Forecast anticipates drop in average housing prices

The news for B.C. homebuyers next year is out.

According to the B.C. Real Estate Association’s latest housing forecast, the average Multiple Listing Service residential unit price will decrease 2.5 percent from the 2011 average to $550,500. For Greater Vancouver home buyers, the forecasted price is expected to drop 3.5 percent to $755,000 in 2012.

The price decrease is due to moderate consumer demand combined with more listings (the large inventory is a result of the increase in housing starts in B.C., especially in the Lower Mainland). These factors will mitigate increases in home prices next year.

For developers, selling units in 2012 will mean offering homes at excellent value and systemizing their HST policies.

According to Cristy Edmonds, principal at Fifth Avenue Real Estate Marketing, “there are a lot of new builds out there, especially in the Fraser Valley. The projects that will be successful in the New Year will be those that offer value and are marketed to the emerging needs of buyers.”

She said that it is important for developers to not only price their units competitively but also to make sure there is a viable value proposition for the end user, such as uncompromising amenities and finishings that will set new units apart in 2012.

Edmonds is part of the team behind a new development in Langley that is ready to compete in the New Year by offering homebuyers tax incentives. What would normally be costly upgrades are standard issue finishings at Elements, offering an overall higher level design esthetic than is common in the Fraser Valley.

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