Canadian housing starts closed out the year falling 14 per cent on monthly basis to 216,980 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts remained elevated at 226,777units SAAR. For all of 2017, total new home construction in Canada was up 6.2 per cent.
BC saw total housing starts rise 11 per cent to almost 50,000 units SAAR in December on a monthly basis. Total starts in BC were up 26 per cent year-over-year. Single detached starts were down 2 per cent on a monthly basis but increased 21 per cent compared to December 2016 while multiple starts were up 15 per cent month-over-month and were 28 per cent higher year-over-year. For all of 2017, new home construction in BC was up 4 per cent.
Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC:
- Total starts in the Vancouver CMA were driven higher by apartment condominium starts in Vancouver, Richmond and Coquitlam. Multiple starts across the CMA rose 11 per cent year-over-year in December, offsetting a 4 per cent decline in single detached starts. Overall, Vancouver CMA starts finished 2017 down 6 per cent.
- In the Victoria CMA, the year closed with historically high housing starts, reaching the highest level of new home construction since 1976. Multiple unit starts jumped 70 per cent in December on a year-over-year basis, driven by elevated rental market construction. For all of 2017, Victoria new home construction increased 32 per cent.
- New home construction in the Kelowna CMA were up 18 per cent from November but down 17 per cent year-over-year. For all of 2017, multiple unit starts drove a surge in new home construction, rising 88 per cent over 2016 leading to a 63 per cent overall increase in housing starts.
- Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA tumbled 72 per cent on a monthly basis in December following a spike in multiple unit starts the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, new home construction was down 41 per cent. For all of 2017, new home construction in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA was up 51 per cent.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.