Thursday, May 25, 2017

Where do people live in Langley City? The vanishing single-family home

Langley City is 10 square kilometres, and the community’s residential areas were essentially built-out before the turn of the 21st century. All new housing in Langley City has come from redevelopment over the past several decades.

Our community has always had a mix of housing types, I found the following picture at City Hall earlier this week. As you can see, apartments were part of the mix even when Langley City still had farms.

Photo of Langley City from the mid-twentieth century, looking east along Fraser Highway. Select image to enlarge.

With the most recent census data now being released, I thought I’d look at what type of housing people are living in, both in terms of absolute numbers and as a percentage of total housing since 2001. I used data from the 2001, 2006, 2011, and 2016 census. The numbers are for private, occupied dwellings, they don’t include dwellings such as nursing homes, group homes, hotels, motels, and the like.

2016 2011 2006 2001
Single-detached house 2740 2820 2810 3115
Apartment 7690
7135 6470 5690
Rowhouse/semi-detached house 1405 1370 1300 1290
Movable dwelling 5 5 0 5

In absolute numbers, most housing types in Langley City have increased except for single-family housing and “movable dwellings.” In fact, the number of occupied single-family houses in our community has decreased in absolute terms.

This makes sense as Langley City north of the Nicomekl has been zoned for higher density for some time. Areas south have been zoned for single-family housing, and no changes are in the works.

Occupied private dwellings by structural type of dwelling between 2001 and 2016. Select chart to enlarge. Source: Statistics Canada.

Today only 23% of households live in single-family housing in Langley City. The largest gains are for households that live in apartments. As a percentage of total housing, rowhousing has been relatively stable.

Langley City has always been an urban centre, and the numbers show that our community’s status as a centre has only been reinforced.

A note about the categories. Single-detached house includes: single-detached house and other single-attached house from the census. Rowhouse/semi-detached house includes: row house and semi-detached house from the census. Apartments includes: apartments, detached; apartments, five of more storeys; apartments, fewer than five storeys from the census.

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