Vancouver housing starts slip after record 2016: CMHC


Housing starts across the Vancouver region dipped in January, according to new data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

A total of 16,519 homes were started in the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in the month, down from 26,342 in December. This comes on the heels of a record year for starts across the region. Starts were trending at 24,597 units in January, down from 25,956 in December; this is the six-month moving average of monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates.

“Total housing starts in Vancouver trended slightly lower in January following a record year in 2016,” said CMHC regional economist Christina Butchart.

“Single family home starts were below typical January figures as builders focused on higher density projects and projects already underway.”

BMO senior economist Robert Kavcic pointed out that most marginal supply in the Vancouver area is in the condo sector.

“The recent results [showing a downward trend in starts] should alleviate some overbuilding concerns,” Kavcic said.

Starts declined across British Columbia as a whole in January, from 39,011 units in December to 26,308. Starts were trending at 35,683 units in the month, down from 37,614 in December.

“Both single-detached and multi-family housing starts declined in January,” Butchart said.

“While the pace of housing starts has slowed in recent months, the number of units under construction in B.C. remains high.”