B.C. housing starts static in June: CMHC

Photo: Chung Chow

What happened: Housing starts show little change in activity month to month

Why it matters: B.C. appears to be an outlier compared with national numbers

Housing starts in B.C. remained flat in June compared with a month earlier, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC).

Data released Thursday (June 9) reveals a total of 36,069 housing starts in June, down slightly from the 36,098 units reported in June.

“Even before the pandemic, activity was more modest amid softer conditions,” BMO economist Priscilla Thiagamoorthy said in a note to investors, referring to provincial figures.

In Metro Vancouver, housing starts fell 5% month to month, reaching 23,577 in June compared with 24,917 in May.

The drop was more pronounced in Victoria, with housing starts dropping 23% from 3,060 units in May to 2,342 units in June.

The Kelowna region, however, recorded a 61% surge in housing starts, growing from 1,788 units to 2,858 units between May and June.

The Abbotsford-Mission area saw 18% growth last month, from 498 units in May to 590 units in June.

Nationally, housing starts were up 8% month to month, from 195,453 units in May to 196,674 units in June.

"This reflects higher multi-family starts in Toronto and Montreal following declines in these centres in recent months from COVID-19 measures,” CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan said in a statement.

“Housing starts continued to decline in most other centres in June, including Vancouver. We expect national starts to trend lower in the near term as a result of the negative impact of COVID-19 on economic and housing indicators."