Victoria (CRD) Development Patterns

As I’ve been generally focused on residential development data from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) for the past many years, I’ve never taken a look at what’s happening in my own backyard.

Here’s a first look.

The Capital Region District (CRD) is comprised of 13 municipalities with a population of about 378,000 people. The 3 biggest municipalities are Saanich with 111,000 residents (down -1.1% in last 5 years); Victoria with 85,000 (up +3.1% in last 5 years); and Langford with about 37,000 residents (up +22.5% in last 5 years).

The chart below shows the cumulative number of housing completions by municipality over the last 15 years.


crd nh completions dec15

There were 25,697 new units of housing completed over the last 15 years in the CRD. The top 3 municipalities by population were also tops in the completions of new units by a wide margin but perhaps not in the order expected. Langford has seen the most completions over that time period with 6,672 new units completed between January 2001 and December 2015. Very close behind is the City of Victoria with 6,466 new units created during that same time period. And a distant third is the District of Saanich with 4,374 new units created in the last 15 years. Saanich was adding new units at about the same pace as Victoria and Langford up until about 2009 at which time the pace dropped substantially. Since that time it appears Saanich is adding new units at a pace closer to Sooke’s than  Victoria or Langford.

Breaking down the numbers by the housing product types (apartment, detached, semi-detached, row) being produced we get the following charts. The first illustrating the total number of detached, semi-detached and row housing units created in the CRD by municipality. There were a total of 14,039 units of this type of housing created over that time.


crd nh det semi row completions dec15


For ground oriented housing Langford has added 3,959 new detached, semi-detached and row housing units since 2001 and it’s adding them at a much faster pace than any other municipality. Saanich was adding this type of new housing faster until about 2008 or 2009 but has been slowing since then. These numbers are not surprising given the location of low density residential land supply.

Now the same cumulative monthly completions for apartment housing types by municipality. All municipalities combined for 11,658 new apartment units over this time.


crd nh apt completions dec15


Not surprisingly, the City of Victoria leads the way here with 5,223 new apartment units added over the last 15 years. However, what is surprising is the wide gap by which Langford leads Saanich in the completion of new apartment units.

Looking at the percentage split in new housing forms between apartment and ground oriented housing over the past 15 years, Victoria is about 80/20 while both Saanich and Langford are about 40/60.

So the top three municipalities combined for 68% of new housing completions in the CRD over the last 15 years consisting of 82% of apartment completions and 56% of ground oriented housing completions.

On it’s own the City of Victoria accounted for almost half (45%) of all apartment completions. In the coming days I’ll take a closer look at how the City’s numbers break down by neighbourhood.


Data Source: All completions data from CMHC and all population data from BCStats





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  1. Pingback: CRD Population Changes in Context | Residential Development Thinking

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