CMHC reports 1,218 housing starts in Greater Victoria in the first six months of this year vs 1,588 last year, which was the highest since 1989.
The 2017 starts are on track for our prediction of about 2,400 by year end. A couple of interesting anomalies – Langford multi-family starts have jumped from 277 last year to 379 this year, while Victoria is down from 556 last year to 95 this year. This appears to be a timing issue for Victoria, because Yellow Sheet data shows a significant number of projects stuck in the approval process.
That said, Langford continues to dominate in providing homes in the CRD posting 524 starts or 43% while the remaining municipalities and districts construct only 694. Highlands built only 3 and Metchosin 7 in 2017.
There is a requirement under the Local Govt Act for municipalities to include housing affordability in community plans, but how this is accomplished in municipalities posting a handful of single family housing starts on large lots in anybody’s guess. The govt does not require any municipal affordability targets, (unlike carbon targets) in Canada’s most expensive province.
Langford has the most efficient development process by far and creates affordability by allowing small lots 2,000 sq ft and under for single family homes. In 2004, Victoria Council zoned small lots out of existence for housing, despite the fact that 100 years ago in James Bay 2,000 sq ft lots were common. You can read more here.