The provincial government says data from BC Housing shows a significant increase in the number of purpose-built rental homes registered in British Columbia, and the Sunshine Coast is keeping pace.
According to a press release from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, there were 12,289 purpose-built rental homes registered in 2019, a 64 per cent increase compared to 2018.
“Compared to 2016, the increase is even more significant, at more than double the 5,173 rentals registered that year,” the ministry said. “Data from the most recent three years, 2017-19, show 28,642 new purpose-built rental homes were registered, which is more than the previous decade’s combined total.”
BC Housing reported 149 new single, detached homes and 129 homes in multi-unit projects were registered in 2019 in the Sunshine Coast Regional District, including the municipalities. The ministry said 104 of the total units, around 37 per cent, were registered as purpose-built rentals, which can include social housing of various kinds. That’s a little above the provincial mark of 28 per cent, “the highest proportion achieved since BC Housing started collecting this data in 2002,” according to the province.
Under the Homeowner Protection Act, all new homes in the province must be registered with BC Housing and the registration has to be done before building permits are issued, so the numbers do not necessarily reflect completed units on the market.
“Our government’s record investments in housing affordability, along with measures to reduce speculation in the market and stimulate an increase in rental supply, are delivering much-needed rental homes for people throughout the province,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
“This data is an encouraging sign that we are heading in the right direction and that our policy actions are shifting the market toward delivering more of the right type of housing that meets the needs of the people who live here.”
The ministry also said the overall number of new home registrations has been well above the 10-year average for the past three years, and it considers registered new home data “a leading indicator of housing activity in B.C.”