Unprecedented construction needed in B.C. to offset record immigration: Report

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VANCOUVER — A new report says home construction in British Columbia will need to rise to unprecedented levels to offset the impact of record immigration on the housing market.

The B.C. Real Estate Association says the province must build 25 per cent more new homes than usual for the next five years to address deteriorating housing affordability.

It says construction needs to be ramped up to a record 43,000 housing completions a year for the next five years to counteract rapid population growth.

Brendon Ogmundson, chief economist with the association, says lowering price growth so incomes can catch up to prices is integral to improving housing affordability in B.C.

He says increasing supply would ease the upward pressure on housing prices from an immigration-driven demand shock and if sustained, help improve overall affordability.

The report says B.C. is expected to welcome an estimated 217,500 new permanent residents from 2023 to 2025, nearly double the historical average immigration levels.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 28, 2023.

The Canadian Press