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Victoria Housing Outlook Upbeat 

I recently attended CMHC’s Housing Outlook Conference and the presentations were very encouraging.

BC’s economic fundamentals are the strongest in years. Our unemployment rate is now lower than Alberta’s and we are expected to lead the country in GDP growth in 2016.

BC’s share of exports with the USA, China and Japan is also rising.

Consumer spending is trending higher while housing inventory is declining.

Single family housing starts are up an average of 11% in most of BC.

Repeat buyers have led the market to date, however first time buyers are expected to lead next year and through 2020.

In Victoria, new households will help drive home sales and construction.

Victoria’s senior population continues to rise, however the second fastest growing group is ages 25 – 44 representing young families.

Multi-family units remain strong and represent the largest part of new construction, while unabsorbed inventory remains low.

Interestingly, there are now more purpose-built rental apartments under construction than condominiums.

Overall, 1,950 housing starts are expected by year end compared with 1,315 last year. This will boost skilled jobs for youth and downstream retail.

The housing outlook for Victoria is upbeat with a note of caution.

We continue to have some of the highest land and development costs in North America.

All levels of government must exercise restraint when considering additional fees and regulations on new housing.

This will assist affordability and help families accommodate rising interest rates in the future.

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Our column is available in the Times Colonist every Wednesday.  

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