Canadian housing starts rose about 1 per cent in May to 198,324 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The six-month trend in Canadian new home construction is more or less stable at 184,400 units SAAR. That level of construction is approximately in-line with Canadian household growth.
New home construction in BC urban centers increased 12 per cent on a monthly basis to 27,950 units SAAR. On a year-over-year basis, housing starts were up 32 per cent compared to May 2013. Single-detached starts rose 20 per cent while multiple units were up 37 per cent.
Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were up 34 per cent year-over-year in May. The increase was driven by a 47 per cent rise in multiple units over last year while single-detached units rose 5 per cent. In the Victoria CMA, total start jumped 151 per cent year-over-year as multiple unit construction was over five times the rate of construction in May 2013. New home construction in the Kelowna CMA was also sharply higher, rising 90 per cent year-over-year due to strong gains in both single and multiple unit starts. Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA rose 9 per cent year-over-year in May as singles rose 17 per cent and multiple unit starts were up 8 per cent.