Strongest year on record
Trevor Nichols - Jan 09 - Biz Releases

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Last year was the “strongest year on record” for housing starts in Kelowna.

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation says construction began on more new homes in the city in 2017 than any other year since the organization first started collecting data in 1977.

In total, the CMHC says construction began on 3,577 new homes in Kelowna in 2017, which marks a 63 per cent increase over 2016, when 2,196 new homes were started.

The explosion of new homes was due in large part to several significant highrises, filled primarily with condo units, that were started in 2017 in the city. However, the CMHC points out that all types of housing were in demand in Kelowna last year.

“Twenty-seventeen was characterized by continued strong demand for all housing types, low inventories of unsold units in the resale and new home markets, and persistent low rental vacancies,” the corporation says in a news release.

Although condos and apartments drove housing stars in 2017, single-detached homes were still the most common dwelling type completed during the year.

The CMHC’s data shows that only 422 apartments were actually finished in 2017, compared to 720 single homes. This is because work on several major highrises is still underway, and most units weren’t yet completed by the end of the year.

Although significantly stronger than the national average, Kelowna’s hot housing market is in line with the rest of the country, where apartment construction also drove a rise in housing starts.

“Despite the variation in activity across the country, the national trend in housing starts held steady at its highest level since 2008,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “Total urban housing starts in 2017 were up 6.2 per cent compared to 2016, due to the rise in apartment construction.”


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