Canadian housing starts began the year essentially flat on a monthly basis at 216,210 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts remained elevated at 224,865 units SAAR.
BC saw total housing starts fall 16 per cent to 41,648 units SAAR in December on a monthly basis. However, total starts in BC were up 59 per cent year-over-year. Single detached starts were up 1 per cent on a monthly basis but increased 78 per cent compared to January 2017 while multiple starts were down 21 per cent month-over-month and were 54 per cent higher year-over-year.
Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC:
Total starts in the Vancouver CMA were higher across all home types, nearly doubling the pace of construction in January 2017. There were a total of 2,599 housing starts across the region compared to just 1,334 the same time last year.
In the Victoria CMA, housing starts slowed from the record setting pace of previous months, falling 52 per cent on a monthly basis. However, new home construction remains robust at a more than 3,000 unit annual rate in seasonally adjusted terms.
- The Kelowna CMA saw an increase from 51 units last January to 87 total starts in January 2018. Much of the increase was the result of new rental unit projects.
- Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA rose 42 per cent on a monthly basis in January with balanced growth across multiple and single detached starts. However, total housing starts were well behind the pace set in January of 2017.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.