BCREA ECONOMICS NOW
Canadian Housing Starts - August 11, 2014
Canadian housing starts rose about 1 per cent to 200,098 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) in July. The six-month trend in Canadian new home construction also increased to just under 190,000 units SAAR.
New home construction in BC urban centers slipped 3.7 per cent on a monthly basis to 25,633 units SAAR. On a year-over-year basis, housing starts were down 16 per cent compared to June 2013. Single-detached starts, which continue to recover from a down year in 2013, were up 21 per cent while multiple units were down 28 per cent.
Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were down 20 per cent year-over-year in June, the second consecutive month of double-digit year-over-year decline. Single starts in Vancouver were up 25 per cent, while multiple starts fell 29 per cent. In the Victoria CMA, a large year-over-year decline in multiple starts offset a strong month for single starts. As a result, total starts in the Victoria CMA fell 29 per cent compared to July 2013. New home construction in the Kelowna CMA slowed modestly following several strong months. A drop in both single and multiple unit starts led to an overall decline in total starts of 8 per cent. Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA jumped 81 per cent year-over-year due to to a rebound in multiple unit starts and strong single starts.