An economist isn't predicting any relief from high housing prices in the Lower Mainland.

Housing bubble fears just hot air: Economist

Global risks linger but real estate not likely to 'tank'

Helmut Pastrick has heard the growing talk from other financial analysts that a real estate bubble or “craze” in Vancouver has left the condo market ripe for a crash.

So far, he doesn’t see it.

The Central 1 Credit Union chief economist instead says prices aren’t soaring dramatically and he expects continued stability over the short term in the Lower Mainland.

“The Vancouver market is still obviously very expensive,” Pastrick said. “But it’s not skyrocketing away from us. Nor is it likely to fall into the tank either.”

Lower Mainland home sales were down in April, but most prices are up modestly from a year ago, although some categories have sagged in recent months.

Nor does he see signs that builders are flooding the market with new units.

The risk as Pastrick sees it is not from over-inflated prices, but from global events – a new financial crisis in Europe or a war that sends oil prices spiking.

He said that could spark a new recession that drags down both real estate and stock markets.

“If there’s a global event, Canada will also feel it and the housing market will as well,” he said, adding detached houses would fare better than condos.

Over the longer term, Pastrick doesn’t expect Metro Vancouver will suddenly become a more affordable place to own a home.

“When I look over the next 25 years, I expect prices will be higher,” he said.

“I expect it will be even more difficult for many to enter the housing market.”

The proportion of people who rent instead of own will rise over time, he predicted, and builders will continue the trend of offering smaller units.

He also foresees more intergenerational households than in the past with larger extended families living under the same roof.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s benchmark price for all residential homes was up 2.8 per cent in the last three months to $683,000 in April, and is up 3.7 per cent from a year ago.

Detached house prices have been the strongest, up 6.3 per cent from a year ago, while condos were up just 1.1 per cent.

Benchmark prices released by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board were up 5.3 per cent year-over-year to $576,600 for detached houses in April, although that number was down two per cent from March.

Townhouses were up 1.9 per cent from a year ago to $318,400 and condos rose 0.8 per cent to $205,800.

The federal government, wary that low interest rates important for economic recovery are leading consumers to take on too much debt and inflate home prices, has tightened mortgage lending rules a number of times since the 2009 recession.

Metro Vancouver home starts held steady in April and are up 16 per cent from a year ago to nearly 6,000.

Total building permits issued in the Lower Mainland were up nine per cent in March from the same period a year ago. That includes industrial and office construction.

Just Posted

Casino move, expansion approved by Mission council

Council votes 6-1 in favour of proposal, Chances still need final approval from the BCLC

No plans yet for free WiFi on Abbotsford and Mission buses

BC Transit says they are monitoring the roll-out of free WiFi on Translink vehicles

UPDATE: Heavy rainfall, strong winds in forecast for Lower Mainland

Heavy rains, snow expected till Friday morning

UPDATE: Barge continues to smolder near Silverdale

After 12 hours, Mission firefighters stop their efforts, hand situation over to the province

UFV students raise money to keep ‘nicest’ person in Abbotsford

Foreign student struggles to pay for schooling after Trump withdrawal from Iran deal

Omar Khadr wants changes to bail conditions

‘My life is held in suspension’, says the former Guantanamo Bay detainee

Sissons scores OT winner as Predators beat Canucks 4-3

VIDEO: Vancouver battles back to earn single point in Nashville

Lions announce seven members of coaching staff not coming back for 2019

The operational moves come two days after the Lions announced DeVone Claybrooks as the team’s new head coach

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

Coach accused of sexual assault says apology letter was misinterpreted

Dave Brubaker has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching

Give the gift of nature this holiday season

Please don’t be mad, but I bought you a moose

Aboriginal poet faces backlash for calling out NHL-themed totem poles

Rebecca Thomas says she received backlash for asking a drugstore chain to remove NHL merchandise

Some Kotex tampons recalled in Canada and U.S.

In some cases, tampon users sought medical attention “to remove tampon pieces left in the body.”

Sex-assault squad investigated eight incidents at Toronto all-boys’ school

The interim president of a Roman Catholic all-boys school rocked by student-on-student abuse allegations said the football program was cancelled for next year.

Most Read