Investment in BC Home Building Continues to Go Up: StatCan

January's figures show province as country's second-biggest contributor to rising expenditure on new home construction, with multi-family leading the growth

March 21, 2016

Condo Apartment new construction

BC’s new home building investment rose 14.3 per cent year over year in January to $695 million, according to Statistics Canada figures released March 21.

Total spending on detached home construction was highest of the four property types at $315 million, a rise of four per cent over January 2015, although this was a month-over-month drop of 3.2 per cent.

Close second in total investment were condo-apartments, at $291 million invested in January. But this figure was again a much steeper pace of annual growth, at 30 per cent more than January 2015. The figure was a decline of four per cent compared with December.

Townhouse and row home construction investment, although much lower in totals, also continued to rise strongly, up 20.6 per cent year over year to $67 million in January. This was an increase of 8.3 per cent compared with December 2015.

As has been the recent trend, the only new property type to see an annual drop in total spending was again duplex housing. Investment in duplexes fell nearly 16 per cent year over year in January to total less than $22 million, a drop of 4.5 per cent from December.

For the first time in many months, BC’s total $695 million investment in home building outstripped that of Alberta, to become the second-highest-investing province after Ontario.

BC’s 14.3 per cent annual increase in January was again the second-sharpest rise in new home investment, with only Ontario outpacing the province, as Alberta’s total was a near-20 per cent drop compared with January 2015.

Nationwide, spending on new home building increased at a far gentler rate than that of BC, with its total of $3.67 billion in January a rise of 3.9 per cent from the same month a year earlier, and a drop of 6.1 per cent compared with December.

Like in BC, the sharpest growth in overall Canadian construction investment was seen in multi-family home buildings, which rose nearly 20 per cent year over year. There was also some increased spending on townhomes and row homes, up 7.6 per cent since the previous January.

Once more, there were year-over-year declines in investment in single-family housing and duplexes across Canada in January, with spending on these housing types dropping four per cent and 16.4 per cent respectively.

To see Statistics Canada’s interactive chart, click 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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