New home construction in Canada declined 16.4 per cent in February to 156,276 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts of 182,137 units SAAR fell for a sixth consecutive month.
Housing starts in BC urban centers fell 11.1 per cent on a monthly basis to 22,273 units SAAR. On a year-over-year basis, housing starts were 5 per cent higher compared to February 2014. Single-detached starts were 11 per cent higher year-over-year while multiple units were up 1 per cent compared to this time last year.
Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were down 11 per cent year-over-year due to a 22 per cent decline in multiple starts. Single-detached starts in Vancouver were 24 per cent higher. In the Victoria CMA, new home construction jumped 162 per cent year-over-year due to a surge in multiple unit starts. Total housing starts in the Kelowna CMA were up 7 per cent year-over-year in February, led by growth of multiple unit starts. Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA are rebounding from a poor showing in 2014. Total starts were over 4 times higher year-over-year in February, also led by a jump in multiple unit starts.