Housing starts drop 80% from this time last year

Vancouver's new housing sales have been on a blistering pace over the past 2 years and inventory of new condos has fallen to historic lows, so it may have been a surprise to some when housing starts started slowing down for the first half of 2017.

Total housing starts in Vancouver have dropped 80% in the first 6 months compared with the same time last year, according to CMHC, from 5,784 to 1,860 units.

Total housing starts across Metro Vancouver region also fell, but by a smaller margin, to 12,200 units so far this year, compared with 14,840 in the same period a year earlier.

Increases were seen in the larger suburban areas of Burnaby, Surrey, Coquitlam and New Westminster.

The number of homes under contruction hit a record high of 39,141 units across all of Metro Vancouver in May and remained near that level in June. The downturn may relate to developer fatigue.

The constraints on builders are very real in terms of availability and costs of equipment and materials, which means further increasing the pace of contruction is difficult.

Also slowing the pace of condo starts is the current backlog of applications and the fact that many developers are probably waiting for permits.

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