Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

January 10, 2017 08:15 ET

British Columbia Housing Starts Trend Lower

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Jan. 10, 2017) - Housing starts in British Columbia's urban areas were trending at 37,637 units in December compared to 39,123 units in November, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

"Fewer multi-family housing starts were the key driver behind the December decline," said Christina Butchart, CMHC's Regional Economist. "Overall, the actual number of housing starts in BC's urban areas reached 39,498 units in 2016, the highest level on record since 1972. Strong demand for housing in a number of centres has been encouraging builders to bring more supply to the market."

CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of the state of the housing market. In some situations, analysing only SAAR data can be misleading in some markets as they are largely driven by the multiples segment of the markets which can be quite variable from one month to the next.

The standalone monthly SAAR for urban starts in British Columbia was 39,096 units in December, compared to 43,516 units in November. The decline was driven by fewer apartment starts.

Preliminary Housing Starts data is also available in English and French at the following link: Preliminary Housing Starts Tables

As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

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Additional data is available upon request.

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Tables and a graph are available at the following address:

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