Canadian Housing Starts – July 11, 2017

Canadian housing starts increased 9 per cent in June to 212,695 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR).  The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts continues to trend higher at about 215,459 units SAAR, the highest level in almost five years.

In BC, total housing starts declined 19 per cent on a monthly basis to a still robust 37,279 units SAAR and were down 22 per cent on a year-over-year basis.  Single detached starts fell 2 per cent month-over-month but were 14 per cent higher year-over-year. Multiple unit starts fell 24 per cent month-over-month and were down 31 per cent year-over-year.

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC:

  • Total starts in the Vancouver CMA were actually down 34 per cent year-over-year with a 2 per cent decline posted in single units starts and a 40 per cent drop in multiple units starts compared to last year. The record level of units currently under construction is likely putting downward pressure on new starts as the industry is close to capacity.
  • In the Victoria CMA market, housing starts declined 42 per cent year-over-year with multiple unit starts at only half the level of June 2016. Single unit starts increased 5 per cent.
  • New home construction in the Kelowna CMA was up 80 per cent year-over-year but fell by half on a monthly basis compared to a big increase in new home construction in May.
  • Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA more than doubled on a both a monthly and year-over-year basis due to more than 230 new multiple units starts in June.