New Immigration Targets Set to “Add to Housing Shortage”

City of Vancouver’s plans for more homes “not enough” without wider regional housing/transit strategy, says UDI
Joannah Connolly
December 6, 2017

All levels of government are urged to “act quickly” in order to prevent Metro Vancouver’s housing shortage from worsening, in the latest quarterly State of the Market report issued December 5 by the Urban Development Institute.

The development industry group reported that an acute housing supply shortage continues, with just one new, move-in-ready townhome available for sale in Vancouver proper, and only 14 available across the whole Metro region, as of the end of 2017’s third quarter.

UDI SOM Concrete Townhouses

At a total of 1,813 units, new and unsold multifamily homes for purchase in Metro Vancouver, at all stages of construction, are down 84% from the peak of 11,090 units in Q1 2013.

Anne McMullin, UDI president and CEO, said, “Our industry wants to build more multi-family homes for all budgets across Metro Vancouver. The biggest obstacles are still municipal permitting delays, which can take years, and single-family zoning, restricting 85% of residential land.

“While we’ve seen an encouraging 10-year strategy to provide more multi-family options in the City of Vancouver, on a regional scale, a combined housing/transit investment action plan is needed now, or this will never be enough to meet local demand, around 97% of buyers.”

The UDI said the local population growth likely to come from the new federal immigration target increase of 13% a year by 2020, “will only add to our housing shortage and keep prices high, if local governments don’t act quickly.”


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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.