New Housing Construction Spending Breaks Another Record in BC: StatCan

In spite of falling housing starts and building permits, the amount of money invested in building new homes in the provinces hit highest-ever mark in September

November 22, 2016

Condo Apartment new construction

Despite a current lag in housing starts and building permits, the province broke another record for investment in new housing construction in September, according to figures released by Statistics Canada November 22.

BC’s $1,131,732 injection into residential building was 35.3 per cent higher than September 2015, and up 4.5 per cent from the previous record-breaking month of August

Construction of new multi-family buildings continued to dominate, comprising nearly half of the investment at $535.9 million, a 54.7 per cent leap year over year and an increase of 3.9 per cent since August.

Some $464.7 million was spent on new detached houses in the province, which was a rise of 20 per cent since last year and four per cent month over month.

Attached properties such as row homes and townhouses posted a 28 per cent year-over-year increase in investment, at $97 million in September, 8.9 per cent up from August this year.

Even BC's new duplexes saw some growth in expenditure, rising 26 year over year and 9.1 per cent versus August, although total investment in this property type was still only $34 million in September.

Despite BC’s new record, it was as usual in second place out of all provinces and territories in terms of new home investment, with Ontario investing a record $2.12 billion in residential construction. However, BC’s annual growth was once again faster-paced than Ontario’s 15.3 per cent.

Investment in new home construction declined in seven of Canada’s 14 provinces and territories, with year-over-year drops seen in Newfoundland and Labrador (which are combined), Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Nunavut.

Canada as a whole also broke a record in new home building investment, breaching the $5 billion mark for the first time in the month of September. This was a lift of 5.9 per cent year over year and 6.3 per cent up over the previous month.

Unlike in BC, as has been the trend, the nationwide investment was weighted in favour of single-family houses, which totalled $2.58 billion across Canada, an increase of 8.2 per cent over last September. This was followed by multi-family construction, which slowed its rate of investment growth, rising 2.8 per cent year over year to $1.78 billion.

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

Joannah Connolly is the editor and content manager of and Real Estate Weekly newspaper, and editor-in-chief of Western Investor and West Coast Condominium. She also moonlights as the host of the Real Estate Therapist call-in show on Roundhouse Radio 98.3FM. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 20 years of media experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture and business media.
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