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More homes being built, fewer being sold in Richmond

The number of new homes being built in Richmond is on the rise, while the number of existing ones being sold is declining.
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The number of new homes being built in Richmond is on the rise, while the number of existing ones being sold is declining.

Construction started on 1,413 new houses, townhouses and apartment units in the first six months of 2018, according to a quarterly report from Business in Richmond. That’s 60 per cent more homes starting the building process than in the same time period last year.

 Condos (Richmond News)Condos (Richmond News)

“We’ve seen a very steady high rate of development for last number of years,” Ted Townsend, director of communications with the City of Richmond, told the Richmond News.

He said the numbers don’t surprise him, since Richmond’s official community plans take into account high projected growth and allow for high density development.

 The number of new home builds in Richmond markedly increased toward the end of 2017, and has stayed high.The number of new home builds in Richmond markedly increased toward the end of 2017, and has stayed high.

“The uptick has been a little quicker than we maybe would have anticipated,” he said. “But it is certainly within what is projected for City Centre.”

Richmond had the biggest growth in new home builds in the region. Other Lower Mainland a slowdown in the number of new homes starting construction.

All of that building translates into a massive construction industry in the city. Business in Richmond pegged the construction activity’s value at $485 million in the first half of 2018. If things continue like this for the rest of the year, the value of construction activity could smash records set in 2016.

Townsend said the neighbourhoods seeing the most new development are Capstone, City Centre and the area near the Richmond Oval.

“One million new people are expected to arrive in Metro Vancouver in the next 20 or 30 years,” he said. “Richmond got out ahead, particularly with the arrival of the Canada Line.”

At the same time as this development boom, fewer existing homes are being put on the market. Only 1,810 homes were sold in Richmond from January to July 2018. That’s 27 per cent less compared to the previous year.

Business in Richmond mentioned measures like the foreign buyer tax and tightened mortgage rules as factors contributing slowdown.

Although the number of homes sold has decreased, prices they sold for have not. The average price of a detached home in Richmond sits at $1.98 million, and the average selling price for a condo is $576,000.

The report went as far as to say that the market for detached houses in Richmond has turned into a buyer’s market. Competition to buy a condo or a townhouse, however, remains stiff.

Business in Richmond declined to comment for this story beyond what is available in their report.