This duplex under construction on the 1200 block of Tattersall Drive is one of numerous housing projects in the works for Saanich. (Dan Ebenal/News Staff)

This duplex under construction on the 1200 block of Tattersall Drive is one of numerous housing projects in the works for Saanich. (Dan Ebenal/News Staff)

Saanich lags behind new housing starts

New figures show Saanich lagging behind both Victoria and Langford in new housing starts.

Saanich, with a 2016 population of 114,148, recorded 598 new housing starts of all types between January and October 2017 – up from 423 new starts during the same period in 2016, according to Housing Now Tables as released by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

Both Victoria and Langford, however, outpaced Saanich.

Langford, with a 2016 population of 35,342, recorded 882 new housing starts, up from 783 over the same period. Victoria, with a 2016 population of 85,7920, recorded 899 new starts, up from 782 from the same period.

Read differently, Saanich recorded fewer new housing starts than Victoria and Langford both in absolute and per capita terms, with Langford leading all three communities in terms of per capita growth.

These housing starts speak to larger demographic trends in the region. Langford’s population in 2016 rose by almost 21 per cent compared to 2011, whereas Saanich’s population rose by four per cent during the same period. Victoria’s population, meanwhile, grew by 7.2 per cent.

These figures roughly confirm the larger theory that the outer communities of the Capital Regional District (CRD) will grow faster than the communities in the inner core like Victoria and Saanich, with more established, but also more expensive urban forms. But they also point to nuances and raise questions. While smaller and denser than Saanich, Victoria appears to be growing faster than Saanich, even as Victoria has higher real estate costs than Saanich.

One clue to this question appears in the Preliminary Housing Start Data for December 2017, as released by CMHC. Of the 3,700 new housing starts recorded in the Greater Victoria area between January and November 2017, 824 qualified as single-detached homes — the rest as multi-family homes, with many concentrated in the urban core. Langford, meanwhile, recorded by far the highest number of completed single-detached homes among the CRD communities with 224 between January and October 2017.

Recent statistics also draw to two other phenomenon. The construction of rental properties has increased in the Greater Victoria area. CMHC recorded the construction of 1,400 rental units across the region between January and October 2017.

Overall, these figures suggest a shift away from single-detached homes towards multi-family units. But if this development represents a change, the market remains over-valued, according to CMHC.

“CMA housing market trends continued to indicate a high degree of vulnerability,” the CMHC writes in the Housing Market Assessment: Fourth Quarter 2017. “Single-detached home sales declined, nudging the market towards balanced conditions, but overheating persisted due to continued elevated sales volumes for apartments and town homes.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ron Sivorot, business director at Kennametal’s Langford site, the Greater Victoria facility that made a component being used on NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars. (Jake Romphf, Black Press Media)
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover using piece made at Kennametal’s Langford site

The Greater Victoria plant’s tooth blank is helping the rover’s drill collect rock cores

June Saxe, 2, enjoys the sunny shoreline at Whiffin Spit with her dad on March 5. The family had come out from Victoria for a day in the sunshine. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Warm weather brings Sooke’s Whiffin Spit to life

Visitors, locals enjoy warm weather at coastal viewpoint

Funding requests for the 2021 budget year, submitted by the Administration and Finance Committee, was approved by Langford council at the Feb. 16 meeting. (Black Press Media file photo)
Food awareness, seniors among Langford’s approved 2021 funding requests

New and returning community organizations to receive financial boost

Underground utility installations are underway on Latoria Boulevard at Latoria Road near Royal Bay Secondary and on Metchosin Road south of Latoria Boulevard. (City of Colwood image)
Road work hinders Colwood drivers in Royal Bay

Underground utility installation could run most of March

A rockfall closed Finlayson Arm Road and West Shore Parkway on Friday (March 5) afternoon. (Twitter/BC Transportation)
UPDATED: Malahat reopens following rockfall

Section of Trans-Canada Highway was scheduled for intermittent closures today for rock scaling work

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Free Reformed Church is seen as people attend service, in Chilliwack, B.C., on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. Lawyers for the British Columbia government and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms are back in B.C. Supreme Court today, squaring off over the legality of COVID-19 rules that prohibit in-person religious services. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. top doctor has power to restrict access to a place during health hazard: lawyer

Under B.C.’s Public Health Act, Jacqueline Hughes says, Henry can restrict or prevent entry to a place

Most Read