CMHC recently announced year-to-date housing starts for Greater Victoria and we are again in record-setting territory.

During the first 11 months of 2018, our region posted 3,498 new homes, numbers not seen since the 1970’s. 

Langford is setting the pace at 1,633 units or about 47% of all new homes, and of these 1,198 are purpose-built rental.

That’s a big leap compared with last year and represents 65% of all rental units built in the CRD.

It was just announced almost 500 affordable housing units have been slated for construction in Langford and Sooke.

Langford Mayor Stew Young credits his council for cutting red tape and pushing affordable housing projects through quickly.

Affordable housing has been a challenge in our region where the average home price is far above the national average.

Victoria’s debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is the third highest in Canada, after Vancouver and Toronto, but our region drops to the lowest DTI in Canada when housing is removed.

The housing start numbers are great news for our economy and employment, but affordability remains a challenge.

A significant part of the reason for this strong housing demand is our strong economy combined with a large demographic of millennials starting families as well as downsizing boomers.  

During this time of year, it’s important to appreciate both our good economic fortune while remembering many continue to struggle.

We need to work together as a region, province and country to ensure all Canadians are able to afford housing.

The members of the Victoria Residential Builders Association are here to help make that dream a reality.

Merry Christmas, and Best of the Season to you and yours!

This column appears Wednesdays in the Times Colonist

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