the rennie outlook 2021



The recent slowdown in new construction activity throughout the region was encapsulated in Metro Vancouver’s 22,400 gross housing starts in 2020, a figure that was 21% below 2019’s 28,100 starts.

Having noted this, some additional context for the year-over-year slowdown in starts is warranted. First, 2020’s starts tally had a lot to live up to when being compared to 2019’s activity level, as 2019 represented an all-time high. Second, the region has started an average of 21,700 homes annually over the past decade; compared to this, 2019 starts were actually 3% higher. With a view to projecting the number of starts in 2021, it is useful to acknowledge that there were an estimated 22,500 building permits issued in 2020, which was down 11% from the average of 2018 and 2019 (of 25,100 permits issued).

OUR 2021 OUTLOOK Housing starts in 2021 will retreat from both the historic high of 2019 and the Covid-impacted count of 2020, as the number of building permits issued in 2020 was lower than in previous years. In total, we expect 21,000 gross housing starts in Metro Vancouver in 2021—on par with the past-decade average.



In 2020, Metro Vancouver registered its second-most (gross) housing completions in any year since 1990, at 24,000. This was driven by an all-time high in apartment completions (at 17,100), while ground oriented completions slipped to their lowest level since 2012 (just under 7,000).

OUR 2021 OUTLOOK In the wake of the record housing starts in 2019, and despite construction activity being interrupted in 2020 by the pandemic, Metro Vancouver is expected to complete a similar number of homes in 2021 as in 2020, at almost 24,100.


Copyright © 2021 rennie group of companies. All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced or distributed, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the rennie group of companies. Current as of January 18, 2021. All data from Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley & Rennie. While the information and data contained herein has been obtained from sources deemed reliable, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. rennie group of companies does not assume responsibility or liability for any inaccuracies. The recipient of the information should take steps as the recipient may deem necessary to verify the information prior to placing any reliance upon the information. The information contained within this report should not be used as an opinion of value, such opinions should and can be obtained from a rennie and associates advisor. All information is subject to change and any property may be withdrawn from the market at any time without notice or obligation to the recipient from rennie group of companies. E.&O.E. 4

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