The BCREA Economics Department forecasts that the number of homes changing hands on the Multiple Listing Service® will exceed 100,000 in 2015. That's the third strongest unit sales figure on record and marks the first time since 2007 that BC home sales will exceed the ten-year average.
While sales are expected to decrease somewhat in 2016, the forecast is still strong with an expectation of 93,700 homes. BCREA expects the average MLS® price to reach $626,100 in 2015 and $639,700 in 2016.
All of this bodes well for provincial government coffers. In his Second Quarterly Report in late November, Minister of Finance Mike de Jong reported that revenues from the Property Transfer Tax are expected to be nearly $1.3 billion in the current fiscal year—$350 million higher than the original budget figure in February.
BCREA has been following Minister de Jong's remarks about the PTT with interest, and looks forward to the 2016 provincial budget, which just might include good news for many homebuyers. The Association's concerns with the tax have been on record since 1987, and BCREA recently made the following recommendations:
1. Increase the 1% PTT threshold from $200,000 to $525,000, with 2% applying to the remainder of the fair market value.
2. Index the 1% PTT threshold of $525,000 using the MLS® Home Price Index, and make adjustments annually.
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