Canadian housing starts decreased by 8.7% in October to 201,973 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The decline was due to a pullback in the multi-unit segment. The trend in national housing starts continues to be healthy, averaging 218,598 units SAAR over the past six months.
In BC, housing starts declined by 16% on a monthly basis to 33,174 units SAAR, largely due to falling construction in the multi-unit segment. The decline is an unwinding of developers pushing forward activity in the previous months to get ahead of a new development charge in Vancouver. Compared to the same time last year, provincial starts were up by 9%. On a monthly basis, multi-unit starts were down by 22%, while singles were up by 10%.
Looking at census metropolitan areas in BC:
Housing starts in Vancouver were down by 37% in October at 15,657 units SAAR, driven entirely by the multi-unit segment. Compared to last year in October, housing starts in Vancouver were down by 11%.
In Victoria, housing starts were down by 36% on a monthly basis to 3,880 units SAAR, following last month's highest recording of starts since December 2018. Compared to a year ago, housing starts were up by 43%.
In Kelowna, housing starts increased by 155% in October to 3,870 units SAAR. Year-over-year starts were up by 423% in the region.
Monthly housing starts in Abbotsford-Mission were up by 13% at 2,335 units SAAR. Compared to this time last year, new home construction was up by 34%.