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.

Just Posted

VIDEO: 12th annual Port Hardy Wild hockey tournament finals

The Wild vs. Whalers and Warriors vs. Flyers from last weekend’s tournament.

Tyson’s Thoughts: It’s my four-year anniversary at the Gazette

I went from driving a forklift in a warehouse to an award-winning journalist in just a few years.

First annual North Island Christmas Festival

“If it’s a big success we can do it every year”

Port Hardy Secondary School girls volleyball team competes in Parksville

The girls volleyball team has a new coach this year, Kenzie McDonald.

33rd annual Rotary Auction raises $50,000 gross profit

The Rotary Auction is an annual joint project between the Port Hardy and Port McNeill clubs.

VIDEO: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

Batten down the hatches: Wet and windy weekend on the way for coastal B.C.

Environment Canada issues special weather warning for Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

Port Moody mayor says stayed sex assault charge related to ‘awkward date’

Rob Vagramov said charge was related to a string of dates in 2015

UBC conference draws fire over speaker from Chinese tech company blacklisted in U.S.

The company that has been blacklisted by the U.S. over links to the repression of China’s Muslim minority

Most Read