CMHC reports housing starts in Victoria are trending at 2,441 for the year, which is close to our prediction of 2,400 after last year’s 2,933 – the highest starts total since 1989. A reasonable number for this market is 2,000. For example, a very tough year was 2009 when we posted only 1,034 starts. Another tough year  was 2014 with only 1,315 starts. During the past ten years, we mostly under-performed due to a stagnant economy. The past two years saw a big jump in demand for homes because BC now has the strongest economy in Canada and unemployment is very low, critical for a strong housing market. The blame on foreign buyers by some elected officials is politically convenient but ignores the fact that price jumps often occur after a number of years of stagnation. here is our column on that subject.

Housing supply is low due to below-average starts during the past ten years. Housing is caught between the ALR and urban areas intended for housing where local governments and anti-development groups oppose more density.  In other words, opposition to making the best use of the land that is available for housing. This is causing very high housing prices, which will continue until elected officials understand that over-regulation and the province’s policy of self determination for municipalities is at the root of the problem. 

Single family starts remain strong at 85 for April, mostly because the CRD’s most progressive municipality has promoted affordable Built Green homes on small lots for young families. As a result, they are revitalizing their community. Year to date, Langford has built more homes than Sidney, Central Saanich, North Saanich, Highlands, Metchosin, Esquimalt, View Royal, Saanich, Oak Bay combined. In fact, due to protectionist land use policies, Highlands  has built only 2 homes and Metchosin 6. Oak Bay has built 12 homes and could have many more, however vocal anti-development groups dominate the community, not appreciating that increased density is the only option for land that is some of the most expensive in North America. Here is our column on that subject.

Here is CMHC’s report on housing starts for April.

Authorized by Victoria Residential Builders Association; registered sponsor under the Election Act, 250-383-5044.