BC Raises the Bar Once Again for New Home Construction Investment: StatCan

Another record month in October for expenditure on new home-building in the province, with condos again leading the charge

December 21, 2016

New condo apartment building construction in Burnaby

BC posted its highest-ever total investment in residential construction in October, according to Statistics Canada data published December 20. The expenditure of $1,149,222 on new housing builds was 1.5 per cent higher than the record-breaking month before, and a year-over-year rise of 31.4 per cent versus October 2015.

Condo-apartment buildings once more led the growth and saw the biggest injection of cash, taking up close to half the province’s total investment at $564 million. This was a rise of 5.3 per cent since September and an annual jump of 45.8 per cent.

New single-family home construction in the province posted an October investment of $455 million, which was down two per cent month over month but up 17.8 per cent compared with October 2015.

Investment in townhouses and other attached properties in BC totalled $96.9 million in October, down just a smidge at 0.1 per cent compared with September, but 28.5 per cent higher than a year previously.

Only $32.9 million was spent on building new duplex homes in BC in October, a year-over-year rise of 25.7 per cent but a drop of 3.5 per cent from September.

As usual, despite raising the investment bar once again, BC was in second place out of all provinces and territories in terms of total dollar amount in new home construction investment, with Ontario spending $2.1 billion in residential construction. But, also as has been the recent trend, BC’s growth in new home investment was once again much steeper than Ontario’s 13.9 per cent year-over-year increase.

New home construction investment dropped on a year-over-year basis in seven of Canada’s 14 provinces and territories, with annual declines recorded in Newfoundland and Labrador (which are combined), Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

After also breaking a record in new home building investment in September, breaching the $5 billion mark for the first time, the nation as a whole slipped a little in October, spending $4.9 billion on new housing construction. This was still a year-over-year rise of 4.9 per cent.

Unlike in BC, as has also been the recent trend, Canada-wide new home investment was weighted in favour of single-family houses, which totalled $2.45 billion across the country –an increase of six per cent over the previous October. National investment in multi-family construction further slowed its annual growth rate, rising 2.1 per cent year over year to $1.8 billion.

News of the continued increase in new home investment in BC comes a couple of weeks after federal agencies reported a recovery in the number of housing starts and values of building permits issued in the region. 

The British Columbia Real Estate Association recently predicted that rising home completions in 2017 would lead to a “more balanced” housing market next year.  

See Statistics Canada's full interactive tables, broken down by province and building type, here.

Joannah Connolly has been editor and content manager of since May 2014. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, and has moderated and spoken on several industry panels. During this time, she also spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio 98.3FM. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 20 years of journalism experience in Vancouver and London, with a prior background in construction, architecture and business media.
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