Vancouver Island’s population growth rebounded in 2021 as weak housing supply pushed prices higher

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DUNCAN, British Columbia, June 30, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — According to BC report: livean annual report from the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) on demographic and affordability trends in the province, Vancouver Island and the coast (excluding the Capital Regional District) added 5 466 new residents in 2021, bringing the total population to 461,520 residents.

“As in the rest of the province, the pace of population growth slowed on Vancouver Island in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted migration patterns,” said Woody Hayes, FCPA, FCA. “This downturn appears to have been short-lived, with a rebound underway as the region attracts increasing numbers of residents from other parts of the country.”

The region’s population grew by 5.2% between 2017 and 2021, averaging nearly 6,000 new residents per year over the period. While international migration remained on the decline in 2021, the region gained a net of 3,928 new residents from other provinces and 3,981 from other parts of the province. The natural growth rate (births minus deaths) continued to offset population growth, with deaths nearly 2,300 higher than births in 2021.

“Welcoming new residents to Vancouver Island is critical as our population continues to age, with a quarter of our population aged 65 or older,” Hayes continued. “As more and more people retire, the significant labor shortages we already face will only get worse if we don’t attract new residents.”

Vancouver Island’s average age was 45.9 years in 2021, well above the provincial average of 42.8 years, and up 2.1 years from 2011. More than a quarter ( 25.3%) of the region’s population was aged 65 or over in 2021, compared to less than a year old. fifth (19.5%) in 2011.

“At one time, housing prices in our area were attractive to potential immigrants and those looking to start a family,” Hayes noted. “However, this comparative advantage has weakened as house prices have risen across the island, and purchasing power has further eroded with recent interest rate hikes. And while housing construction has been robust, it has lagged population growth.

On Vancouver Island, the average single-family home sold for $855,300 in May 2022, compared to $656,800 in May 2021 (+30.2%) and $518,600 in May 2020 (+64.9%) . The average price of an apartment sold in May 2022 was $446,100, up 36.2% from May 2021 and 61.2% from May 2020.

Over the past five years, the population of Vancouver Island and the Coast (excluding the Capital Regional District) has increased by almost 30,000, compared to approximately 11,500 residential units completed over the same period . The 2,503 units completed in 2021 is down from the record high of 2,898 in 2020, but above the 2010-2019 average of 1,728.

“Although supply growth has been insufficient, there has been a slight increase in developments in 2020 and 2021,” concluded Hayes. “However, this increase was mainly in the smaller attached units, while demand was much stronger for the larger units. Our region needs to encourage more housing development to improve affordability and ensure that we promote policies that boost our economic prospects and residents’ incomes. We also need to minimize cost increases due to new regulations, such as the requirement to deconstruct old stock before new construction.

To read the full report, see: BC Check-Up: live report.

About CPA British ColumbiaThe Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) is the education, governance and regulatory body for more than 38,000 CPA members and 6,000 CPA candidates and students. The CPABC fulfills its primary mission of protecting the public by applying the highest professional and ethical standards and by contributing to the advancement of public policy. CPAs are internationally recognized for bringing superior financial expertise, strategic thinking, business vision and leadership to organizations.

For more information:
Aaron Aerts, Economist
[email protected]

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Source: Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia

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