Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

June 09, 2006 13:46 ET

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation: Strong Labour Market Fuels Housing Sector

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - June 9, 2006) - British Columbia leads the country in job growth so far in 2006 and that bodes well for the province's housing sector, according to Carol Frketich, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) BC Regional Economist. So far in 2006, employment in BC is up 3.4% compared to 1.9% in Canada, while urban housing starts were up 17%, ahead of the 5% national increase.

"There is a direct link between the labour market and the housing sector," said Frketich. "Job gains and income growth help to fuel demand for housing, while a low unemployment rate makes BC more attractive for job seekers from other parts of the country, adding to population-driven housing demand." According to Statistics Canada, the provincial unemployment rate was 4.7% in May, down from 5.9% one year ago, and below the 6.1% national average.

On the supply side, while builders continue to face labour shortages for some trades, the significant growth in construction employment during the past three years has helped the industry to deliver an increased number of new homes. Builders are busier than ever with almost 30,000 units currently under construction in the urban areas of the province. "There are one-third more homes under construction now than during the building surge in the early 1990s," noted Frketich. The resulting increase in supply of new homes will provide more choice for consumers. CMHC forecasts 37,000 housing starts in 2006 and 34,900 in 2007 for British Columbia.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada's national housing agency for over 60 years. CMHC contributes to improving the living conditions and the well-being of Canadians through four areas of housing activities - housing finance, assisted housing, research and information transfer, and export promotion. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians access a wide choice of quality, affordable homes, and making vibrant and sustainable communities and cities a reality across the country. For more information, visit or call 1-800-668-2642.

Contact Information

  • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
    Carol Frketich
    BC Regional Economist
    (250) 363-8042 or Cell: (604) 787-5598