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Vancouver housing starts up 2.6% in August: CMHC

Housing starts increased 2.6% in the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in August, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) announced September 9.

Vancouver starts were trending at 22,421 units in August compared with 21,860 units in July.

“While single-detached starts trended lower, multi-family starts increased to their highest level since the fall of 2012,” said Richard Sam, CMHC principal market analyst for Vancouver.

“Builders continued to develop higher density projects to meet rising buyer demand in the resale market.”

Nationwide, starts increased 5.9% from 185,642 units in July to 196,565 units in August.

“Housing starts have been trending up, supported by strong condominium activity in Toronto,” said CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan.

“While national starts have increased, housing construction has started to slow in Alberta and Saskatchewan as a result of weakening economic conditions related to the decline of oil prices.”

TD Economics economist Leslie Preston said 2015 is set to be a strong year for the country’s housing market overall, driven by low interest rates.

“TD expects that gradually higher borrowing rates next year should contribute to an easing in the pace of new home construction to a more sustainable 165,000-170,000 units next year.”

The CMHC uses a six-month moving average of seasonally adjusted annual rates in its calculations.

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