I recently attended the 2014 Crystal Ball Housing Forecast sponsored by the Victoria Home Builders Association (ED – Casey Edge). Presenters included:
- Cameron Muir, Chief Economist, BC Real Estate Association
- Shelley Mann, Past President, Victoria Real Estate Board
- Lance Jakubec, Senior Market Analyst, CMHC
- Michael Hall, Director of Customer Support, Viking Air and representing the Sidney North Saanich Industrial Group (SNSIG)
- Shannon Renault, Policy & Program Professional
Key messages for the New Year…although 2014 is forecast to be a stronger economic year than 2013, the housing outlook remains “stable & transitional” with no significant pressure on housing prices…weak job growth continues to hurt housing demand…stronger migration growth into 2015 will help fuel housing demand…currently buyers are cautious with minimal post-purchase expectations & money continues to be tight for renovating…however there is extensive local commercial activity…local realtors remain cautiously optimistic coining the new phrase, “Flat is the New Up!”. SNSIG presenter messaging included…housing affordability encourages employment & healthy communities…75% of industrial workforce in the Sidney / North Saanich area are commuting to and from work…like similar municipal workforce housing scenarios across Canada (6 examples were researched), our region must start to treat workforce housing as an economic development issue…the CRD must start to incorporate a higher regional median income towards housing based policy as opposed to the current lower number that forces policy and decision making towards rental based solutions.