There has been a reported increase of 238% in the construction of secondary suites and carriage homes in many north-central Vancouver Island jurisdictions in the 3rd quarter.

In many municipalities such as Courtenay, Comox, Cumberland and Campbell River specific zoning allows for the construction of a secondary suite in a single-family home without applying for a separate permit. Based on this information, we estimate that the increase of construction of secondary suites is actually more like 400% in 2017 compared to 2016. In conclusion, according to the building permits reported and our estimates, there has been a minimum of 100 secondary suites and or carriage homes built in the past year, compared with approximately 25 built in 2016 in the Campbell River and Comox Valley regions.

The trend is growing thanks in part to new communities like The Ridge development in Courtenay, which is zoned to allow secondary suites or carriage homes on all of its Phase 2 lots.

Overall single family home construction was up in all areas except for Comox, which reported a decline of -37%. The CVRD remained relatively stable, reporting a small decline of -5%. Overall, 309 permits for single family homes was up by 8% (24 new single family homes). Overall construction values were up by 11%, or $16 million over the same time period last year.

There is a strong demand in all areas for new single family homes and we expect to see a gradual increase in construction as more lots are brought onto the market.

Excerpted from Oct. 11, 2017 Editor’s Note