Canadian Housing Starts (Sept) – October, 2019

Canadian housing starts decreased by 2.5% in September to 221,202 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) due to a pullback in singles. The trend in Canadian housing starts was up, averaging 223,507 units SAAR over the past six months, continuing a healthy trend.

In BC, housing starts rebounded partially, increasing by 13% on a monthly basis to 39,553 units SAAR after falling by 29% in the previous month. This largely reflected developers pushing forward activity in the previous months to get ahead of a new development charge in Vancouver. Compared to the same time last year, provincial starts were up by 54%. On a monthly basis, starts of multi-units were up by 19%, while singles were down by 7%.

Looking at census metropolitan areas in BC:

Housing starts in Vancouver were up by 26% in September at 25,020 units SAAR, following a 38% decrease in the previous month. The increase was entirely in the multi-unit segment. Compared to last year in September, housing starts in Vancouver were up by 74%.

In Victoria, housing starts were up by 263% on a monthly basis to 6,010 units SAAR. This is the highest level reported since December 2018. Compared to a year ago, housing starts were up by 95%.

In Kelowna, housing starts decreased by 74% in September to 1,527 units SAAR, following very high levels reported in the previous month. Year-over-year starts were up by 100% in the region.

Monthly housing starts in Abbotsford-Mission were up by 84% at 2,070 units SAAR. Compared to this time last year, new home construction was up by 405% due to strong multi-unit starts.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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