Vancouver Island Housing Starts on Par with Five-Year Average

Posted on Sep 12, 2010

Victoria Accounts for Half of Vancouver Island’s Housing Starts in August

There were 329 housing starts across urban Vancouver Island centres recorded by Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC) in August 2010. This is an increase from July 2010 and it is on par with the five-year average for August.

The most active Urban Vancouver Island residential construction market in August was the Vancouver Island apartment condominium market. In Victoria CMA there were 160 apartment condominiums that started construction in August, this number represents nearly half of all August housing starts recorded across Urban Vancouver Island. Single detached homes accounted for over 80% residential construction activity on Vancouver Island (outside of Victoria CMA) which consists of Duncan CA, Nanaimo CA, Parksville CA, and Courtenay CA.

Nationally, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of total housing starts dipped to 183,300 units in August. In British Columbia, August’s seasonally adjusted rate of urban housing starts moved higher to 25,400 units, from 20,100 units in July.

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Inter-Provincial Partnership Completes Online Resources

Posted on Jul 5, 2010

Technical Manual allows Water Balance Model users to “follow the numbers”

The British Columbia Inter-Governmental Partnership (BCIGP) and the Alberta Low Impact Development Partnership (ALIDP) have completed the Water Balance Model Technical Manual.

This manual is an online text that is navigable and organized in a way which allows users to understand a variety of aspects of the Water Balance Model in varying degrees of detail. The user can drill down into data variables, equations and other components of the system.

To learn more and access the online manual visit Technical Manual enables Water Balance Model users to “follow the numbers”.

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Vancouver Island a Preferred Destination for Retirees

Posted on Jul 3, 2010

VIREB’s 2009 Vancouver Island Buyer Profile

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) released its 2009 Buyer Profile for Vancouver Island, which tracks where people are coming from, what they are buying and why.

Statistics are for the overall Board area and for each individual zone (Duncan/Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo, Port Alberni/West Coast, Parksville/Qualicum, Comox Valley, Campbell River, North Island and Island areas).

There were 1,685 completed responses to letters that were sent to residential buyers of Vancouver Island real estate. These responses were entered into a database from which the profile was developed.

First time buyers comprised 19% of all transactions in 2009. This was the highest record for Vancouver Island since 2004 and was due to low mortgage rates and attractive pricing.

Local buyers made up 39% of sales in 2009, which was a result of low interest rates and demand.

Consumer demand from Alberta buyers was higher than expected given the Canadian economic performance in 2009, slipping from 13% to 11%.

A growing segment of retirees seem to be relocating to Vancouver Island and it continues to be their preferred destination. In 2009, forty percent of residential properties purchased on were purchased as a retirement home, which is up from last year. There was also an increase in buyers from other areas of Vancouver Island.

Vancouver Island homes that were purchased as a principal residence made up 95% of the sales transactions. Only 3% were investments or rentals.

The Buyer Profile also shows the characteristics of Vancouver Island homes with the highest frequency. The single-family detached unit was the most popular representing 62% of all sales, with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a double garage and a vinyl exterior with mountain or ocean views.

There is speculation that over the next decade approximately 5,000 new households will be formed annually in the Vancouver Island/Coast Development Region, with approximately 1,300 of these new Vancouver Island homes formed in Nanaimo.

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