Canadian housing starts declined 5 per cent in April following several months of robust construction activity. Total housing starts were 191,512 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts of 195,064 was down slightly and remains roughly in-line with growth in Canadian households.
Housing starts in BC continued at a torrid pace in April, rising 14 per cent to 45,591 units SAAR. New home construction was driven higher by growth in apartments and other multi-family units, which were up 34 per cent on a year-over-year basis while single-detached starts were 2 per cent higher in April.
Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were up 37 per cent year-over-year in April as a result of a 45 per cent increase in multiple unit starts. In the Victoria CMA, housing starts were up 9 per cent year-over-year with strong gains in both single and multiple starts. New home construction in the Kelowna CMA dipped 19 per cent, dragged lower by fewer multiple units starts compared to last April. Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA were up 21 per cent in April due to a surge in multiple units starts.