VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 10, 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 4,898 housing units that began construction in the Thompson-Okanagan in 2021, a 50.3 per cent increase compared to 2020.
“Over the past several years, the Thompson-Okanagan has attracted many new residents, which in turn boosted housing demand and prices. Developers have recognized this investment opportunity, and the number of housing units started in 2021 almost broke the previous record,” said Karen Christiansen, FCPA, FCA, partner at MNP LLP in Kelowna.
The nearly 4,900 housing units started across the region in 2021 was well above the 3,259 units in 2020 and 3,996 in 2019, but remained slightly below the previous record of 5,070 units set in 2018. The increase in 2021 came from both detached units and attached units, such as condos and apartments.
There were 1,855 detached units started in 2021, which was an increase of 65.8 per cent compared to 2020. In addition, 62.1 per cent of all units started in 2021 were attached, and the 3,043 attached units started was an increase of 42.2 per cent compared to 2020.
“Housing construction in the region provides significant economic activity and boosts our housing supply, which is crucial for affordability,” continued Christiansen. “In addition, the region has continued to see strong major project activity, primarily in residential, infrastructure, and recreation projects.”
The inventory of major projects was $18.9 billion in Q3 2021, a decline of 2.6 per cent compared to Q3 2020. The decrease was primarily due to the completion of several major projects, including the Lakestone Resort ($1.0 billion), SEKID/SOMID Water Supply Project ($86 million), and Bernard Black Condominiums ($60 million). The largest new proposal was the Highway 1 Four-Laning project, with an estimated cost of $243 million.
In Q3 2021, there were $12.0 billion worth of projects under construction across the region, which was 63.2 per cent of the total estimated major project value for the Thompson-Okanagan. The three largest projects that recently started construction were the Highway 1 – Salmon Arm West ($155 million), Hiawatha Park Revitalization ($150 million), and Highway 1 Quartz Creek Bridge ($121 million).
“By the end of last year, there was a greater share of major projects under construction in the Thompson-Okanagan than any other region in the province. This investment activity helped our economy through the COVID-19 pandemic and should help with our recovery,” concluded Christiansen. “Going forward, it will be important to continue to attract investment to connect our region, make it more productive, and increase housing and services available to residents.”
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 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]