December 8, 2017

Canadian housing starts surged in November, rising 13 per cent from October to 252,184 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR).  The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts jumped to 226,270 units SAAR, the highest its been in ten years.

The increase in new home construction was concentrated outside of BC, which saw starts decline 16 per cent to a still very strong 45,000 units SAAR in November on a monthly basis. Total starts in BC were up about 4 per cent year-over-year. Single detached starts were up 23 per cent on a monthly basis and 31 per cent compared to November 2016 while multiple starts were down 24 per cent month-over-month and fell 6 per cent year-over-year.

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC: 

  • Total starts in the Vancouver CMA declined from a 12-month high in October, falling 8 per cent. The market is likely close to full-capacity with close to 40,000 units under construction across the metro-Vancouver area.
  • In the Victoria CMA, housing starts fell 17 per cent year-over-year and were down 71 per cent on a monthly basis after a wave of new multiple units in October.
  • New home construction in the Kelowna CMA were up 32 per cent from October and increased 62 per cent year-over-year due to jump in multiple unit starts.
  • Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA jumped from just 20 total starts in November 2016 to 169 in November 2017.  On a monthly basis, starts were 45 per cent higher compared to October due primarily to an increase in single-family starts. 

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