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BC New Home Construction Investment Up 31.9%, Led By Condo Surge: StatCan

By Christina Newberry2016-07-21

New housing construction investment in BC was up 31.9 per cent year over year, Statistics Canada reported July 21, led by a leap of 53 per cent for apartment-condo buildings. Apartment-condos overtook detached homes as the housing type with the most investment in the province in May, up 4.3 per cent from April of this year to $419 million.

May’s total new housing construction investment in BC of $937 million was just shy of April’s record-breaking $945 million, but still well above the previous record of $874 million from October 2015.

The 0.9 per cent monthly dip was primarily caused by a 7.3 per cent decrease in single-family home construction from April’s high of $430 million to $399 million in May, although investment in this home type was still up 17.4 per cent year over year.

Townhouse and row house construction was up 35.5 per cent year over year to $90 million, a 5.1 per cent increase from April. Year-over-year duplex investment dropped again, down 6.3 per cent to $27.8 million, although this was up 3.8 per cent month over month.

BC’s new housing construction investment was second only to that of Ontario, which spent $1.7 billion in May. However, the year-over-year percentage increase was larger for BC, with Ontario seeing 24.3 per cent growth.

In contrast to the strong yearly gains in BC and Ontario, investment in new housing construction fell in more than half of Canada’s provinces and territories: Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Nunavut all saw year-over-year declines. Alberta’s 31.4 per cent drop was its 11th consecutive year-over-year decline.

The gains in Ontario and BC pushed national new housing construction up five per cent year over year to $4.2 billion in May, although this was a dip of 2.3 per cent from April. Most of the yearly gain came from higher investment in apartment-condominium construction, which rose 17.2 per cent year over year to $1.5 billion nationwide. Row house construction also increased nationally, rising 13.4 per cent to $454 million.

Like the previous month, year-over-year investment in duplexes was down nationally, dropping 10.7 per cent to $206 million. Investment in single-family homes was also down year over year for the first time since February, dipping 2.6 per cent to $2 billion for the country as a whole.

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

Christina Newberry
Christina Newberry is a Vancouver-based writer and editor who writes lifestyle and travel stories for publications both online and in print. When she's not travelling, Christina can be found exploring Vancouver's unique neighbourhoods or puttering in her community garden plot.
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