The pace of new home construction in Canada slowed in August, falling 3.7 per cent to 192,368 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts sits at 189,837 units SAAR.
Housing starts in BC urban centers jumped 31 per cent in August on a monthly basis to 33,631 units SAAR. On a year-over-year basis, housing starts were up 31 per cent compared to August 2013. Single-detached starts were up 6 per cent while multiple units were up 43 per cent compared to this time last year. Year-to-date, total BC housing starts are 8 per cent higher than 2013.
Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were up sharply following consecutive double digit declines in June and July. Vancouver starts rose 50 per cent from August 2013, led by a 67 per cent increase in multiple starts. Year-to-date, Vancouver housing starts are up 6 per cent. In the Victoria CMA, new home construction tumbled 52 per cent year-over-year. Year-to-date, housing starts in Victoria are down 15 per cent. New home construction in the Kelowna CMA pick-up once again in August, rising 46 per cent year-over-year on balanced growth between single and multiple starts. Year-to-date, housing starts in the Kelowna CMA are up 45 per cent . Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA showed significant strength for the second straight month, more than doubling the pace set last August. However, year-to-date, new home construction in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA is down 20 per cent.