Statistics Canada reports the price of new homes in Greater Victoria increased 5.3% from January to October 2020 while the price of land increased .3%.

Nationally, residential construction costs increased 2.4% in the third quarter alone, the largest gain since the index was introduced in the first quarter of 2017.

This can be attributed to the rising cost of materials such as lumber, however municipalities adopting BC’s Step Code are also pricing young homebuyers out of the market.

Councils in Saanich, Oak Bay, Victoria, North Saanich adopted Step 3 of the ill-advised BC Step Code adding $30,800 to the cost of new homes.

A recent Housing Needs Report says the added costs of the BC Step Code obstruct new housing and affordability in the municipalities.

Step Code 3 will be adopted in Sooke and Central Saanich at the start of 2021.

The region’s housing affordability crisis is exacerbated by these municipal councils fast-tracking energy efficiency, in already energy efficient new homes, while ignoring National Building Code diligence. In addition, the vast majority of GHGs in homes come from older housing stock. So these councils are boosting housing costs despite significantly diminishing returns.

This may also result in potential serious unintended consequences.