Glen Korstrom, Business in Vancouver
Multi-family developments are driving Metro Vancouver housing starts upwards, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. numbers released September 11.
Housing starts in multi-family developments rose 29% to 1,417 in August. That compares with 1,098 housing starts in the same month last year. In contrast, single-detached home construction fell 4% to 353 starts in August, compared with 369 starts in the same month last year.
CMHC regional economist Carol Frketich told Business in Vancouver that monthly statistics can be volatile because of the smaller numbers involved.
The trend, however, toward more multi-family developments and fewer single-family homes being built, on a percentage basis, has been strong all year. Overall housing starts, seasonally adjusted, are also trending higher.
In the first eight months of 2012, multi-family home construction rose 19% to 10,788 units, compared with 9,079 units in the same period last year. Single-family home construction during the same period is down 3% to 2,324 units from 2,398 units last year.
Vancouver remains the hub within the metropolitan region for multi-family home construction with 554 such starts in August, compared with only 331 multi-family housing starts in August 2011.
“These starts relate to sales that would have occurred a year or so ago when these projects were in the planning stages,” Frketich said. “Now they’re getting underway.”