Due to the impact of COVID-19 and the growing number of people choosing to work from home, purchasing houses in the suburbs and exurbs has become a popular choice. The survey conducted by RBC has shown that in BC, 30 per cent of residents would like to purchase homes in the suburbs, 22 per cent are interested in the rural areas. Only 25 per cent of residents choose to remain in the city center.

There is a steady increase in the number of construction in single-detached and semi-detached dwellings over the four quarters of 2020. During the first quarter of 2020, there are 34, 361 dingle housing projects under construction and the number increased to 37, 654 in the 4th quarter of 2020. However, the construction number in a row, apartment and other dwellings experienced a big decrease in the 3rd quarter from the 220, 941 housing construction in the 2nd quarter to 147,238 housing construction, and a small increase in the 4th quarter.

Absorption of Homeowner and Condominium Units by Dwelling Type, in Metropolitan Areas, Large Urban Centres and Census Agglomerations

The January 2021 single-detached housing starts of BC in Centres 10,000 Population and Over areas showed a 73 per ent increased from the single-detached housing start in January 2020, while other types of housing starts increased by 27 per cent.

January 2020 – 2021 Housing Start Data in Centres 10,000 Population and Over

Single-detached housing starts in Urban Centres and Canada continue to show an increasing trend from 51,064 in the 1st quarter of 2020 to 56,984 in the 4th quarter of 2020. However, other types of dwelling construction numbers are less stable, showing a decrease from the 3rd quarter’s 174,260to the 4th quarter’s 160,003 housing started.


Dwelling Starts in Urban Centres and Canada, Seasonally Adjusted at Annual Rates

The new housing preference due to the COVID-19 impact and the high home values in major Canadian cities also caused an increase in home sales in the FVRB region had experienced a great. “Lending rates are the lowest they’ve ever been, your housing dollar goes further in the Fraser Valley and we’ve seen a societal shift in the last year in how people value their homes. People are asking us to find them more space,” said Chris Shields, president of FVREB

The statistics from the Fraser Valley real estate board showed an increase in total home sale volume in 2020. There is a 28.7 per cent increase in total home sale units in 2020 compared to the total unit sales in 2019. Surrey, with 225 single detached homes registered, had the most number of registered new homes in December 2020, whereas Vancouver has 79  single detached homes registered and Langley 59. Surrey also has the second most number of registered new homes with 422 new homes registered in 2020 after Vancouver with 903 new homes registered.

BC Housing Registered New Homes by building type data

Interview conducted by PWC shows that as remote working continues, more people are looking for houses in quiet areas. Developer and landlord are reconsidering essential condo amenities. Such as the need to included common space for working, and zoom rooms in homes. A quiet environment for work and more space for the outdoors and to increase the distance between others had become people’s new focus. This trend will continue in 2021 and is supported with data provided by BC housing that indicates an increase in single-detached home registration.  According to British Columbia’s monthly new homes registry report, there will be a 2.1 per cent increase in single-detached home registration from January 2021 to December 2021.

BC Housing Registered single-detached home January data


  • https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/bc-ownership-housing-survey-rbc?auto=true
  • https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/fraser-valley-surrey-home-sale-statistics-december-2020?auto=true
  • https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/fraser-valley-surrey-home-sale-statistics-january-2021?auto=true
  • https://www.pwc.com/ca/en/industries/real-estate/emerging-trends-in-real-estate-2021.html
  • https://assets.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/sites/cmhc/data-research/publications-reports/preliminary-housing-starts-data/2021/monthly-housing-starts-construction-data-64695-2021-m02.pdf?rev=edf04de1-b55e-4ca7-948e-bfaba95c5abb