Castlegar’s home ownership statistics followed national and provincial trends over the last five years according to 2021 census data released by Statistics Canada on Sept. 21.
The data shows 2700 households own their homes, which is down from 2721 counted during the 2016 census.
The number of renting households meanwhile rose from 775 to 845 over five years.
However, Castlegar is still above the national and provincial averages for home ownership. Locally, 76 per cent of households own their home compared to 66.8 per cent provincially and 66.5 nationally.
Statistics Canada shows a drop in what is considered unaffordable housing in Castlegar.
Unaffordable housing is defined as costing more than 30 per cent of a household’s income before tax. In Castlegar, 13.7 per cent of households (485) spend more than the 30-per-cent threshold. That’s an improvement of five per cent from 2016, and well below the provincial mark of 25 per cent.
This is in spite of the fact that the average value of a Castlegar home jumped from about $300,000 in 2016 to $428,000 in 2021 — a 43-per-cent increase.
More renters (31 per cent) are crossing the 30-per-cent affordability threshold than homeowners.
While the jump in prices didn’t hinder the reduction in households reaching the affordability mark, it likely influenced the drop in home ownership.
The statistics also show that 57 per cent of Castlegar households have a mortgage.
Among tenant households, 17 per cent live in subsidized accommodations.
In spite of the fact that the city’s population continued to grow in the last five years, the building of new dwellings slumped. From 2016 to 2021, there were only 65 new dwellings built. The three previous sets of five-year periods each had two-to-three times that amount: 2001-2005 had 175, while 2006-2010 had 175 and 2011-2015 had 150.
Castlegar’s population grew by 3.7 per cent (299 people) from 2016-2021, but housing only grew 1.4 per cent (50 units).
More than 25 per cent of the city’s homes were built prior to 1960 and 39 per cent were built between 1961 and 1980.
According to Castlegar’s planning manager Meeri Durand, there have been 12 new single-family dwelling building permits and two multi-family permits issued this year up through the end of August. The multi-family permits are for 12 units of housing.