Canadian housing starts declined 1.5 per cent in May to 188,570 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts of 191,000 was also down slightly and remains roughly in-line with growth in Canadian households.
Housing starts in BC cooled off of the near record-setting pace from the first five months of the year, recording 35,312 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, a 23 per cent decline from April's torrid pace of 45,000 units. New home construction was driven higher by growth in apartments and other multi-family units, which were up 34 per cent on a year-over-year basis while single-detached starts were 32 per cent higher compared to last May.
Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were up 36 per cent year-over-year in May due to broad strength in both multiple and single units. New home construction in the City of Vancouver, Surrey and Langley was particularly strong last month. In the Victoria CMA, housing starts of both single and multiple units more than doubled year-over-year with 224 total units breaking ground. New home construction in the Kelowna CMA surged 196 per cent, compared to one year ago, largely as a result of large condo projects getting underway. Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA were also up sharply, rising 179 per cent year-over-year in May.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.