Latest data from the Bank of Montreal’s Blue Book economic outlook, British Columbia is set to lead Canada’s provinces this year, as residential property sales appear to be their best in more than five years.
Oil prices may have halted Alberta’s economic growth and real estate investing numbers but the scenario is completely the opposite for B.C. as its real GDP is expected to stay at 2.6% this year. It may fall slightly, however, to 2.5% in 2016.
Canada’s GDP growth is expected to reach 1.8% and 2.2% for this and next year, respectively.
The economic study is also confident that “B.C. will be the only province to achieve a balanced budget this fiscal year.”
In February, the government announced a surplus of $879m, Vancity Buzz reported.
BMO also said B.C. has a robust housing market thanks to low mortgage rates, making homeownership and property investments more feasible for its residents.
The report said housing starts in the area remain stable across with 28,000 units under construction. This rate is said to be consistent with the numbers seen over the last four years.
“That said, Vancouver still faces an elevated number of completed but unoccupied units on the market (mostly condos), but that continues to trend down,” the bank’s economist Robert Kavic was quoted as saying.
“As a result, new residential construction activity will likely remain relatively stable as current supply is absorbed. While the housing market continues to strengthen, particularly in Vancouver, firm U.S. demand and a weak Canadian dollar should offset the slowdown in China and uncertainty in the mining sector.”
Kavic also noted that B.C.’s economy has little direct exposure to oil, “but there is still uncertainty in the mining sector due to a drop in mining investment”.

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