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

Royal BC Museum joins home education trend with outreach programs

Free webinar options available for RBCM@Home and kids’ programs, starting March 31

Victoria councillors propose waiving parkade fees to support essential workers

Motion coming to committee of the whole for consideration

Stars On Ice tour cancelled for the first time in 34 years due to pandemic

The show was supposed to hit the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on May 12

Victoria car dealership helps fill shelves at the Mustard Seed Food Bank

Kia Victoria staff also delivering groceries, prescriptions for home-bound residents

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

Canada to spend $2B more on procuring medical supplies for COVID-19 fight

Government has signed deals with three companies

World COVID-19 updates: Putin may be exposed; 30,000 prisoners released

Comprehensive news update from around the world as of Tuesday, March 31.

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

‘This is no joke’: B.C. woman in Alberta hospital asks people to stay home during COVID-19

‘I want people to start listening to what the doctors are saying. This is no joke, please stay home’

Rest stops barring washroom access to truckers a ‘huge problem’ as COVID-19 spreads

Teamsters Canada says truckers are increasingly being denied warm meals

Canadians asked to wash mailboxes, keep dogs at bay, to ensure safe mail delivery

Four postal workers in Canada have tested positive for COVID-19 infection:

Hospitality workers hit ‘first and hit hardest,’ says union seeking more support

Union represents workers in hotels, casinos, airports, arenas, universities, schools and remote resource camps

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

Most Read