According to the Conference Board of Canada’s recent Provincial Outlook: Spring 2016, British Columbia’s booming housing sector will be one of the province’s main drivers of economic growth. In addition, B.C. will lead the country in real GDP growth with increases of three per cent, both in 2016 and 2017.
Housing starts in the province are forecast to expand by the double digits this year. Although they are expected to fall in 2017, they will remain at high levels and will continue to support economic activity in the province.
The continued strength in the housing market is due to low interest rates, which are expected to increase in 2017, and the expanding economy attracting job seekers from both the rest of Canada and around the world. Swift price growth in the housing market could has increased the risk of causing a correction, mainly due to falling affordability for most income earners in the province.
“British Columbia’s economy has been growing by three per cent since 2014 and this positive outlook is expected to continue for the foreseeable future,” said Marie-Christine Bernard, associate director of Provincial Forecast, in a press release. “Conditions remain difficult in the mining sector but strength in forestry, construction, transportation and the real estate industry put the province in an enviable position as Canada’s economic growth leader.”
The strength of B.C.’s economy will help boost employment in the province, keeping the unemployment rate far below the national average. Close to 50,000 jobs are expected to be created in B.C. in 2016 and 2017.