Apartments pace February housing starts on Vancouver Island, CMHC

Apartments pace February housing starts on Vancouver Island, CMHC

File photo.

File photo.

A new report shows apartment construction continues to be the biggest contributor for housing starts in Victoria, Nanaimo and Courtenay.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation says more than 80 per cent of February’s total 338 construction starts in Greater Victoria was for apartments, with 277 last month.

That’s compared to 39 single-family dwellings, 16 row housing starts and 6 semi-detached buildings.

CMHC says more than 80 per cent of total housing starts in the capital region in February was in Victoria and Langford, as starts were higher last month compared to February 2018.

Year-to-date, there have been 572 housing starts in Greater Victoria, up from the 411 at the same point in 2018.

“New condo construction boosted total housing starts above the level reached in the same period last year. The relative affordability of condo units as compared to single detached units has helped bolster demand for new units,” CMHC senior analyst Braden Batch said in a statement.

In Nanaimo, 41 of the 62 housing starts last month were for apartments, to just 19 for single-detached homes and two semi-detached starts.

In February 2018, the majority of the 45 housing starts were for single-family homes with 25.

This year is off to a much faster pace for housing starts in Nanaimo, with 189 through the first two months, 138 of which for apartments, compared to 79 at the same point last year.

Apartment starts in February were also way up compared to other resident structures in Courtenay, making up 46 of the 64 total.

Courtenay housing starts last month more than doubled the figure set in February 2018, which had 31.

Year-to-date figures are also up with 76 starts compared to construction breaking ground on 59 structures through the first two months of 2018.

Like Nanaimo, building starts have shifted to apartments in 2019, with 47 apartment starts through February in Courtenay compared to just two at the same time last year.

Nationally, CMHC says the annual pace of housing starts slowed last month as higher mortgage rates and less stimulative economic conditions helped soften demand.


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