Suburban condo construction drives Lower Mainland housing start activity: CMHC

Condo construction in Burnaby | Shutterstock

A continuing upswing in condominium apartment starts in suburban areas drove October housing starts in the Vancouver region up 186% year-over-year, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation data released November 8.

A total of 2,899 starts were recorded in the month, compared with 1,013 units in October 2016. A 12% drop in single-detached home starts – from 415 last year to 367 in October 2017 – was not enough to offset a 323% increase in multi-family home starts, from 598 units in October 2016 to 2,532 units in the same month this year.

“The increase was primarily driven by a significant uptick in condominium starts in Burnaby, Coquitlam and Surrey, where the demand is strong for more affordable multi-family dwellings, the CMHC said in its report.

“Year-to-date starts remain below 2016 levels, mostly due to fewer projects getting underway in the City of Vancouver and on the North Shore this year.

Across British Columbia, the number of starts jumped 112% year-over-year, from 2,132 in October 2016 to 4,511 this year. As was the case in Vancouver, multi-family starts led the way with a 196% increase to 3,681 units in the month, from 1,245 last year. Single-detached starts slipped 6% from 887 units last year to 830 units.

Canada-wide, starts increase 16% year-over-year to 18,089 units in the month. The number of single-detached starts fell 11% while multi-family starts jumped 32%.