Multi-Family Housing Shortage Still a Major Issue
VANCOUVER, BC — Only eight new townhome units were completed and available for purchase across the entire lower mainland region at the end of December, according to UDI’s latest fourth quarter State of the Market 2016 Research Report on population growth, new home sales and supply.
“The report confirms that doing nothing, blaming foreign buyers, or introducing new, punitive taxes have not made housing more plentiful or affordable for home-seekers,” says UDI President & CEO Anne McMullin.
“We need more houses for more people, especially along rapid transit corridors,” she added. We have plenty of available land, but 85% of it is locked up as restrictive, single family zoning, meaning no multi-family condos, townhomes, rowhomes, duplexes or even sales of laneway homes are permitted. Coupled with years of delays in multi-family building approvals, rising land costs and lack of available land to build on, aside from industrial, agricultural and park land reserves, home-seekers can count on prices to keep rising,” she added. “We all have to share in the solutions and consider the greater good and community health.”
She cautioned that when interpreting this report, the best measurement is what new housing is currently “available”, not just how many “housing starts” exist; they’re often pre-sold before they’re even built.
- Eight townhome units available and unsold across the Metro Vancouver. This is not a typo. See chart 8.4 on page 14.
- Metro Vancouver currently has only 26 concrete condo units completed and unsold. See graph 6.4 on page 12.
- Metro Vancouver population up 30,700 over the past year. Current population is now estimated at 2,177,200 residents See chart 1.1 on page 7.
- Rental vacancies are continuing to be wafer-thin across Metro with most municipalities having a less than .6% vacancy rate. See chart 5.6 on page 11.
- Wood frame condos show a 92% decrease in inventory compared to that same fourth quarter in 2015 and also represents a six-year low. See chart 7.4 on page 13.
- Development sector is BC’s largest industry. Economic impact: $17B in GDP
- Video statement from Anne McMullin on the report