(Black Press Media files)

Mortgage test, high supply to keep cooling B.C. housing prices in 2019, report says

The BC Real Estate Association says new lending rules are still affecting buyers

The mortgage stress test is expected to continue to put a damper on any major price increase in B.C.’s housing market throughout 2019, according to the B.C. Real Estate Association.

In a first quarter forecast update released Monday, the association said the test is expected to continue “constraining” housing demand this year.

READ MORE: B.C.’s skyrocketing real estate market will ‘correct’ in 2019, says analyst

The stress test, introduced at the start of 2018, requires all borrowers to qualify for a mortgage based on either the five-year benchmark rate or their lender’s actual rate plus two per cent, whichever is higher. The change applies to all mortgages, new or renewed, even if the down payment exceeds 20 per cent.

The average price of a home in B.C. stayed mostly steady, up just 0.5 per cent to $716,100, in the first quarter of 2019.

The association expects 80,000 units will sell by the end of the year, compared with 78,345 last year.

Although the province has seen five years of “above-trend economic growth,” and has the lowest unemployment in Canada – spurring on housing demand – the association said job growth will likely slow down in the coming years.

That shift will push down the province’s gross domestic product from 2.8 per cent to 2.6 per cent in 2019, leading to a slight downturn in housing demand.

That, mixed with the record number of new homes being built this year, will keep any housing shortages at bay.

READ MORE: Real estate board calls on Ottawa to revisit mortgage stress test


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Identifying child care space needs in Prince Rupert

B.C. government is providing a $25,000 grant for more than 70 communities to help improve daycare

Prince Rupert U17s are 2019 Junior All Native Basketball Tournament champs

This year’s tournament held in Kitimat and Kitamaat Village

Police investigating after body found in Terrace

Discovery Friday afternoon near Olson Ave.

Grant Lawrence brings stories and songs to Rupert

Luke Wallace, Rachelle van Zanten will support April 13 event as musical guests

Taylor Northcott will help build Arizona State hockey

Prince Rupert hockey star was a Seawolf before moving south for sports school

Rupert’s greens ready for golf season

VIDEO: Prince Rupert Golf Club is open for 2019 with turf that weathered well over winter

Bobrovsky perfect as Blue Jackets blank Canucks 5-0

Vancouver shut out for 10th time this season

Story of Wet’suwet’en Chief Alfred Joseph being told

Song of the Earth on Chief Gisday’wa will be launched in Hagwilget

Houston woman gets two years for aggravated assault

Ewald pleads guilty; trial of co-accused Calvin Dyrland begins in Smithers B.C. court

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Most Read