The emphasis on density has led to an increase in the amount of time between project conception and completion in Metro Vancouver, exacerbating market imbalances, the British Columbia Real Estate Association said in a November 7 report.
Some of these imbalances will start to improve next year, however, according to the report, as a number of projects are nearing completion.
Multi-family home completions are set to jump 40% above trend levels in 2018, increasing from fewer than 4,000 units per quarter in 2016 to around 6,000 units by Q3 2018.
The BCREA compiled these projections by looking at the 35,000 multi-family units in development and estimating their completion dates by looking at where they are located. For example, projects in downtown Vancouver are expected to be completed in, on average, 37.5 months – almost three years.
Some of the areas with the highest completion times are Southeast Vancouver (26.5 months), South Granville/Oak (24.8 months), North Burnaby (21.9 months) and Westside/Kerrisdale (21.6 months).
The fastest turnaround times are found in Surrey (12.5 months), Kitsilano/Point Grey and Delta (both 14.2 months), Langley (14.3 months) and Maple Ridge (14.7 months).
An estimated 19,700 starts are forecast for 2017. In 2018, 19,000 more starts are expected.
The report points out that most of these units are already pre-sold, but they will still boost rental market supply as households transfer from the rental market into home ownership.
“This surge in multi-family completions isn’t the only solution for housing affordability in Metro Vancouver,” the report said. “However, a marked increase in aggregate supply can move the needle toward market balance and help slow the pace of housing price/rent growth in the region.”