Canadian housing starts increased 7.2 per cent in November to 211,916 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts of 208,401 units SAAR has risen for several months and is currently above the rate of household formations in Canada, a sign that new home construction could slow next year.
Housing starts in BC fell 24 per cent following a similar size increase the previous month, registering 25,507 units SAAR. On a year-over-year basis, housing starts were down 10 per cent with both single detached and multiple starts posting declines compared to last year. Year-to-date, total housing starts in BC are up 11 per cent compared to 2014.
Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were down 9 per cent year-over-year in November following a large increase in new home construction in October. Single detached units were down 5 per cent while multiple units were off 10 per cent year-over-year. In the Victoria CMA, new home construction was 55 per cent lower compared to November 2014. Multiple starts accounted for all of the decline while single units starts were 2 per cent higher. Total housing starts in the Kelowna CMA fell 28 per cent year-over-year with both single and multiple unit starts posting weaker November new home construction than in 2014. Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA were the lone CMA to post a gain in November with housing starts more than quadrupling to 111 total units compared to just 25 units in November 2014.