New data released by BC Housing shows a significant increase in the number of purpose-built rental homes registered in British Columbia, while continuing to show high levels of new home registrations overall.
The December 2019 New Homes Registry Report shows that in 2019, 12,289 purpose-built rental homes were registered in B.C., a 64% increase compared to 2018. Compared to 2016, the increase is even more significant, at more than double the 5,173 rentals registered that year.
Data from the most recent three years, 2017-19, shows 28,642 new purpose-built rental homes were registered, which is more than the previous decade’s combined total.
“Our government’s record investments in housing affordability, along with measures to reduce speculation in the market and stimulate an increase in rental supply, are delivering much-needed rental homes for people throughout the province,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
“This data is an encouraging sign that we are heading in the right direction and that our policy actions are shifting the market toward delivering more of the right type of housing that meets the needs of the people who live here.”
Purpose-built rentals represented more than a quarter (28.2%) of all housing units registered in 2019, up from 16.4% in 2018 and the highest proportion achieved since BC Housing started collecting this data in 2002.
This increase in purpose-built rentals comes in the context of continued high levels of new home registrations, with the last three years representing record levels, well above the 10-year average. Registered new home data is a leading indicator of housing activity in B.C. as the data is collected at the beginning of a project before building permits are issued.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
Under the Homeowner Protection Act, all new homes in the province are required to be registered with BC Housing. The registration must occur prior to the issuance of building permits.
Budget 2018 launched the most significant investment in housing affordability in B.C.'s history – more than $7 billion over 10 years. As a result of that investment, more than 22,000 new homes are completed or underway in communities throughout B.C. (as of Aug. 31, 2019).