2021 was a banner year for housing starts in the region, particularly in Quesnel.
Corey Naphtali, an Audit partner at KPMG, goes over some of the numbers that were accumulated by the Chartered Professional Accountants of BC.
“For Quesnel there was 117 housing starts in 2021, which was tied with the previous record set back in 2007. And to compare that to recent history, for the periods from 2018 to 2020, there were 125 housing starts. So essentially in 2021 thee were almost as many housing starts as the three previous years.”
Last year’s total was up by 457 percent over 2020.
Here, Naphtali breaks down what type of houses were built.
“A condo unit or townhouse unit, each door would be considered a start. So out of that 117, there were 52 starts which were condos or town homes, and 55 of those housing starts would have been detached units.”
Naphtali says there were 21 starts in Williams Lake in 2021, which was down about 16 percent.
For the Cariboo region though, which also includes Prince George, there were a record 803 housing starts last year.
That shattered the previous record of 541.
Naphtali says the region, and Quesnel, benefited from a significant increase in major project investment, particularly related to resource and infrastructure development.
“There has been some roadwork being done on the West Fraser Road realignment, we’ve seen the replacement of the Quesnel Junior Secondary School, there’s been upgrades being made to GR Baker Hospital, and some other Highway projects. Those have brought in just over 200 million dollars to the region in terms of capital projects.”
Looking to the future, Naphtali says the Cariboo Gold Project could be the next big thing for Quesnel and the region, which will likely mean continued strong demand for housing starts and accommodation.