BC was Canada’s strongest market for home construction
BC outperformed all other provinces during the 2010s when it came to home construction, seeing the most homes built in its history over that 10-year period.
The westernmost province beat out other provincial rivals with large housing markets – namely Ontario, Alberta and Quebec — to be crowned the top performer for housing starts last decade by real estate services firm Altus Group, in a report released earlier this month.
A housing start is defined as when a builder begins construction on a single unit of housing. It is one of the key measures of construction activity in a housing market.
According to Altus Group, BC started off the decade slowly but construction eventually rose to a level that was both higher than the 60-year average for housing starts in the province and above levels seen in the 2000s. Saskatchewan and Manitoba were the only two other provinces to match these two achievements.
The important distinction that allowed BC to rise above all other provinces in 2010s home construction performance? With an average of 33,900 housing starts occurring on an annual basis, the 2010s was the province’s strongest decade for starts ever. Altus Group used data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to compare housing starts levels by decade all the way back to the 1960s. The 2010s outmatched the booms seen in the province during the 1970s and 1990s.
While Ontario and Quebec had much higher total numbers of housing starts due to their much larger populations, they both didn’t hit the trifecta of achievements that the BC market did in the 2010s.
For instance, housing starts in Ontario were slightly higher than the 60-year average in the 2010s but much lower than the level achieved in the previous decade. The province also saw a much higher level of housing starts in the 1970s than the 2010s. Quebec matched the level of starts achieved in the 2000s but also saw a much lower total when compared to the boom of the 1970s.
From a national perspective, Altus Group described the 2010s as “a decent decade for housing starts” for Canada.
“Total housing starts in Canada during the 2010s reached 201,000 units on an average annual basis – virtually identical to the 2000s and tied for the 2nd best decade ever, after the 1970s,” the real estate services firm wrote in the report.