Canadian Housing Starts – October 11, 2016

Canadian housing starts jumped 20 per cent in September to 220,617 total units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR).  The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts moved moderately higher to just under 200,000 units SAAR, above average annual growth in Canadian households. New home construction will likely slow in coming months as the consequences of government’s new mortgage regulations ripple through the housing market.

Housing starts in BC surged 40 per cent higher to 47,560 in September and were 79 per cent higher on a year-over-year basis. Single detached starts rose 27 per cent compared to last September while multiple unit starts nearly doubled. Through the first three quarters of the year, BC housing starts are up 39 per cent compared to 2015. 

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were up 110 per cent year-over-year in September, led by triple digit growth in both single and multiple units. In the Victoria CMA, housing starts tripled compared to September 2015 due to strong growth in new multiple unit starts. New home construction in the Kelowna CMA rose 16 per cent on balanced growth between single and multiple unit starts. Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA declined 64 per cent compared to last year as multiple unit projects took a breather in September following several strong months of activity.