BC New Home Building Investment up 28%, Second Only to Ontario: StatCan

Joannah Connolly
May 20, 2016

BC’s new home building investment rose 28 per cent year over year in March to nearly $822 million – an uplift of 5.6 per cent over February, according to Statistics Canada data released May 20.

Single-family homes re-emerged as BC’s home type with the highest total investment, rising 18.3 per cent year over year to $380.5 million. This was an increase of 6.8 per cent over the month before, as the spring building market got under way.

Investment in condo-apartment construction, the previous month’s biggest spender, lagged slightly in March at $342 million. However, this was by far the steepest annual growth, a jump of 48.7 per cent over March 2015, and a month-over-month increase of four per cent over February.

Spending on new townhouse/rowhome construction, although always much lower in total numbers, also maintained its upward trajectory, up 19.2 per cent year over year to just over $75 million in March. This was also a rise of 6.3 per cent compared with February 2016.

As with the last several months, the only class of housing to see a decline in investment was once more duplexes. Spending on new duplex construction in the province dropped nearly 13 per cent year over year in March to total just under $24 million, although this was a near-seven per cent uplift from February’s total of $22.5 million.

Following new housing investment in BC? Read how condos drove spending in the previous month's report here

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BC’s $822 million total investment made it once again the second-biggest spender on new homes in March, beaten only by Ontario, which invested more than $1.5 billion in residential construction.

The province’s 28 per cent annual increase was also the second-sharpest rise in new home investment that month, with only Ontario's 35.5 per cent year-over-year growth outpacing BC. Alberta's spending on home building continued its downfall, posting a 27 per cent drop compared with March 2015.

Investment in housing construction across Canada again rose at a more moderate rate than BC’s, increasing a solid 9.7 per cent year over year to a total of $3.85 billion in March, which is a rise of 1.5 per cent compared with February.

As in BC, Canadian condo construction investment saw the steepest growth in overall spending, which rose nearly 20 per cent year over year to nearly $1.4 billion across the country. Investment in townhomes and row homes was up 9.2 per cent since the previous March.

Also like in BC, detached homes saw the biggest total investment across Canada at $1.9 billion in March, up 5.9 per cent year over year.

Yet again, March posted an annual decline in duplex construction investment across Canada, with spending on this housing type dropping 15.1 per cent to $163 million.

To see Statistics Canada’s interactive chart, click here. 

Joannah Connolly
Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condo, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 22 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio.