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Cumulative under-supply of new housing and labour market fundamentals supporting current price stability and projected price growth in Metro Vancouver

Wed, 09/11/2013

Vancouver, BC – The Urban Development Institute (UDI), today released its State of the Market Quarterly Publication for the second quarter of 2013.  The report, prepared by Urban Analytics, provides a comprehensive analysis of key macro-economic and market indicators with specific relevance to the Metro Vancouver housing market.

The second quarter of 2013 has seen a number of noticeable macro-economic developments, which in UDI’s view, support an underlying price strength in the Vancouver housing market waiting to be realized.  Firstly, national GDP is at record highs continuing a positive growth trend in 14 of the last 15 quarters.  Secondly, the British Columbia unemployment rate continues to decline and currently sits at 6.5% indicating an improving labour market, and as a result, increasing demand for housing.

Thirdly, from Q1 2012 to Q1 2013, new housing starts have been significantly outpaced and exceeded by regional population growth.  Metro Vancouver population growth in Q1 2013 outpaced new home starts in the region by a ratio of more than 3 to 1 – a rate much higher than assumed average household size of 1.5.  Even with a conservative household size assumption of 2.1 persons per household, this trend, along with anticipated and continued immigration to the region, indicates a persistent and increasing demand for housing in the Metro Vancouver market.  

UDI CEO and President, Ms Anne McMullin said “the UDI State of the Market report released today highlights the complexity of economic influences in the Metro Vancouver housing market.  On balance, the institute notes that there is a latent and growing demand for housing in the region, falling inventory levels and tightening rental vacancy rates.”  Ms McMullin said “from a housing affordability perspective, unless supply constraints are loosened we can expect upward pressure on prices across housing product types in the new and resale markets.”        




The Urban Development Institute is the premier industry body representing over 600 of British Columbia’s leading residential, commercial, industrial and institutional developers. The urban development industry in BC generates $35 billion worth of economic activity and over 250,000 jobs for the Province each year. 




Adrien Byrne

Manager, Communications