Thursday, October 1, 2020

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on housing and jobs in Metro Vancouver

The Metro Vancouver Regional District struct a COVID-19 Response Task Force at the start of the pandemic state of emergency. One of the roles of the regional district is to be a clearinghouse for its member municipalities. As such, regional district staff have been compiling information about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Metro Vancouver.

Data on housing, the economy, transportation, and land-use was presented by regional district staff at the most recent Task Force meeting.

There were a few data tables that stood out for me.

BC Temporary Rent Supplement. Select table to enlarge.

BC Housing provided temporary rental supplements for low- and moderate-income households who lost income as a result of the pandemic. This program ran from April until the end of August. Regional-wide, 65,522 households applied for the temporary supplement. More than 1,412 households applied for the supplement in Langley (City and Township.)

New housing starts were up 50% year-over-year in Metro Vancouver, though the building permit value of these starts was lower. The biggest depressing in building permit values has been in the industrial sector.

Housing Starts in Metro Vancouver. Select chart to enlarge.

The last slide I wanted to share shows the unemployment rate in Metro Vancouver which has increased from 4.6% in February to 12.4% in August.

Unemployment rate (red) in Metro Vancouver. Select chart to enlarge.

The full data analysis presentation which includes transportation statistics, plus cost per square foot for industrial, office, and retail space can be viewed on the Metro Vancouver website .

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