VANCOUVER - A real estate association watching Metro Vancouver's tight and costly housing market predicts conditions should begin to ease by the third quarter of 2018.
The British Columbia Real Estate Association says home builders are responding to a lack of available homes across the region by dramatically increasing multi-family housing starts.
Starts across Metro Vancouver surged 40 per cent to 22,700 units in 2016, while the report says an estimated 19,700 multi-family homes were started so far this year, and a further 19,000 units are forecast in 2018.
The association's report says data on estimated completion times of the developments suggests available suites in new apartment projects should rise from fewer than 4,000 units per quarter in 2016 to about 6,000 by late next year.
Most of the units are pre-sold, but the report says renters who are buying homes will free up needed rental suites, while owners moving to new units will bolster a scarce supply of housing as their former properties go on sale.
The study says a surge in multi-family completions isn't the only solution for housing affordability in Metro Vancouver.
But it says a significant increase in the supply of homes can help keep a lid on climbing rents and house prices.