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

Joannah Connolly
December 21, 2016

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
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.