BCREA ECONOMICS NOW Canadian Housing Starts - November 8, 2018
Canadian housing starts increased 9 per cent on a monthly basis in October to 205,925 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The trend in Canadian housing starts continued to moderate lower, averaging 206,000 units SAAR over the past six months.
In BC, total housing starts rebounded slightly in October after a sharp September decline. Total starts were up 17 per cent to 29,861 units SAAR and but were still down 45 per cent year-over-year. On a monthly basis, starts of multiple units were up 30 per cent to 25,464 units SAAR while single detached fell 8 per cent to 7,784 units SAAR. Compared to October 2017, multiple units starts were down 51 per cent while single detached starts were 22 per cent lower.
Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC:
• Total starts in the Vancouver CMA bounced back somewhat in October, rising 26 per cent on a monthly basis to 14,238 units SAAR as multiple units starts rose 41 per cent from September. However, starts have been trending lower for the past few months and were down 49 per cent compared to October 2017. Most new construction activity in October was concentrated in the City of Vancouver, which accounted for over half of all starts in the Metro Vancouver area.
• In the Victoria CMA, housing starts fell 12 per cent in October to 2,728 units SAAR but were 71 per cent down year-over-year. However, on a year-to-date basis, housing starts in Victoria are just 6 per cent below the record level set in 2017.
• In the Kelowna CMA, new home construction remained slow in October, falling 7 per cent to just 629 units SAAR. On a year-over-year basis, total starts were down 64 per cent to just 62 total units. While housing starts in Kelowna have fallen off of the record pace of 2017, they remain on pace to finish above the 10-year average for the city.
• Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA nearly tripled from September to 1,734 units SAAR due to 120 new multiple unit starts in October. On a year-over-year basis, starts were 22 per cent higher.