Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

March 08, 2010 08:15 ET

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation: February Housing Starts in Vancouver

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 8, 2010) - February was another strong month for housing construction. According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), 1,402 new housing units broke ground in the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in February, double the number recorded for the same month a year ago. For the first two months, the housing starts tally was 2,319, 77 per cent higher than the same period 12 months prior. However, these increases should not be overstated. The first few months of 2009 saw some of the lowest levels of homebuilding on record, so year-over-year comparisons are large. Home starts this year are forecast to be higher than 2009 but below the five-year average.

"We are on our way back to healthy levels of new home construction in line with homeownership demand," noted Robyn Adamache, Senior Market Analyst at CMHC.

The main boost to housing starts in February was from a few large-scale multiple-unit residential projects in Vancouver City, while the number of new single-detached residential homes to break ground remained solid. In total, concrete was poured for more than 800 apartment homes in the Vancouver CMA. "The concentration of these new residential projects is largely in areas where the absorption rate – rate of sales – for new housing has been more robust," added Adamache.

In the Abbotsford CMA, 37 homes were started during February, compared to 28 starts one year ago.

Provincial home starts in urban areas increased to 26,900 units, seasonally adjusted at annual rates (SAAR) in February, from 24,900 in January. At the national level, total housing starts rose to 196,700 units SAAR in February from 185,400 units a month prior. 

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable homes. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making vital decisions.

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