Canadian housing starts increased 16 per cent on a monthly basis in March to 192,527 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The trend in Canadian housing starts was essentially unchanged, averaging 202,000 units SAAR over the past six months.
In BC, total housing starts were down 10 per cent on a monthly basis to 32,493 units SAAR. Total starts were down 31 per cent compared to March of last year. On a monthly basis, starts of multiple units were down 14 per cent to 25,196 units SAAR while single detached starts rose 7 per cent to 7,297 units SAAR.
Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC:
- Total starts in the Vancouver CMA were down 16 per cent on a monthly basis in March at 20,960 units SAAR as multiple unit starts fell 19 per cent from February. Compared to March 2018, total starts in Vancouver were down 36 per cent. Housing starts for the first quarter were 16 per cent lower than for the same quarter one year ago.
- In the Victoria CMA, housing starts fell 49 per to 2,084 units SAAR after a very strong February in which new starts were on a 4,100 unit annual pace. New home construction was also down year-over-year, falling 42 per cent compared to last March due to lower starts in the multiple unit sector.
- There is significant new construction underway in the Kelowna CMA , particularly in the apartment condo market. Total starts jumped 84 per cent from February, including a more than doubling of multi-unit starts.
- Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA were up 24 per cent in march at 1,870 units SAAR. On a year-over-year basis, new home construction was up 51 per cent with double digit growth in both single and multiple unit starts.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.