Mandatory registrations of new Vancouver condominiums have fallen 28 per cent this year as starts have plunged, despite a white-hot pre-sale market that has driven new condo inventory to record lows.
Registrations of new homes with the BC Homeowner Protection Office (HPO) are seen as a harbinger of new home construction, since the warranty registrations are required before building permit applications, according to BC Housing.
As of the first half of this year, HPO had received registrations for 1,788 new Vancouver condos, down from 2,488 units at the same time in 2016.
Industry officials say the lower registrations may just reflect a pause in a booming cycle.
“No one I’m talking to is slowing down – it’s crazy busy out there,” said Bob de Wit, CEO of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association.
“There are some very large projects underway that will complete in the fall that are taking up productive capacity and limiting new starts and delaying warranty purchases for subsequent projects,” de Wit said.
“Construction costs are exploding and even developers who have projects pre-sold are scrambling to sharpen their pencils and retender, causing delays in starts,” he added.