BCREA May 8th report states that, nationally, Canadian housing starts rose 24 per cent in April and that the six-month trend is "more or less stable"
Meanwhile, in BC...
Closer to home, new home construction in BC urban centers dropped slightly (5%) from March, but up 9% compared to this time last year. The biggest growth was in single-detached home starts which rose a whopping 34% over last year.
Drilling down we find an interesting trend that may be good news for the Thompson/Okanagan region.
Isolating metropolitan areas and looking at stats over last years numbers:
- Vancouver total starts were down 2%. Broken down that's a 6% decrease in multiple units and a rise of 12% single-detached units.
- Victoria total starts fell 46%, with a steep decline in multiple units starts.
- Abbotsford-Mission were up considerably but only because of very weak construction levels in April 2013
In the Thompson/Okanagan region...
While April's stats are not available to the author for the Kamloops area, Kelowna reports solid growth, rising 13% due to a 27% rise in multiple starts.
Why Should You Care?
Single family housing starts are often a strong early indicator of the health of the overall economy. A vibrant housing market also increases confidence in the economy.
On a practical, boots-on-the-ground point of view, new homes being built creates thousands of jobs with spin off boosts in employment in every other area, from materials to build the home, to the employees enjoying increased disposable income.