April 10, 2022

Fun Facts (and Doubts) on Metro and City Growth

Some intriguing insights from the Backgrounder on Metro Vancouver Growth Projections:

  • Our share of immigration in-migration for the region is 11percent for the national total.
  • Vancouver and Burnaby have a net negative migration of current residents, with Surrey, Langley and Maple Ridge the most significant receivers of existing residents migrating.
  • The City of Vancouver is seeing a significant reduction in our share of immigrants moving into the region, with Surrey now the most significant destination for immigrants.
  • To 2050, it is projected the region will grow on average by 35,000 people a year (the numbers changed a bit here).
  • Kennedy Stewart campaigned on building in 80,000 units in the City in 10 years.  So at 8,000 units a year we would need to have half the regional growth just in CoV, which is very unlikely.
  • Typically, CoV has grown by 3- 4,000 units each year.
  • The projection on the Metro Vancouver web page is an annual growth of about 5,500 people a year in CoV, which would be approximately 2,750 housing units a year if we assume household sizes growing smaller, given most of our net additions to our housing stock will be in apartments.

So how does this connect to the city-wide and Broadway plans?

The Vancouver Plan anticipates CoV will grow in 2050 to 920,000 – a population growth that is 100,000 more than that identified in the Metro Van Plan. (See page 12.) 

There’s reason to be skeptical of the current CoV plans and question whether there will be the growth anticipated. Perhaps it’s driven more by politicians and the ‘idea’ that plans can convince the market to dramatically increase the development of housing and thereby deliver ‘affordability.’


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  1. I deduce: SFH remain an excellent investment and will continue to soar in value as that’s what people really want AND they’re making fewer of them, unlike condos.

    Any savvy homeowner with the means should therefore buy a house not a condo.

  2. “8,000 units a year we would need to have half the regional growth just in CoV,” is likely incorrect for a bunch of reasons. 11% of current national immigration targets is about 48,000 people. The Housing Strategy’s 7200 homes/year target was not entirely net of demolitions, it’s unclear whether the 8,000 is either. More housing is needed just to accommodate shrinking household size, before accounting for any population growth. Finally, the main driver of population growth is housing, if we permit more housing, fewer people will leave & more people will opt to come, e.g. see the calculations here:

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