Canadian housing starts decreased by 1.9 per cent m/m in February to 210,069 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The decrease was driven by Quebec. The trend in national housing starts fell, averaging about 209,000 units SAAR over the past six months.
In BC, housing starts rose by 52 per cent m/m to 39,968 units SAAR, which follows last month’s 39 per cent decline. Increases were reported in both the single detached (23 per cent) and multi-unit (66 per cent) segments. The value of building permits in the province also increased, suggesting housing starts will continue to pick-up. Compared to the same time last year, provincial starts were up by 3 per cent.
Looking at census metropolitan areas in BC:
Housing starts in Vancouver were up by 56 per cent in February to 20,573 units SAAR. The increase was driven mostly by the multi-unit segment (64 per cent), while singles were also up (27 per cent). Compared to last year in February, housing starts were down by 18 per cent.
In Victoria, housing starts were up by 778 per cent m/m to 5,897 units SAAR, which follows last month’s very low 672 units. Compared to a year ago in February, housing starts were up by 42 per cent.
In Kelowna, housing starts increased by 144 per cent m/m to 3,883 units SAAR. The increase was due to the volatile multi-unit segment. Year-over-year starts were up by 1,129 per cent in the region.
Monthly housing starts in Abbotsford-Mission were down by 9 per cent at 2,727 units SAAR. Compared to the same time last year, new home construction was up by 82 per cent.