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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Snowfall warning in effect for the Coquihalla Highway

An unstable airmass is producing heavy flurries over parts of the southern highway passes

Recruitment underway for Hope Fire Department

Training and boot camp coming up in April

Fraser Cascade’s author talk will discuss potlatch history, education

Davidson’s history and education come together for informative presentation

Open house held to learn about Quran in Hope

Society brings religious text, open answers to Hope Recreation Centre

Abbotsford mosque gets online hate for exhibit on Jesus

Event meant to bring community together gets attacked teaching religous differences

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Two scout leaders missing near Sooke after swollen creek traps troop

Third leader and scouts located, while search continues for two leaders who’d gone for help

B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

Fraser Health warns some schools of possible COVID-19 exposure

A sixth COVID-19 patient is a woman in her 30s in the Fraser Health region who recently returned from Iran

Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sex crimes in landmark #MeToo trial

The cases against the Hollywood mogul started the #MeToo movement

Initial police report of 2015 accident was ‘inaccurate’ Langley RCMP say

Online statement issued to clarify that victim was not in the middle of the road

CRA puts focus on paper returns as tax-filing season opens

The federal tax collector expects to handle about two million paper returns this calendar year out of roughly 26 million filings

Teck withdraws application for Frontier mine, citing discourse over climate change

The Vancouver-based company said it will take a $1.13-billion writedown on the Frontier project in Alberta

B.C. VIEWS: Pipeline dispute highlights need for clarity

As the B.C. treaty process grinds on, uncertainty remains

Most Read