Canadian Housing Starts - April 9, 2013

Canadian home-builders broke ground on 184,208 new units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) in March, a slight increase from February's 183,207 starts. However, new home construction continues to trend lower from last year's highs. On a year-over-year basis, housing starts were down 15.5 per cent.

New home construction in BC urban centres rose 13 per cent month-over-month in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 24,400 units. On a year-over-year basis, total starts were 18 per cent higher than March 2012. Single-detached starts were 16 per cent lower over last year, while multiples bounced back from a steep year-over-year-decline in February, rising 33 per cent compared to March 2012. The first quarter of 2013 saw a 13 per cent decline in total housing starts compared to the first quarter of 2012.

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, in the Vancouver CMA total starts rose 35 per cent year-over-year due to a 42 per cent jump in multiple starts. Single-detached starts were also up by 2 per cent..  New home construction in the Abbotsford CMA continued to recover from a difficult 2012, rising 57 compared to March 2012. Conversely, housing starts in the Victoria and Kelowna CMAs declined year-over-year in March, falling by 10 per cent and 27 per cent respectively.

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