B.C. Finance Minister Carole James presents first quarter financial results, Sept. 10, 2019. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Slow home sales cool B.C. government revenues this year

Finance Minister Carole James releases first 2019 results

A 16 per cent reduction in home sales and a slump in the forest industry have reduced the B.C. government’s estimated surplus by $95 million, Finance Minister Carole James says.

Home sales fell by 16 per cent from April through July, compared to the first quarter of the last fiscal year, James said as she released the B.C. government’s first quarter results for the fiscal year.

Home sales fell by 16 per cent from April through July, compared to the first quarter of the last fiscal year, James said as she released the B.C. government’s first quarter results for the fiscal year.

James said the government will continue to monitor the effect of the speculation and vacancy tax and other measures, watching for housing prices come down so more people can afford to buy a home.

“I don’t think there’s a British Columbian, particularly young people who are trying to get into the market, who would say we have reached the affordability level,” James said.

Comparing the first quarter results to the budget presented by James in February, taxation revenue is $277 million below budget and spending is above. The finance ministry shifted $300 million from contingency funds to yield a surplus forecast of $179 million.

RELATED: 12,000 B.C. residents paying speculation tax

RELATED: B.C. housing prices predicted to fall in 2019

The biggest adjustment in the first quarter is property transfer tax, down $385 million from the budget. That was partially offset by income tax revenue, which came in $215 million more than budgeted.

Despite struggles in the forest industry and continued cooling of the housing market, the province’s private sector economic forecast council expects its annual growth for 2020 to lead the country.

Economic growth is forecast at 2.4 per cent for B.C., compared to 2.2 per cent for Alberta and 1.8 per cent in Ontario, according to council member Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank, Royal Bank, ScotiaBank and TD.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Just Posted

Our community news matters

Guest editorial by Arnold Malone

The GoPro that refused to drown

A snorkler found a submerged GoPro and used the camera footage to find the owners

Shuswap Indian Band supports students, voices concerns for families

Shuwap Indian Band collaborates with school district on crafts, workbooks, worksheets and contests

Group home offers solace through pandemic

Rolf Heer says “life is good” at Columbia Garden Village

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Oak Bay man stumbles upon eagle hunting seal, grabs camera just in time

The eagle did ‘a perfect butterfly stroke to shore’ with its prey, photographer says

Most Read