Based on BCREA’s analysis outlined in a newly released report, British Columbia will see a 20,500-unit increase in housing demand just from immigrants over the coming years. New home completions in BC would need to increase by 25% above their historical average over the next five years to a record level of about 43,000 completions per year.
It is estimated BC will see 217,500 new permanent residents between 2023 and 2025, driven by the federal government’s elevated immigration numbers. This represents a net gain of about 100,500 more new permanent residents over the historical average.
About 40% of these new permanent residents are already in Canada before receiving their permanent residence status, which means 60% of the estimated immigration flows represent new arrivals to BC or the portion that is actual new housing demand.
The 20,500-unit demand figure for rental homes or ownership homes only accounts for new permanent residents and excludes non-permanent residents, which BCREA notes could have a demand that is exponentially times higher.
It is estimated the two-year federal foreign buyers’ ban will result in a relatively low reduction of 2,400 units in home sales in BC, with the demand impact on the increase in immigration being about five times as large as the foreign buyers’ ban. Based on a recent survey that suggests recent new immigrants have a 54% homeownership rate, new immigrants will fuel about 11,000 additional home sales.