Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

April 10, 2015 08:15 ET

March 2015 Housing Starts in British Columbia

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - April 10, 2015) - Housing starts in British Columbia's urban areas1 were trending at 26,895 units in March compared to 26,130 units in February, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)2 of housing starts.

"March's increase was broad-based across all home types as single-detached, semi-detached, townhome and apartment starts registered rising trends," said Carol Frketich, CMHC BC Regional Economist. "The higher level of activity was concentrated in Vancouver where factors supporting housing demand, such as population and employment growth, have also been the strongest."

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 32,232 units in March, compared to 22,981 units in February. The start of several rental and condominium apartment projects in Vancouver contributed to the increase in March.

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.

1 Urban areas are centres with populations of 10,000 or more people.

2 All starts figures in this release, other than actual starts and the trend estimate, are seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) - that is, monthly figures adjusted to remove normal seasonal variation and multiplied by 12 to reflect annual levels. By removing seasonal ups and downs, seasonal adjustment allows for a comparison from one season to the next and from one month to the next. Reporting monthly figures at annual rates indicates the annual level of starts that would be obtained if the monthly pace was maintained for 12 months. This facilitates comparison of the current pace of activity to annual forecasts as well as to historical annual levels.

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Additional data is available upon request. (Ce document existe également en français)

To view the full press release, including graphs and tables, please click on the following link:

Contact Information

  • Information on this release:
    Carol Frketich
    Cell: 604-787-5598

    Media Contact:
    Jeanette Wilkinson
    Cell: 604-360-7793