VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — According to BC report: livean annual report from the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) on demographic and affordability trends in the province, population growth in southwestern British Columbia continued to slow in 2021.
“The slowdown in immigration due to the COVID-19 pandemic continued in 2021, with southwestern British Columbia’s population growing about half the level seen in 2019 and the fastest growth rate lows of the past decade,” said Lori Mathison, FCPA, FCGA, LLB, President and CEO. of the CPABC. “This was due to a significant drop in international immigration to the region, particularly from non-permanent residents, such as students.”
The 31,645 new residents added between July 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021 was more than 26,000 less than the record number of new residents the region welcomed in 2019. In 2021, there was a net outflow of approximately 4,800 non-permanent international residents (NPRs), compared to a net influx of over 24,000 in 2019. The region also saw a net outflow of over 9,400 residents to other parts of the province, and about half of those who left were aged 39 or younger.
The population growth of southwestern British Columbia over the period is mainly attributable to the arrival in the region of people from other provinces (+14,763 net new residents) and an increase in the number of international permanent residents (+25,149). The region saw a slight increase in population growth rate in the second half of 2021.
“The slowdown in population growth in 2020 and 2021 is troubling, especially since NPRs are generally younger individuals,” Mathison continued. “Fortunately, we saw the trend change in the second half of 2021 and into 2022 as population growth rebounded. This is essential to help offset growing labor shortages and an aging population.
The region’s average age has increased from 39.6 years in 2011 to 41.6 years in 2021, slightly below the provincial average of 42.8 years. The proportion of people aged 55 and over represented almost a third of the population (30.5%) in 2021, up 4.8 percentage points from 2011.
From 2011 to 2021, the population of southwestern British Columbia grew by more than 500,000, while the total number of residential units completed during the period was nearly 240,000 units. In 2021, there were a total of 31,645 completed units, of which almost 83% were attached units, such as condos, apartments and townhouses.
“While housing completions were strong relative to population growth in 2021, this is not expected to last as population growth returns to pre-pandemic levels,” Mathison continued. “There has also been underinvestment in mid-size units, although demand has been stronger for this type of property. This momentum has helped push house prices to new highs,” Mathison said.
In May 2022, the average price of a single-family home in the Lower Mainland reached $1.88 million, up 19.2% from May 2021 and 49.4% from May 2020. The average apartment price reached $720,900, up 17.7% from May 2020. percent from May 2021 and 28.4% from May 2020.
“House prices have far outpaced income growth over the past decade. And with housing prices reaching record highs in 2022, affordability has deteriorated further, which will push residents back and deter immigrants,” Mathison concluded. “Given that our region depends on immigration to diversify, grow and prosper, it is essential that we focus on policies that stimulate supply and improve affordability.
Learn more about the BC Check-Up: live report.
About CPA British Columbia
The Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) is the education, governance and regulatory body for more than 38,000 CPA members and 6,000 CPA candidates and students. The CPABC fulfills its primary mission of protecting the public by applying the highest professional and ethical standards and by contributing to the advancement of public policy. CPAs are internationally recognized for bringing superior financial expertise, strategic thinking, business vision and leadership to organizations.