New home construction in Chilliwack is up 100 per cent in 2018 year over year, according to data released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
The 754 housing starts so far this year in Chilliwack compares to 385 for the same time period in 2017.
Next door the opposite is the case as the Abbotsford-Mission CMA (census metropolitan area) recorded just 555 housing starts since January, down from 1,382 in 2017.
Chilliwack’s jump in starts bucks the trend across the Lower Mainland, B.C. and all of Canada.
“Housing starts in the Vancouver CMA trended lower in September 2018 as fewer projects in both the single-detached and multi-family sectors got underway,“ said Eric Bond, CMHC’s principal analyst for Metro Vancouver.
“Construction activity for the month was concentrated in Surrey, which accounted for one quarter of all starts. Demand for housing from residents remains strong and has resulted in the pace of new home construction in the Vancouver CMA so far in 2018 equaling the level recorded during the first nine months of 2017.“
(It should be noted that statistics for communities smaller than CMAs such as Chilliwack can be quite variable from year to year because the numbers are small.)
Nationwide the trend was down for September with 207,768 units in September 2018, compared to 213,966 units in August 2018.
“The national trend in housing starts stood at a 19-month low in September, following declines in four of the last five months,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “The slowdown in the pace of new residential construction activity in recent months is a result of both lower single-detached and multi-starts activity and brings new residential construction closer to its long run average from the elevated levels registered in 2017.”
The slowdown echoes the cooling real estate market also seen across the country, which at least in part is due to the new mortgage “stress test” rules put in place by the federal government in January.
Chilliwack is one of the fastest growing cities in the Lower Mainland, at least in part as it remains the most affordable city between the Fraser Valley and Vancouver.