Canadian Housing Starts - July 9, 2014

Canadian housing starts rose just over half of one per cent in June to 198,185 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR).  The six-month trend in Canadian new home construction sits at 185,000 units SAAR. That level of construction is approximately in-line with Canadian household growth.

New home construction in BC urban centers dipped slightly in June, falling 5 per cent on a monthly basis to 26,675 units SAAR. On a year-over-year basis, housing starts were down 9 per cent compared to June 2013. Single-detached starts were up 17 per cent while multiple units were down 18 per cent. For the first six months of the year, total housing starts in BC were higher by 9 per cent compared to 2013. 

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were down 19 per cent year-over-year in June. The decline was the result of a 26 per cent year-over-year drop in multiple units while single-detached units rose 16 per cent. Total starts in the Vancouver CMA were up 5 per cent over 2013 in the first half of the year. In the Victoria CMA, total starts increased 68 per cent year-over-year as multiple unit starts more than doubled June 2013 levels. For the first half of 2014, total starts in the Victoria CMA are up 3 per cent. New home construction in the Kelowna CMA continues to show strength, more than doubling year-over-year in June due to strong gains in multiple unit starts. For the first six months of 2014, Kelowna CMA starts are up 64 per cent. Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA dropped sharply in June due to relative inactivity in the multiple unit sector. Total starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA are down 36 per cent in the first six months of 2014.

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