03/27/2013 11:50 EDT | Updated 03/03/2014 10:59 EST

Vancouver Housing Price Median To Get Worse Before It Gets Better: Forecast

Vancouver's housing market is expected to continue its slump, seeing only a slight recovery towards the end of the year, says a credit union forecast.

Greater Vancouver's median house price is expected to fall six per cent to $474,000 before edging higher at the end of 2013, Central 1 Credit Union predicts in an economic analysis report released Wednesday.

Greater Vancouver is also expected to see resale activity decline four per cent this year to 31,500 homes. Resale transactions in the Lower Mainland, which make up 60 per cent of the province's total, are forecast to fall four per cent before recovering somewhat in the second half of the year, the credit union said.

The market sluggishness comes as B.C. home sales are forecast to sit at 64,200 units, worse than the 12-year low of 64,400 units in 2012. The resale market is also expected to see lacklustre activity as employment and population growth limp along and tighter mortgage requirements "(push) some first-time buyers out of the market," the credit union said in a Wednesday news release.

The province's median house price is expected to fall five per cent to $363,000, a level last seen in 2009.

The credit union does, however, have some good news for the B.C. housing market. New home sales are expected to rise to 19,000 units this year as housing projects begun in 2010 or 2011 reach completion, Central 1 said.

Further recovery is expected in 2014 as housing starts are forecast to jump 7.3 per cent to more than 30,000 units in 2015.

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