Housing

About Housing

Residential Development
TownhousesIn 2011 there were 67,970 private dwelling units in Richmond and 77.1% (52,420) of households were owners, while 22.9% (15,555) were renters (2011 NHS). Within this housing mix, there is subsidized housing, affordable housing, a range of market housing, and rental accommodations.

New residential development has been steadily increasing since 2005 although the number of starts and completions vary year by year. Since 2009, apartments have dominated all new residential development and apartment development has been largely concentrated in the City Centre. In 2014, apartments comprised of 71% of all housing starts in Richmond, followed by single-family dwellings (21%), and townhouses (8%) (City of Richmond 2015 Budget Report).

In 2016, the City’s estimated population is 213,891 making Richmond the fourth largest municipality in British Columbia after Vancouver, Surrey and Burnaby. Richmond’s population is both growing and getting older. Total population growth between 2006 and 2011 was 9.2%, similar to the regional growth rate of 9.3% (City of Richmond, Population Hot Facts, 2014). The fastest growing planning areas of Richmond during this time period were City Centre, Steveston, Shellmont, West Cambie and Broadmoor neighbourhoods. In 2011, individuals over the age of 65 accounted for 13.7% of the total population; this is a 2% (6,690 residents) increase from 2001 (2001 & 2011 Census). The percentage of seniors is expected to rapidly increase as it is estimated they will account for 26% of the population by 2041 (City of Richmond, 2012 Official Community Plan).

More information about residential development in Richmond can be found here:
PDF Document Hot Facts Housing Characteristics.

Benchmark Housing Prices

The benchmark price of housing units in Richmond has been steadily increasing from 2005 to 2015. Specifically the benchmark price of apartments has increased by 48% ($372,100 in 2015), townhomes by 76% ($567,000 in 2015), and single detached houses by 131% ($1,209,600 in 2015) (Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver).

The benchmark price represents the price of a typical property within each market. It takes into account characteristics such as lot size, age, and the number of bedrooms of units that median prices do not account for.

Rents

In 2015, rental vacancy rates in Richmond were lower than 1%, except for one bedroom apartments (1.4%). According to the CMHC Rental Market Survey (2015), the average vacancy rate for purpose-built apartments in Canada’s 35 major urban centres was 2.7%, close to what many housing professionals believe is a healthy market rate. Richmond has lower than average vacancy rates, which is indicative of a constrained rental housing market resulting in higher rents and making it more difficult for renters to find adequate housing due to lack of supply.

In 2015, average rents were $843 for a bachelor, $1,025 for a 1-bedroom, $1,296 for a 2-bedroom, and $1,596 for a 3-bedroom (CMHC Market Rental Survey, 2015)

Affordable Housing
The City of Richmond remains an active partner and strong advocate for affordable housing throughout the City and recognizes the role that housing plays in creating a vibrant, diverse and complete community. 
To date, the City has:

  • Adopted a Richmond Affordable Housing Strategy (2007) that provides an important City policy framework - an update of the Affordable Housing Strategy is planned for 2016.
  • Secured over approximately 1,371 rental units since 2007 through the Affordable Housing Strategy.
  • Secured cash contributions for other “Affordable Housing Special Development Circumstances” projects including Kiwanis (affordable rental units for low income seniors completed in 2015) and Storeys (affordable rental units and additional supports, expected to be completed in 2017).

It is estimated that there are a total of 2,694 affordable rental and cooperative units in Richmond (City of Richmond, October 2015). Most of these units were secured prior to 2007, when the Affordable Housing Strategy was adopted, primarily through the efforts of the non-profit sector with a variety of earlier senior government funding programs.

For more information on the Affordable Housing Strategy and other affordable housing units available in Richmond, please visit http://www.richmond.ca/plandev/socialplan/housing.htm.

Finding Housing Contacts & Information:

The following agencies can provide assistance in finding housing: