BCREA ECONOMICS NOW - Canadian Housing Starts - June 8, 2015

New home construction in Canada jumped 10 per cent in May to 201,705 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR).  The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts of 181,231 units SAAR was up slightly and is in-line with Canadian household growth. 

Housing starts in BC fell from a blockbuster 37,000 units in April to 25,609 units SAAR in May.  On a year-over-year basis, housing starts were down 11 per cent compared to May 2014. Single-detached starts were 8 per cent higher while multiple unit starts fell 20 per cent compared to this time last year. Year-to-date, housing starts in BC are up 13 per cent. 

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were down 13 per cent year-over-year in May due to a 17 per cent decline in multiple starts. Single-detached starts in Vancouver were 3 per cent higher. In the Victoria CMA, new home construction fell 32 per cent year-over-year due to a 44 per cent drop in multiple unit starts. Total housing starts in the Kelowna CMA were down 36 per cent year-over-year in May with broadly weaker construction activity of both single and multiple units. Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA declined by just over half compared to May 2014.


The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) is the professional association for more than 18,500 REALTORS® in BC, focusing on provincial issues that impact real estate. Working with the province’s 11 real estate boards, BCREA provides continuing professional education, advocacy, economic research and standard forms to help REALTORS® provide value for their clients.

Real estate boards, real estate associations and REALTORS® may reprint this content, provided that credit is given to BCREA by including the following statement: “Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.” BCREA makes no guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of this information.

Paige Gregson

Paige Gregson

CENTURY 21 Executives Realty Ltd.
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