Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

March 09, 2009 08:15 ET

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation: Metro Vancouver Housing Starts Low in February

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 9, 2009) - Preliminary figures from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) indicate housing starts in February were close to three quarters lower than the level recorded in February last year. There were 701 homes started this month in the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) compared to 2,446 home starts in February 2008.

"February 2008 was an unusually strong month for housing starts, which makes the year over year decline more noticeable," said Richard Sam, Market Analyst with CMHC. "However, low starts data for the first two months of 2009 are an indication that developers are pulling back until some of the supply of new and resale homes on the market are absorbed. In turn, home buyers will benefit from current buyer's conditions that exist in the resale market. CMHC is forecasting that housing starts will decline by more than one-third in 2009," added Sam.

Moving further into the Fraser Valley, housing starts remain low for the fifth consecutive month in the Abbotsford CMA. Very similar to the housing market in the Vancouver CMA, many projects are on hold.

Provincial home starts declined to 12,300 units, seasonally adjusted at annual rates (SAAR) from 14,100 units in January 2009. At the national level, housing starts moved lower in February to 134,600 units (SAAR) from 153,500 units (SAAR) in January.

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 - homes that will continue to create vibrant and healthy communities and cities across the country.

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Contact Information

  • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
    Richard Sam
    Market Analyst
    (604) 737-4089 or Cell: (604) 319-3184
    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
    Travis Archibald
    Market Analyst - Victoria/Vancouver Island Home Starts
    Cell: (604) 999-7420
    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
    Paul Fabri
    Market Analyst - BC Southern Interior Home Starts
    (250) 712-4334