Canadian housing starts increased 4 per cent on a monthly basis in November to 215,941 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The trend in Canadian housing starts was also up slightly, averaging 210,000 units SAAR over the past six months.
In BC, total housing starts rose 22 per cent, the second consecutive monthly increase, to 36,776 units SAAR. However, total starts were down 17 per cent compared to November of last year. On a monthly basis, starts of multiple units were up 25 per cent to 27,709 units SAAR while single detached starts rose 14 per cent to 9,067 units SAAR.
Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC:
- Total starts in the Vancouver CMA were up 26 per cent on a monthly basis in November at 17,924 units SAAR, driven higher by a 41 per cent monthly increase in multiple units starts. Compared to November 2017, total starts in Vancouver were down 28 per cent. Most new home construction in the Vancouver CMA was concentrated in the City of Vancouver and Surrey, which together accounted for one third of total Vancouver housing starts.
- In the Victoria CMA, housing starts fell 12 per cent for a second straight month to 2,728 units SAAR. However, on a year-over-year basis, total starts were 34 per cent higher.
- The Kelowna CMA saw a significant increase in multi-unit construction in November, particularly for new apartment condos and rental projects. Total starts were up 59 per cent year-over-year, driven by more than 300 new multiple unit starts.
- Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA were down close to 70 per cent compared to this time last year with just 53 total starts in November. Both single and multiple unit starts were down significantly on a year-over-year basis.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.