Vancouver housing starts fall to lowest level since 2011 in October: CMHC

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Housing starts in Vancouver dropped 52% year-over-year in October, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation data released November 8.

A total of 12,023 homes were started in the area, which was a decrease of 67% compared with the 36,803 starts in September. The decline was driven by a 77% total decrease in starts of attached homes. Starts of single-detached homes fell 17.4% in the month to 4,847.

Across the province, housing starts fell to 25,517 in October, down 26% year-over-year from 34,413 starts in October 2015.

“October’s tally brings activity back down to the very stable—and fundamentally supported—range seen between 2010 and mid-2015, before activity broke out to the upside,” said Robert Kavcic, senior economist and vice-president of economic research for BMO Capital Markets in a note to investors.

“We’ll see if this level of activity, particularly in Vancouver where starts fell to the lowest since 2011, holds in the months ahead in response to softening demand conditions.”

Dina Ignjatovic, economist at TD Economics, said the tax and mortgage regulations recently introduced by the federal government are taking the steam out of sales in both B.C. and Ontario.

“This should filter through to homebuilding activity as well,” Ignjatovic said. “Indeed, following strong growth this year, we expect housing starts in B.C. and Ontario to record sizable declines next year.”

ecrawford@biv.com

@EmmaHampelBIV