Real estate industries made up fifth of Canada's GDP in 2017

Vancouver Courier
March 5, 2018

residential construction
Real estate and development is reported to have made up 15 per cent of B.C.'s GDP in 2016

Real estate, construction and related financial and insurance industries are together responsible for more than 20 per cent of Canada’s GDP in 2017, according to a quarterly report released by Statistics Canada March 2.

Here in B.C., a separate report funded by real estate and development industry groups, published March 5, found that real estate-related industries accounted for around 15 per cent of the provincial GDP in 2016.

Real estate statistics blog Better Dwelling combined the StatsCan-reported GDP contributions of all real estate-related industries across Canada – including real estate transactions, rental and leasing, residential and commercial construction, financing (such as mortgages) and insurance. It found that in combination, those industries contributed 22.68 per cent of Canada’s total GDP as of the end of 2017.

This percentage is down slightly from the 22.79 per cent in 2016, having peaked in May 2016 at 22.93 per cent, but it remains high from a historical perspective.

Real estate GDP Canada StatsCan Better Dwelling
Source: Statistics Canada, Better Dwelling

In B.C., the study commissioned by the Urban Development Institute (UDI), the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA) and the BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) found that real estate and development contributed $22.9 billion towards the province’s GDP in 2016.

That breaks down as $12.2 billion in revenues directly generated by the real estate and construction industry in the province, and $10.7 billion in indirect revenues, such as industries that rely on real estate.

The$22.9 billion total figure is 34.6 per cent up from the $17 billion of the last study in 2012, and is almost twice that reported from the forestry industry, said the UDI.

The UDI also reported that about 233,600 full-time-equivalent jobs rely on the industry, which generates $6.6 billion in tax revenues each year.

UDI infographic real estate GDP
Source: Urban Development Institute

Anne McMullin, president and CEO of UDI, said, “With employment numbers that high, everybody knows somebody who works in this broad sector, whether it’s skilled trades, engineering, accounting, finance, law, real estate or sales.Twenty-five years ago, our economy was heavily reliant on forestry and natural resources. While our resource industry will always be integral to our economy, everyone needs a home to live.”

Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Media Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, Times Colonist, Prince George Citizen, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also writes and oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condos & Homes, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 23 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist talk radio show on Vancouver's Roundhouse Radio.
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