A new survey from the Fraser Institute says the City of Vancouver has the longest building permit approval times in the Lower Mainland, with an average wait of 21 months. Langley, by contrast, has the shortest wait with an average of two months.
The public policy think tank surveyed a range of home builders starting in 2014 — across 19 of the region's municipalities. According to the report, the City of Vancouver also has the highest level of opposition to new developments from city council and community groups.
"Increasing housing supply in Vancouver could help lower prices, but unfortunately there are a lot of confusing and costly regulations on the books that deter new homes from being built," said a statement from co-author of the study Kenneth Green.
"Compared to the City of Langley, it takes an average of 19 months longer to receive a building permit in Vancouver — a fact that should worry anyone concerned about high home prices in the city because the added time means extra costs that are ultimately passed on to homebuyers."
The Fraser Institute report also found residential developers in Vancouver pay the most to comply with regulations. It costs $78,000 for every new unit of housing built in the city of Vancouver whereas regulatory compliance in Port Moody, New Westminster, Pitt Meadows and the City of Langley is less than $10,000 per unit.
"If municipal councils in the Lower Mainland — especially in Vancouver — really want to increase the supply of housing, they should consider more sound regulatory regimes that encourage, not stifle, residential development," said Green.
- City of Langley
- Pitt Meadows
- New Westminster
- Port Moody
- Port Coquitlam
- Maple Ridge
- District of North Vancouver
- City of North Vancouver
- Langley Township
- West Vancouver