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Big bumps in local home sales won't last: bank economist

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Big increases in Vancouver-area home sales will not be sustained, according to a bank economist.

Craig Wright of the Royal Bank says “activity now is borrowing from the future… that, alongside of a still-strained affordability environment suggest, to us as least, that the housing sector will continue to soften rather than accelerate from this point forward.”

Wright also sees new home construction being limited in the short term by slowing population growth and unoccupied condos in Vancouver.

His forecast for BC calls for growth of 1.5 per cent this year, increasing to 2.7 per cent next year, as exports of natural resources rise and spending on major projects ramps up.

But Wright adds that BC created no net new jobs between the summers of 2012 and 2013, which in turn has kept retail sales “stagnant.”