Canadian housing starts jumped 24 per cent in April to 194,809 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The six-month trend in Canadian new home construction is more or less stable at 183,000 units SAAR. That level of construction is in-line with Canadian household growth.
New home construction in BC urban centers dipped slightly in April, falling 5 per cent to 24,976 units SAAR. On a year-over-year basis, housing starts were up 9 per cent compared to April 2013. Single-detached starts rose 34 per cent while multiple units were down 1 per cent.
Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were down 2 per cent year-over-year in April. The decline was led by a 6 per cent decrease in multiple units while single-detached units rose 12 per cent. In the Victoria CMA, total starts fell 46 per cent compared with April 2013 due to a steep decline in multiple units starts. New home construction in the Kelowna CMA continued to enjoy solid growth in April, rising 13 per cent due to a 27 per cent rise in multiple starts. Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA were up considerably from very weak construction levels in April 2013. Total starts rose to 103 units from just 12 in the previous April.