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CPABC: Southwest B.C. housing starts reach all-time high, investment boosted by major project activity in 2023

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 18, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- According to BC Check-Up: Invest, an annual report by the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) on investment trends across the province, construction began on 35,553 housing units in Southwest B.C. during 2023, a 20.9 per cent increase compared to 2022.

"Our members living in the Lower Mainland have consistently reported that housing prices are the biggest challenge facing B.C. businesses," said Lori Mathison, FCPA, FCGA, LLB, president and CEO of CPABC. "It's promising to see progress when it comes to increasing the housing supply in the region."

In 2023, the number of housing starts was the largest recorded in the history of Southwest B.C. Construction began on 31,259 attached units, up by 30.4 per cent from 2022. Metro Vancouver accounted for nearly the entire increase. The surge in high-density construction was partially offset by a 21.2 per cent decline in detached starts, with 4,294 recorded during the year.

"The drop in detached starts in Southwest B.C. was largely in line with the national trend, as higher interest rates and tight economic conditions affected building activity," continued Mathison. "Overall, Vancouver saw the biggest increase in new housing construction among major markets across the country."

The inventory of major projects, those with a capital cost over $20 million, increased to $113.4 billion in Q3 2023, up by 8.1 per cent compared to Q3 2022. Projects in the proposal stage accounted for more than half (54.2 per cent) of the inventory value.

Of the total, just under $50.5 billion worth of major projects were under construction across the region in Q3 2023, an increase of 9.9 per cent compared to Q3 2022. Construction began on 22 projects with a total capital cost of $4.2 billion between July and September 2023. The largest project currently under construction is the Lougheed Town Centre Redevelopment, which is estimated to cost $7.0 billion.

"Investment in the lower mainland, and Vancouver in particular, outperformed the rest of the province in 2023," continued Mathison. "It's encouraging, but also not surprising given that the region's population is growing faster than the provincial average, presenting a greater need for infrastructure investment."

To learn more, see www.bccheckup.com.


About CPA British Columbia
The Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) is the training, governing, and regulatory body for over 40,000 CPA members and 6,000 CPA students. CPABC carries out its primary mission to protect the public by enforcing the highest professional and ethical standards and contributing to the advancement of public policy. CPAs are recognized internationally for bringing superior financial expertise, strategic thinking, business insight, and leadership to organizations.

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