Economies of scale is an economic principle where costs are spread out over a larger number of goods produced.

An example in the housing industry is spreading construction costs over a larger number of units, such as a large multi-family project.

That’s why developers ask for higher density – to pay for municipal demands such as Development Cost Charges, community amenities, greenspace and the list goes on.

Yet municipalities such as Victoria and Saanich have targeted single family homes for higher costs through their adoption of the BC Step Code.  

Single family homes require Tier 3 of the Step Code, adding about $30,000 to construction while large condos require only Tier 2.

This is also a case of diminishing returns because there are far more condos constructed than single family homes, especially in Victoria.

If municipalities are concerned about reducing GHG’s in new housing, one would think large condos and single family homes would, at the very least, receive equal treatment, achieving energy efficiency in unified steps.

Unfortunately, the term Step Code was designed to be deceptive. It’s actually a Leap Code enabling municipalities to establish any level of energy efficiency regardless of cost.

Recently, Victoria council launched another assault on single family homes when they embarked on a house deconstruction policy, adding more costs. The policy was created to reduce building materials in landfills yet applies only to single family homes.

Again, demonstrating a lack of fair and equal treatment, council adds costs to the most expensive product unable to take advantage of economies of scale.

As politicians mismanage the economics of an industry, costs continue rising, putting single family homes further out of reach for families.

This column appears Wednesdays in the Times Colonist.

Visit us at and Follow us on Facebook and Twittter.