Vancouver Housing Starts Trend at 26-Year High as Residential Permit Values Rise: Reports

Vancouver Housing Starts Trend at 26-Year High as Residential Permit Values Rise: Reports hero image
CMHC report shows Vancouver's housing starts trend at the highest level since 1990, while StatCan finds increase in residential building permit value

The housing starts trend in the Vancouver Metropolitan Area (CMA) reached its highest level since 1990 in June according to a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation report released today. Housing starts were trending at 29,932 units in June compared to 28,234 units in May.

The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

“Vancouver housing starts continue to pick up pace for all home types, pushing the trend measure to its highest level since 1990,” said Robyn Adamache, CMHC Principal Market Analyst for Vancouver.

“With low inventories of new and unsold homes and a limited number of existing homes for sale, developers have increased the number of housing starts to meet demand.”

Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA were trending at 1,403 units in June, up from 1,284 units in May as construction increased for all home types.

Nationally, the trend rose to 197,918 units from 190,302 in May, after falling from 194,950 in April, bolstered by increases in British Columbia, Ontario and the Prairies.

CMHC said it uses six-month moving averages to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of the state of the housing market. In some situations, said the CMHC, analyzing only the monthly seasonally adjusted data can be misleading in some markets, as they can be variable from one month to the next.

Building Permits

The CMHC’s housing starts figures were released shortly after Statistics Canada published its monthly home building permit values July 7.

New home construction permits in Vancouver in May were valued at a total of $588 million, according to the agency. That’s an increase of 29.1 per cent from the previous May and 4.5 per cent over the month before.

There were $153 million worth of permits for single-family homes issued in May, up 11.2 per cent year over year.

Across BC, the value of residential building permits was $863 million in May. That’s a very slight drop of 0.4 per cent from $867 million in April, but a 21.6 per cent increase year over year. While Victoria and Kelowna saw year-over-year increases of 55.5 and 47 per cent, respectively, Abbotsford-Mission saw the value of residential building permits drop 24.1 per cent year over year to $14.3 million. However, that value represents a gain of 8.5 per cent from $13.2 million in April.

Across Canada, the value of residential building permits was down 1.1 per cent from April to $4.3 billion, with an increase in the value of multi-family dwelling permits failing to offset a decline for single-family dwellings. Alberta showed the greatest decline in the value of residential building permits nationally at 22.5 per cent.

View Statistics Canada’s interactive charts here.


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