Canadian Housing Starts

April 26, 2017

Canadian housing starts rocketed higher in March, rising 18 per cent to over 253,000 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). That pulled the six-month trend in Canadian housing starts higher to 211,342 units SAAR, well above the rate of household growth in Canada. 

In BC, total housing starts jumped 60 per cent to 44,725 units SAAR following a snowy February that saw new home construction dip due to weather conditions. Single detached starts were up 28 per cent while multiple unit starts increased 76 per cent year-over-year.

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were up 8 per cent year-over-year with balanced growth in both single detached and multiple units. Starts in the Vancouver CMA were the highest on record for March since 1972.  In the Victoria CMA, where new supply is badly needed, housing starts fell 32 per cent year-over-year, largely as the result of relatively few new starts of apartments and townhouses. New home construction in the Kelowna CMA more than doubled compared to last March with 500 new units breaking ground. Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA rose 63 per cent with new multiple unit starts leading the way.

Copyright BCREA – Reprinted with permission