Purpose-built rental construction is on the rise across Greater Vancouver. According to data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), rental units accounted for 17 per cent of all housing starts in 2014. Ten years earlier in 2004, the segment made up only 3.8 per cent of new home construction.
Except for a slight dip in 2012, rental starts have been trending upward for the past five years. Indeed, the total number of purpose-built rental starts in the last four years is more than double the total of the previous seven years combined (9,467 between 2011 – 2014 vs. 4,705 between 2004 – 2010).
The reason for the dramatic increase? As we reported earlier, the City of Vancouver’s Secured Rental Housing Policy has a lot to do with it, as does the high price of real estate. For many in the region, especially in Vancouver proper, renting is the only option. As Vancouver city councilor Geoff Meggs recently told Global News:
“If you do the analysis, you see that people who have a reasonable household income, even as high as $60,000 to $80,000 of family income a year, are not going to be able to have the money to even buy a small condominium in [the City of Vancouver].”
And so the trend to build more rental units continues. In February of this year, the Vancouver census metropolitan area (CMA) posted the third highest number of rental starts of any region in the country with 169 (London CMA was second with 170 and Quebec was first with 317. Oshawa came in at number four with 118).
For a more in-depth look at Vancouver’s growing rental market and how it compares to the national trend, read our earlier story here.