B.C. leads Canada’s decline in October housing starts

A decline in housing starts across the country has hit B.C. the hardest as the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) says the pace of condo construction appears to be on the downward trend. 

A decline in housing starts across the country has hit B.C. the hardest as the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) says the pace of condo construction appears to be on the downward trend.

New home construction declined 17% month to month in B.C., falling from 27,620 in September to 23,320 in October.

CMHC data released on November 10 showed the rest of the country is also experiencing a downward trend, but one not as sharp as B.C.’s.

Housing starts across Canada fell 7%, from 197,355 units in September to 183,604 units in October.

“The decrease in the trend reflects a decline, in October, of starts of multi-unit dwellings, including condominiums,” CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan said in a statement.

“Given the elevated level of condominium units under construction, our expectation is that condominium starts will continue to trend lower over the coming months.”

Construction began on 19,440 units in Vancouver in September before falling to 14,443 last month. There were 17,962 housing starts in the city in October 2013.

Toronto actually saw an increase in construction, as housing starts grew from 15,081 in September to 25,611 in October.

But Ontario as a whole saw construction decline 2%, falling from 51,514 units in September to 50,384 units in October.

torotn@biv.com

@reporton