Issue 18-66 Housing Starts

April 10, 2018

Housing starts in urban areas (areas with population of at least 10,000) in British Columbia went up by 48.5% (seasonally adjusted at annual rates) in March compared to February, the third largest increase among provinces. The increase was widespread with every housing type start registering gains in the month.

Across British Columbia’s census metropolitan areas (CMAs), Victoria (-4.5%) was the only one in which housing starts fell in March. Kelowna saw the biggest increase at 338.6% for the month, the second largest growth among all CMAs behind only Quebec.

Urban housing starts across Canada went down (-2.8%) in March, with decreases in five provinces. The decline was led by Saskatchewan (‑44.4%), which registered the largest housing starts decline among provinces for the second consecutive month. The decrease was concentrated in apartment units (-8.5%) with declines in row homes (-3.3%) and semi-detached units (-1.5%). A notable increase was observed in Newfoundland and Labrador (+630.8%) where housing starts reached a historical high in March. Despite Saint John’s seeing housing starts more than doubling in the month, only about one fifth of the increase happened in the capital.

Data Source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation