Langley built more single family homes in 2021 than any other Metro Vancouver community, except Vancouver and Surrey. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley built more single family homes in 2021 than any other Metro Vancouver community, except Vancouver and Surrey. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley among top builders of single-family homes in 2021

BC Housing data shows a big jump in rental housing construction over the last year

Langley was among the top-three communities in Metro Vancouver when it came to building more detached housing in 2021, according to a monthly housing construction report by BC Housing.

The report measures homes that are “registered” with BC Housing, which takes place before construction begins. A registered home may not yet have been constructed.

In 2021, Langley saw 525 single family homes registered for construction, up from 310 the year before. Only Surrey, with 1,027, and Vnacouver, with 1,100, saw more detached homes planned last year.

The data showed that the trend of multi-family home growth outpacing the growth of single-family homes has continued across the province.

Last year, 53,189 new homes were registered in B.C., with 12,282 of those single-family detached homes, while 40,907 were some form of multi-family housing, whether duplexes or condos.

The number of single family homes being built in B.C. is almost the same now as it was in 2002, but the number of multi-family homes has skyrocketed – 20 years ago, multi-family homes barely edged out single-family as the dominant type of housing being constructed.

One of the biggest changes regionally has been in the ratio of individually owned multi-unit homes compared to rental homes in B.C.

Multi-unit buildings can include everything from duplexes to large condo towers. In 2002, there were 12,075 multi-unit homes registered for construction in B.C. that were privately owned, whether condos, townhouses, or duplexes.

That quickly accelerated, until by 2007, 25,334 multi-unit homes were being built, a big increase that coincided with the housing boom that preceded the Great Recession of 2008.

In 2008, the number dropped to 14,924 units, and in 2009, it hit a 20-year low, at 6,787 units.

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However, the recovery in multi-unit building was extremely slow. Multi-unit registrations didn’t hit 25,000 again until 2018, when another real estate boom was wrapping up.

In 2020, as the pandemic began, the number of new multi-unit homes registered dropped t0 13,702.

However, in 2021, they hit an all-time high, with 28,008 homes registered to be built.

Alongside the second boom was a big increase in construction of rental housing.

Even in the mid-2000s before the recession, rental units were only a small part of the building boom, typically between 1,500 and 2,500 per year.

It wasn’t until 2014 that the number of new rental units picked up. Local and provincial governments were encouraging the development of more rental housing.

By 2019, 13,339 rental units were registered, more than half of the total number of multi-unit homes registered.

After a significant dip in new home registrations in 2020, there were 12,899 rental units built, making up 31.5 per cent of all multi-unit housing registered in B.C.


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