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Canadian Housing Starts – April 8, 2014

Canadian housing starts tumbled close to 18 per cent in March to 156,823 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The trend in Canadian new home construction moved lower as well, to 184,476 units SAAR. That level of construction is in-line with demographic demand. The majority of the decline in housing starts occurred in Ontario and Quebec.

New home construction in BC urban centers rose 20 cent in March to 26,276 units SAAR. On a year-over-year basis, housing starts were up 6 per cent compared to March 2013. Single-family starts rose 35 per cent while multiple units were down 1 per cent.

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were up 2 per cent year-over-year in March, led by a 30 per cent increase in single-family units. In the Victoria CMA, total starts fell 4 per cent over March 2013. It was another solid month for new home construction in the Kelowna CMA, where starts more than doubled year-over-year on robust gains in both single and multiple unit starts. Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA were sharply lower on a year-over-year basis for the second consecutive month.

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