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Kelowna News

WALKER: B.C.'s economy relies on real estate

Mark Walker is a real estate agent and the broker/owner of Kelowna’s Walker Real Estate.
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November 18, 2017 - 12:15 PM



I’ve been saying that the B.C. economy is too reliant on real estate for some time now, but wow, the latest data from Statistics Canada even surprised me.

The long and short of it is this - real estate is now worth more to the B.C. economy than oil is to the Albertan economy. Just think about that for a second. Not only that, B.C. is more reliant on the real estate sector than any other province across all of Canada.

The figures show that the real estate, rental and leasing sector accounted for over 18 per cent of B.C.’s GDP in 2016. Contrast that with Alberta - oil and gas, mining and quarrying made up just under 17 per cent of the province’s GDP in 2016.

I do want to acknowledge that part of this is down to the fact that the Albertan oil and gas sector has struggled over the last few years, while the B.C. real estate sector has been experiencing rapid growth, but even still this is quite astounding.

So what does this mean? Well, chiefly, it means real estate is very important to the British Columbian economy. To my mind, it also means that our provincial government should be doing more to diversify our economy.

I’m not suggesting for one minute that the B.C. real estate market is going to fall off a cliff - in fact I’m pretty confident about the market - but, in my opinion, with so many eggs being put in the basket marked ‘real estate’ our government is certainly playing a risky game. Housing shouldn’t be B.C.’s main economic driver.

What are your thoughts on this? Is British Columbia’s economy too reliant on real estate? Let me know what you think in the comments - I’d love to hear from you.

If you’re looking for more information on the Kelowna real estate market, please contact me directly. I would be happy to answer any questions that you might have. I can be reached at 250-764-4344 or

— Mark Walker is a real estate agent and the broker/owner of Kelowna’s Walker Real Estate. His company runs the website - Kelowna’s most comprehensive real estate search tool. Mark Walker’s column appears here every two weeks.

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