Surrey recorded four times more new registered homes than Vancouver in August 2022

Sep 20 2022, 7:11 pm

Metro Vancouver’s largest municipal governments often cite their own data on how many new homes they approve on an annual basis, as means of showing their action on improving housing affordability through introducing new supply.

But initial approvals, of course, such as for projects that require rezoning do not translate to housing affordability — at least not right away.

After approval, builders still need to seek various permits, secure any remaining required financing, and overcome construction labour shortages and cost escalations. Market ownership housing also depends on economic conditions to determine when exactly a project launches.

This is why the step leading to housing starts is a more accurate indicator, which is why BC Housing is starting a new monthly homes registry report — complementing the housing start reports by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

BC Housing’s data is based on the registration of new homes in the public registry, which must occur before the issuance of building permits and housing starts.

For the month of August 2022, Surrey led Metro Vancouver in the number of registered new homes, with 1,603 units including 1,552 multi-family units (condos, townhouses) and 51 single-family detached units.

Surrey’s figure accounts for 46% of all of Metro Vancouver’s registered new homes for the month, and it is also more than four times Vancouver’s 376 units (319 multi-family units, 57 single-family detached units), and two and a half times more than North Vancouver’s 598 units (593 multi-family units, 5 single-family detached units).

In fact, Surrey’s total number of registered new homes is equal to the combined total of the next six highest cities in BC — North Vancouver, Vancouver, Coquitlam, Langley, Delta, and Langford.

bc registered new homes history

Historical trajectory of registered new homes in BC. (BC Housing)

bc registered new homes august 2022

Top BC cities for new registered homes in August 2022. (BC Housing)

But for 2022 to date, as of the first eight months of the year, Surrey and Vancouver are neck-and-neck in the totals for new registered single-family detached homes, with Vancouver leading slightly at 652 units over Surrey’s 641 units.

Over the month, more multi-family homes than single-detached homes were recorded in 22 cities across the province, including Langford, North Vancouver, Surrey, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, Delta, Vancouver, Langley, and Richmond.

Metro Vancouver accounted for nearly 80% of all new registered homes of all types in BC in August 2022.

But with the housing slowdown, August 2022’s figures represent a drop over the same period in 2021.

The 719 new single-detached homes registered in BC in August 2022 was a 23% decrease compared to August 2021. Provincewide, the number of new registered multi-family homes fell by 20.5% to 2,555 units compared to August 2021.

Previously buoyed by strong demand trends earlier in the pandemic period, year-to-date new single-family detached home registrations also fell by 17% to 7,011 units compared to the same period in 2021. But the opposite was true for multi-family homes registrations increasing by 19% to 22,420 over the same year-over-year period.

As for purpose-built secured rental homes, so far in 2022 a total of 10,863 units have been registered in BC — up by 29% compared to the first eight months of 2021.

Rental homes accounted for about 33% of all multi-family home registrations in BC so far in 2022.

Over August 2022, 986 rental homes were registered across the province, representing a 0.3% decrease compared to the same month in 2021. This entails 14 rental buildings, with 36% of the buildings containing more than 100 units, and 29% of the buildings containing between 51 and 100 units. The largest rental building of 133 units is located in Vancouver.

The jurisdictions with the largest number of rental units registered in BC in August 2022 were North Vancouver with 371 units, Vancouver with 217 units, and Delta with 130 units.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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