New home construction in BC urban centres also posted a modest decline, falling to 20,227 (SAAR) in December from 22,043 units (SAAR) in November. On a year-over-year basis, multiple unit starts in BC were unchanged from December 2011 while single family starts were 4 per cent lower. Overall, total BC housing starts were 2 per cent lower than in December 2011. New home construction in BC's urban areas finished the year at 25,477 units, an increase of 5 per cent over 2011. New home construction continued to shift toward multiples in 2012. That segment of the market saw a 9 per cent increase in 2012 to 18.763 starts while single-detached starts declined 5 per cent to just 6,714 units.
Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, Vancouver CMA starts fell 1 per cent year-over-year in December but were 6 per cent higher for all of 2012 at 19,027 total units. New home construction in the Abbotsford CMA was off 58 per cent compared to December 2011 and down 31 per cent for all of 2012 at just 371 total units. Housing starts in the Kelowna CMA rose 27 per cent year- over-year in December due to a jump in single-detached starts. For all of 2012, total housing starts in the Kelowna CMA were down 10% from 2011 at 836 units. Housing starts in Victoria were down 28 per cent year-over-year in December but were up 4 per cent for all of 2012 at 1,700 total starts.