Recently released data from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC) shows that housing starts on Vancouver Island are on the rise. Most of the growth is made up of apartments and new condominiums.
Housing Starts on Vancouver Island vary greatly by region
Housing starts in the Greater Victoria Area continue to rise. They have increased 66.1% on a year-over-year basis. And they have increased by 21.3% since January of this year. Most of that growth happened with new apartments and condominiums. These saw an increase of 118.8% on a year-over-year basis. Since January, the increase is 34.8%.
This increase took place despite a significant drop in Saanich (Vancouver Island’s largest municipality). There, housing starts dropped more than 45% in the same period. Saanich saw a drop from 224 housing starts to 129 on a year-to-date basis.
Oak Bay, another major community of Greater Victoria, also saw a 47% decrease of new housing starts on a year-to-date basis.
If we only take a look at the City of Victoria, we see that the number of housing starts jumped from 13 to 347 on a year-to-date basis. Most of that growth is made up of 331 apartments.
No surprises here for CHMC analyst
Why are their such wild fluctuations in housing starts on Vancouver Island? Braden Batch, a senior CHMC analyst isn’t very surprised. He reasons that housing developers are moving away from single-family homes and are building condos and rental apartments instead.
“You are seeing a demand for more affordable housing and this supply responds to it, says Batch.
This trend is nothing new on the mainland. The demand for apartments and condominiums continues to grow since housing prices remain out of reach for median income earners.