Canadian housing starts increased 5 per cent in September to 193,627 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The trend in Canadian new home construction edged up slightly to 188,440 units SAAR over the past six months, a rate that is roughly in-line with Canadian household formations. On a year-over-year basis, housing starts were down 11 per cent.
New home construction in BC urban centres bounced back from a sizable decline in August, rising 17 per cent to 29,633 units SAAR . On a year-over-year basis, total starts were 10 per cent higher than September 2012. Single-detached starts were up 20 per cent over last year, while multiple starts rose 6 per cent. Through the first three quarters of the year, BC housing starts are down 5 per cent compared to 2012.
Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were up 1 per cent year-over-year at 1,731 units in September. Single family starts rose 15 per cent while multiples fell 2 per cent. Through the first three quarters of the year, Vancouver CMA housing starts are down 6 per cent. In the Victoria CMA, total starts were up 40 per cent compared to September 2012, due to double digit growth in both single and multiple starts. Year-to-date, VIctoria CMA housing starts are 8 per cent lower than 2012. New home construction in the Kelowna CMA fell 35 per cent year-over-year in September. The decline was the result of a steep drop in multiple unit starts compared to 2012. Year-to-date, Kelowna CMA housing starts are down 1 per cent compared to 2012. Single detached starts were 30 per cent higher. In the Abbotsford-MIssion CMA, starts were up 400 per cent at 130 total units compared to just 26 in September 2012. Year-to-date, total housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA have risen 91 per cent.