CMHC housing starts for Greater Victoria from Jan – Nov 2019 show a total of 3,242 new units compared with 3,498 the same time last year for a decline of -7%. Biggest declines are Central Saanich -75% Oak Bay -73% Saanich -57% and North Saanich -51%. Biggest increase is Esquimalt at 1,927% from 11 to 223. Colwood also improved 128% from 187 to 428 new homes.
Single detached starts are down -23% which does not bode well for young families looking for a home. Supply is declining which leads to higher prices. Part of this is due to regulatory costs such as DCC’s, Step Code, etc imposed by councils in Saanich, Central Saanich, etc.
Langford continues to be the star in the CRD posting 1,254 new homes followed by Victoria with half as many at 639. Langford, out of 13 municipalities in the CRD, creates 39% of all new housing at a price point that is $200,000 less than the average single detached home in the core. They have not adopted risky, costly programs like Step Code, and instead are waiting for new National Building Code regulations for energy efficiency appearing in 2020.
The National Building Code rejected the metrics of the BC Step Code as flawed but were still adopted by councils in Saanich, Central Saanich, North Saanich, Oak Bay and Victoria. Four of the five have the biggest declines in housing starts.