Canadian housing starts declined 9 per cent in July to 198,847 total units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) following a jump in construction activity in June. The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts moved slightly higher to just over 201,000 units, slightly above average annual growth in Canadian households.
Housing starts in BC also declined, but were still a very robust 41,050 SAAR. On a year-over-year basis, new home construction was up 14 per cent in July due to a 25 per cent jump in single detached starts and an 11 per cent rise in multiple units. Through the first seven months of the year, BC housing starts are up 37 per cent compared to 2015.
Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were down 9 per cent year-over-year in July, dragged down by a 14 per cent decline in multiple unit starts. Single-detached starts in the Vancouver CMA were up 15 per cent. In the Victoria CMA, housing starts continue to climb, more than doubling year-over-year on strong growth in new multiple unit starts.
New home construction in the Kelowna CMA rose 9 per cent as a result of 13 per cent growth in multiple unit starts. Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA were up 25 per cent year-over-year, as a surge in single unit construction outweighed a decline in multiple units.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.