BC Liberals’ own numbers show housing starts are higher under NDP again: NDP

NOT letting facts get in the way of their spin, BC Liberals are once again casting gloom on housing start projections. But under Premier John Horgan and the BC NDP, the province is on track for 58,000 more starts over five years than under the BC Liberals, the NDP said on Tuesday.

In the 2017 budget, the BC Liberals predicted that housing starts would begin a five-year slump, including just 26,985 starts in 2020. The BC NDP budget unveiled today projects 35,021 in 2020.

While the BC Liberals predicted there would be only 138,433 housing starts from 2017 to 2021, that number has improved by 58,081 to 196,514 – a 42-per-cent increase.

In fact, a comparison between 2017 and 2020 budgets shows that actual and predicted housing starts are up substantially in every single year.

2020-21 BC NDP (actuals and projected)43,66440,85744,93235,02132,040196,514
2017 BC Lib (projected)29,97727,51226,96926,98526,990138,433

If this all seems familiar, it is because the BC Liberals tried similar spin last year. Despite their gloomy predictions, 2019 turned out to be an historic high, with 44,932 starts, said the NDP.

The BC Housing Research Centre recently noted that 2019 was also a record year for rental starts, with 12,289 new purpose-built rentals registered to begin permitting and construction. That’s an all-time high and it’s more than double the number in the last full year of the BC Liberal government.

Here’s what experts are saying:

“2019 was a blockbuster year for new home starts.” –Bryan Yu, Chief Economist, Central 1 Credit Union

“This is certainly encouraging news for those aspiring towards improved housing affordability. The pipeline of new supply, despite recent turbulence in the market, remains fully stocked.” –Steve Saretsky, housing analyst

“Strong apartment construction (both purpose-built rentals and condos) bodes well for achieving balance in Vancouver’s rental market within a couple of years. A resurgence of purpose-built rental apartment projects in the past three years has been encouraging. This set off a wave of new supply now coming to market, which should eventually stabilize rent.” –RBC Economics