Did you know: B.C.’s development industry contributes $22,900,000,000 (that’s nearly $23 BILLION!) to the provincial economy? According to a report compiled in 2018 for the Urban Development Institute Pacific Region, with support from the British Columbia Real Estate Association and the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association, the development industry accounts for approximately 15 per cent of the B.C. provincial GDP!

The economic impacts of the property development industry. in 2016 are estimated as:

  • Total output of $46.4 billion. Direct* output generated by the industry is estimated at $27.3 billion, with a further $19.1 billion in indirect* and induced* impacts.
  • Total gross domestic product (GDP) of $22.9 billion. GDP directly generated by the industry is estimated at $12.2 billion, with a further $10.7 billion in indirect and induced impacts.
  • The employment of 233,600 full-time equivalent positions (FTEs). This includes 123,200 FTEs in direct employment and 110,400 FTEs in indirect and induced employment.
  • Total tax revenues of $6.6 billion. This includes $3.0 billion in federal tax revenues, $2.2 billion in provincial tax revenues, and $1.4 billion in municipal tax revenues.

The economic impacts generated by the property development industry can be placed in context through comparisons with other large industries in B.C.:

The property development industry generates 233,600 full-time equivalent jobs.
  • The total GDP generated by the property development industry in 2016 ($22.9 billion) was almost twice that reported for the B.C. forest industry.
  • In one year, it would take the filming of approximately 250 major television productions in B.C. to generate the same amount of total employment (233,600 FTEs) that was generated by the property development industry in 2016. In 2016, total spending on television production in B.C. was equivalent to that of 20 major television series.
  • It would take the spending by approximately 54 million domestic and international overnight visitors to equate the total investment generated by the property development industry in 2016 ($27.3 billion). This is over two and a half times more than the total number of overnight visitors to B.C. in 2015.

You can read the full report at the UDI website.

*Direct impacts are those related to ‘front-end’ businesses that would receive operating revenue as a direct result of building construction (such as general contractors and engineering services firms), while indirect impacts arise from the activity of the suppliers to the ‘front-end’ businesses (such as building material suppliers, and accounting, legal, and other professional services firms). Induced impacts arise from shifts in spending by the employees of the directly and indirectly affected businesses (including spending on day-to-day household purchases).


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