The Vancouver real estate market’s so far uninterrupted streak of growth is now spilling over to the surrounding locales, further inflating prices across British Columbia and inviting renewed concerns over the sector’s long-term stability.
British Columbia Real Estate Association chief economist Cameron Muir said that a more robust economy contributed to record-breaking real estate sales volumes in the province last month, with the most noticeable increases observed in the peripheries of B.C.’s most populous city.
“It's very common every time we see a strong market in Vancouver ... we tend to see that lag effect and it tends to go to other places,” Muir told CBC News
Among these areas is Parksville, which has been enjoying a housing boom fuelled by low interest rates and the price arms race in Vancouver.
“The sellers all see what's happening in the big cities, so they think their place is worth more, so the asking price is up and a lot of people are paying more because a lot of buyers are coming from the big city,” local realtor Jim Hoffman said.
“They've just sold for big bucks in Vancouver, Victoria and they don't mind spending a little more here,” he added.
Despite the emergence of potential next-wave markets, however, Muir is not optimistic of the trend’s longevity. He pointed at this growth level’s singular dependence on the leading markets as a contributing factor to future weakness.
“Whenever you have record levels of sales activity, to the extent that it is right now, it will likely be a short-lived event. And my anticipation is that either the summer, the fall or early next year, sales will begin to wane in some of the largest urban centres,” he warned.