The British Columbia Real Estate Association's 2015 First Quarter Housing Forecast Update also forecast that residential sales prices will rise 4.5 per cent to $595,000 this year, with most of the upward pressure on the South Coast.
"Inventory levels are coming down, which is putting some upward pressure on prices, especially in the single-family detached market throughout the Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley areas," said Randy Dyck, an agent at Eximus, based in the Fraser Valley.
The BCREA also expects that elevated consumer demand will be partially offset by resale inventories and additions to the housing stock in 2016. As a result, the average residential sales price in 2016 is forecast to increase by 2.4 per cent to $608,500.
"Stronger economic conditions both at home and abroad combined with favourable interest rates and population growth are expected to bolster housing demand over the next two years,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA chief economist.
“After a year in which housing demand ratcheted higher across the province, the retrenchment of oil prices is expected to attenuate housing demand in some regions while bolstering it in others."
Residential sales in British Columbia are forecast to rise 2.4 per cent to 86,050 units in 2015 and a further 3.9 per cent to 89,400 units in 2016, according to new figures.