cent compared to the 371 sales in December 2014. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 13.6 per cent from December 2014 to $543,700.

Reciprocity Logo The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Greater Vancouver REALTORS® (GVR), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the GVR, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the GVR, the FVREB or the CADREB.