Canadian housing starts moderated from a very strong September, falling close to 15 per cent to a still robust 198,065 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) in October. The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts of 206,089 units SAAR continues to rise and is currently above the rate of household formations in Canada, a sign that new home construction could slow next year.
Housing starts in BC were up 21 per cent from September, rising to 33,737 units SAAR. On a year-over-year basis, housing starts were up 48 per cent with single detached starts falling 2 per cent year-over year while multiple unit starts jumped 83 per cent compared to October 2014. Year-to-date, total housing starts in BC are up 13 per cent compared to 2014.
Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were up 70 per cent year-over-year in October as a result of a sharp rise in the construction of multiple units, which more than doubled compared to October 2014. In the Victoria CMA, the rate of new home construction was also more than double the rate of last October with both single and multiple starts posting strong growth. Total housing starts in the Kelowna CMA were up 30 per cent year-over-year on broad strength in both single and multiple unit starts. Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA were up close to 90 per cent compared to this time last year largely on strong growth in single unit starts.