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Island Home Builders Learn Better Building Practices


Island Home Builders Learn Better Building Practices

Nanaimo (Jan.26, 2017) – Residential construction industry professionals gathered in Nanaimo earlier this month for the annual Building Industry Construction Outlook Forum hosted by The Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Vancouver Island and FortisBC.  The Annual Outlook Forum is an opportunity for the industry to discuss the housing trends and forecast for the year ahead.

Housing construction remains strong for Vancouver Island.  Braden Batch, Senior Market Analyst with CMHC expects mortgage rates will remain at an historically low level. Despite this, the cost of ownership is on the rise across Vancouver Island communities while the housing supply across the island has been run down. The overheated market strongly favours the seller. It’s no surprise that housing starts have ramped up in 2016 in all island communities in order to meet the demand.  This is expected to continue until the inventories are replenished.

Batch also indicated that jobs on Vancouver Island are now trending up, from losses after the financial crisis, although the province as a whole has slightly outpaced the Island in job creation.  Also in attendance was Tom Weinreich from The City of Nanaimo to break down the number of housing starts in various Island communities.

“This year was the first year we added a day of education and training for home builders prior to our Annual Outlook Forum.” said Kelsey Botting, Executive Officer of The Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Vancouver Island.  BC Housing passed legislation in 2015 with new requirements that licensed home builders in BC complete education and training as a condition of renewing their licenses.  “The new requirements serve to raise the bar of professionalism for the industry.  Having a day of education seminars helps builders in meeting these requirements and being better builders.” says Botting.  Home builders heard presentations on energy efficient building practices and building codes as well as asbestos awareness and warranty issues.  Zachary May of the Building and Safety Standard Branch discussed the impact of the newly proposed Step Codes which aim for Net Zero ready building by 2032. Jeff Coulombe, Energy Solutions Manager with FortisBC informed attendees of the energy rebates available through FortisBC’s New Home Program as well as the value of working with a Certified Energy Advisor.

“It was a very informative day. We were pleased to see so many builders in attendance from all over the Island.  All of the changes to building codes and new technologies for builders means that home building is becoming more complex. It’s imperative now that Vancouver Island builders stay up to date.  Seminars like this go a long way to raising the bar in professionalism for our industry.” Said Jason Schmidt, President of the CHBA-VI.

The housing industry accounts for over 900,000 jobs across Canada with over 16,800 jobs on Vancouver Island in new construction and renovations.  This is a $19 B industry in B.C. of which $2.1 B is generated on the Island.  With over 3480 new housing starts on Vancouver Island in 2015, residential construction is a key to economic growth in our island communities.

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For more information:
Kelsey Botting
Executive Officer
Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Vancouver Island
Tel: 250-755-1366

About the Canadian Home Builders’ Association -Vancouver Island (CHBA-VI)
The CHBA-VI is the voice of the voice of the residential construction industry for Vancouver Island and is comprised of three levels:  Local, Provincial and National.  This structure fully represents a  broad-based membership – such as the home building industry. Membership includes new home builders, renovators, developers, trades, manufacturers, suppliers, lenders and other professionals across Vancouver Island. Members commit to act with integrity and professionalism in all aspects of their company’s operations.

About the VIBE Awards
The VIBE Awards, Vancouver Island’s premier housing awards program, are owned by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of Vancouver Island (CHBA-VI). The VIBE Awards showcase the high quality and calibre of Vancouver Island’s home building and renovation community. The Awards highlight the commitment and dedication to the building excellence and high standards that CHBA-VI member companies strive to uphold.

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