Canadian housing starts declined 16 per cent on a monthly basis in July to 206,300 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts has been on a steady decline in the past few months and is now at 220,000 units SAAR.
In BC, total housing starts increased 24 per cent on a monthly basis to 42,500 units SAAR but were down 7 per cent year-over-year. On a monthly basis, starts of multiple units were up 35 per cent to an annual rate of 33,200 units while single detached fell 4 per cent. Compared to July 2017, multiple units starts were down 5 per cent while single detached starts were 11 per cent lower.
Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC:
Total starts in the Vancouver CMA were down 10 per cent year-over-year but jumped 48 per cent on a monthly basis from June due to a surge in multiple unit starts.
In the Victoria CMA, housing starts fell 18 per cent from June to 4,880 unit SAAR and were down 40 per cent year-over-year. Total housing starts in the Victoria CMA are up 14 per cent in the first seven months of 2018 as builders respond to strong housing demand in the area, particularly in West Shore municipalities like Langford and Colwood.
In the Kelowna CMA, new home construction increased 23 per cent year-over-year as a result of new multiple unit projects getting underway. However, on a monthly basis, total starts were down 47 per cent from a very strong June to a rate of just under 2,000 units SAAR.
Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA fell 15 per cent on a year-over-year basis, with the decline entirely due to lower levels of new construction in multiple unit housing. However, starts in July were more than triple those recorded in June, coming it at a rate of 1,750 units SAAR.
Source – BCREA