Canadian housing starts fell 3 per cent on a monthly basis in march to 225,213 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts was steady at about 226,000 units SAAR.
In BC, total housing starts jumped 48 per cent on a monthly basis to 46,629 units SAAR with multiple unit starts rising over 60 per cent. On a year-over-year basis, total starts in the province were 4 per cent higher.
Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC:
- Total starts in the Vancouver CMA were up 60 per cent on a monthly basis after falling close to 40 per cent in February. Year-over-year, Vancouver starts were up 6 per cent. The 32,000 unit annual pace set in March was the result of an increase in both condo and rental units in core parts of the Metro area including the City of Vancouver, Richmond and North Vancouver.
- In the Victoria CMA, housing starts were down 5 per cent on a monthly basis but were almost double the level of March 2017 due to a surge of new multi-unit starts. Apartment starts were 77 per cent higher than March last year while single detached starts were down 32 per cent.
- In the Kelowna CMA, new home construction bounced back from a slow February with total housing starting rising by over 4 times the previous months activity. However, starts were down 68 per cent compared to what was a very busy March of 2017.
- Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA increased 71 per cent on a monthly basis but were down 20 per cent year-over-year, largely due to lower single detached starts. Multiple unit starts were essentially flat compared to last year.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.