Apartments dominate Greater Victoria housing starts in March, CMHC

Apartments dominate Greater Victoria housing starts in March, CMHC

File photo.

File photo.

Housing starts data for March shows a big gap of multi-units being built compared to single-family homes in Greater Victoria.

The trend is similar in Courtenay on a smaller scale but is the opposite in Nanaimo.

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) released figures for housing starts in March Tuesday morning.

In Greater Victoria, construction began on 254 multiple units, including apartments, townhouses and condominiums, last month compared to 79 in March of 2017.

For the year-to-date figures, CMHC says there has been a 77 per cent increase of multi-house units in 2018 with 560 starts compared to 317 last year.

With 81 single houses starting in March of last year, there were 50 reported this past March, and year to day there have been 155 single dwellings, a drop of 73 compared to the same time in 2017.

In Colwood, 82 of its 88 apartments in 2018 were started in March, the most of any Greater Victoria community. Colwood had two single home starts compared to 13 in March of last year.

The same trend is happening in Sooke, which had 49 multi-use homes started in March compared to four in the same month last year.

Meanwhile, single structure starts were down from 10 to three.

Saanich also saw a big jump in apartment starts in March with 40, compared to 6 last year in March.

On the other hand, housing starts have dropped dramatically in Sidney this year with just three from January to March compared to 45 a year before over the same period.

Through the first three months of the year, housing starts are up in 2018 compared to 2017.

Construction is underway to 715 homes compared to 545 last year.


In Nanaimo, there were 36 single family homes that got underway on March, 13 more than March of 2017.

Year to date single structure homes is outpacing 2017 figures 84-to-80.

There were also more multi-units built this past March compared to last year with 26, up from 18.

The CMHC says year-to-date starts in the Harbour City are down through three months by 16 per cent with 141 underway in 2018.


The CMHC says housing starts climbed in Courtenay last month and are ahead of the pace set through three months of 2017.

There were 25 starts in March, two more than last year, with 13 being multi-unit homes.

Construction is underway for 84 homes, 51 of which being apartment complexes.

There were 70 starts in Courtenay from January to March last year, although single-family dwellings are down by 28 per cent with 33 so far.

Andy NealAndy Neal

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