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What To Know About the Building Boom on Vancouver Island

Parksville Longhouse Forest Products

Longtime residents and visitors alike recognize the benefits of living on Vancouver Island. With the mildest climate in Canada, countless outdoor activities right outside your doorstep, and the Pacific Ocean flowing all around, the West Coast lifestyle seems incredibly appealing.

What visitors may not be aware of is the building boom occurring on Vancouver Island. Surprisingly, even during a pandemic, nothing is stopping people from choosing to move here permanently.

In the online Times Colonist news report ‘Nanaimo sets construction record with 2019 boom’ by Carla Wilson, (February 28, 2020), the reporter writes:

‘Building in Nanaimo is surging after a record-breaking year in 2019 when construction values more than doubled from the previous year. The boom is largely being driven by strong demand for multi-family housing and by commercial development, along with strong public infrastructural spending.’

A construction boom affects property seekers, builders, and workers seeking employment. For that reason, everyone in the construction industry should note what to know about the building boom on Vancouver Island.

• The demand for affordable housing throughout Vancouver Island is being prompted by countless people migrating to the region. Indeed, since COVID-19 hit, individuals came to realize they could work from home anywhere in Canada and are relocating from across Canada to the island.

• Both Victoria and Nanaimo have witnessed an increase in the number of single-family houses built with suites. This enables new home buyers to afford a new home with a rental suite built-in to help pay down the mortgage.

• Finding and hiring skilled labour is still a challenge in BC’s construction industry.

• Although there is a shortage of workers, the Workplace Alternative Trades Training (WATT) program is available free for candidates. The key goal of the program is to reduce barriers for apprenticeships and employment in the electrical trades. Hopefully, this will have a positive impact on the building boom.

• As of January of this year, residential building permits have increased 34% compared to the same time last year.

• Stated on the Statistics Canada website, the total value of building permits for November of last year rose to 12.9%, the third-highest on record. This represents a value of $9.4 billion. Further, a great deal of the growth was steered by large permits for multi-family dwellings in both British Columbia and Ontario.

• More specifically, the value of residential permits in November rose to $6.4 billion, an increase of 10%.

• Regardless of the pandemic, BC continues to lead the way as residential building booms.

• Although Ontario and Quebec had to shut down the construction sector for a period, construction in British Columbia was able to safely remain operational.

The staff at Longhouse has witnessed many changes on the island since we began our forest products business back in 1985. We are passionate about the environment and working with builders on the island and around the globe. Our professionals are here to help you thrive during this exciting building boom with your commercial and residential projects. For more information call us today at 1-800-811-2010