Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia

Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia

SMITHERS, British Columbia, March 18, 2022 (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, there were 105 housing units that began construction in Northwest B.C.’s two largest municipalities in 2021, a 150.0 per cent increase compared to 2020.

“The number of housing starts in Prince Rupert and Terrace declined in 2019, and this downturn continued in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jeanne MacNeil, CPA, CA, partner at Edmison Mehr Chartered Professional Accountants. “This changed in 2021, when housing starts rebounded to the highest number since 2018.”

There were 105 units that began construction in Prince Rupert and Terrace in 2021, up from 42 in 2020 and 71 in 2019, but down from the record 174 housing starts in 2018. Breaking it down by municipality, in 2021 there were 88 housing starts in Terrace, up from 34 in 2020; and 17 for Prince Rupert, up from 8. In Terrace, 41 were detached units while 47 were attached units, such as condos, townhomes, and apartments. In Prince Rupert, all the starts were detached units.

“Given the significant escalation in housing demand and prices across Northwest B.C., it is good to see this investment which is helping boost supply,” continued MacNeil. “Beyond housing construction, our region leads the province in major project investment.”

The total value of all major projects that were proposed, under construction, and on-hold in Northwest B.C. was $173.5 billion in Q3 2021, up 1.0 per cent compared to Q3 2020. The Mills Memorial Hospital ($623 million) and Fairview Container Terminal Expansion ($600 million) both started construction in 2021, while the largest project under construction was the LNG Canada Facility ($36 billion).

There were 54 proposed projects worth $121.4 billion, including the Kitsault LNG Facility ($34.0 billion), Kitimat Clean Oil Refinery ($22.0 billion), and ESE Synthetic Crude Pipeline ($18.0 billion). The largest new proposal was the $1.5 billion Red Chris Mine ($1.5 billion) proposed in 2021.

“Overall, the considerable investment in both housing and major projects will create good jobs, increase housing supply, and position our economy to grow. In addition, projects like the Mills Memorial Hospital will enhance the services available to residents,” concluded MacNeil. “Rising commodity prices could also help expedite some proposals, though one area of concern is in the region’s large forestry sector, where new policies are placing great uncertainty on business and investment decisions.”

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About CPA British Columbia
The Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) is the training, governing, and regulatory body for over 38,000 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.

CONTACT: For more information: Aaron Aerts, Economist 604.442.9161 [email protected]