Canadian housing starts increased 6.7 per cent on a monthly basis in February to 229,737 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts rose to 225,276 units SAAR.
In BC, total housing starts fell 26 per cent monthly basis to 30,622 units SAAR with both single and multiple unit starts posting monthly declines of over 20 per cent. On a year-over-year basis, total starts in the province were 9 per cent higher.
Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC:
- Total starts in the Vancouver CMA were down 37 per cent on a monthly basis at 20,000 units SAAR but were 12 per cent higher compared to February of last year. Construction activity is particularly strong in the condo markets of Burnaby, the North Shore and the city of Vancouver.
- In the Victoria CMA, housing starts nearly tripled on a monthly basis to an annualized rate of almost 4,000 units due to a number of multiple unit projects breaking ground. Total starts in the Victoria CMA were up 48 per cent year-over-year. Construction activity is being driven by new apartment rentals and condos.
- The Kelowna CMA saw housing starts decline over 60 per cent on a monthly basis in February with relatively little new construction occurring in the month. The CMHC counted just 22 single units and 15 multiple unit starts.
- Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA increased 200 per cent year-over-year as construction of more than 300 new multiple units got underway in February. However, the annualized pace of starts fell 6 per cent from January at just under 800 units SAAR.