New home construction in Canada jumped 10 per cent in May to 201,705 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts of 181,231 units SAAR was up slightly and is in-line with Canadian household growth.
Housing starts in BC fell from a blockbuster 37,000 units in April to 25,609 units SAAR in May. On a year-over-year basis, housing starts were down 11 per cent compared to May 2014. Single-detached starts were 8 per cent higher while multiple unit starts fell 20 per cent compared to this time last year. Year-to-date, housing starts in BC are up 13 per cent.
Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were down 13 per cent year-over-year in May due to a 17 per cent decline in multiple starts. Single-detached starts in Vancouver were 3 per cent higher. In the Victoria CMA, new home construction fell 32 per cent year-over-year due to a 44 per cent drop in multiple unit starts. Total housing starts in the Kelowna CMA were down 36 per cent year-over-year in May with broadly weaker construction activity of both single and multiple units. Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA declined by just over half compared to May 2014 .