January 10, 2018 1:46 am

Metro Vancouver housing starts on track for record year: home builders

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The mantra for Metro Vancouer’s housing woes has been supply, supply, supply, and 2018 is on track to deliver.

That’s according to the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association, which believes 2018 will eclipse 2017 with 22,000 new housing starts already on the docket.

Preliminary data released this month from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC) found that there were about 26,000 new housing starts in the Metro Vancouver region last year.

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The bulk of the new units started this year will be in the form of condos and townhomes, said CEO Bob de Wit.

“About a third of the number is going to be built in the City of Vancouver proper, of that amount probably 85 per cent will be multi-family,” he said.

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“The breakdown or the mix of multi-family versus single-family is bit different in the suburbs. There, a bit higher percentage of single family homes.”

Looking to the suburbs, de Wit said Coquitlam, Surrey and Burnaby will see heavy growth.

“[In] Burnaby especially this year, there’s going to be a lot of completions around Station Square and Brentwood.”

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Looking into 2019, de Wit said new builds will depend on what the government has planned and what effects new mortgage rules will have on the market.

But it’s unclear whether that increased supply will put a dent in the region’s affordability crisis.

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Royal LePage CEO Phil Soper argued that the new units won’t be enough to cool rising prices.

He said there’s just too much demand from millennials, new immigrants and a third group that’s not talked about as often.

“Inter-provincial migration. Really, only two cities in the country [are] growing by the movement of other Canadians for jobs and opportunities, and Vancouver is a big one,” he said.

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But Jill Oudil, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), argued that the new supply will have an impact, though she couldn’t say how much.

She said the big question mark surrounds new strata units.

“The amount of condominiums, for example, that will be available for purchase — many are under contracts already, and that will not change the landscape there.”

B.C.’s NDP government is set to unveil its comprehensive housing strategy in February’s budget.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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