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B.C. and Vancouver housing starts slow after September high: CMHC

Starts in Vancouver are down 19 per cent, compared with B.C., which saw a decline of 11 per cent
While starts fell 11 per cent across Canada, B.C. saw a decrease of 15 per cent between September and October.

The rate of housing starts in B.C. slowed in the month of October with Vancouver seeing a slightly steeper downturn than the rest of the country. 

In B.C., the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of total housing starts fell 15 per cent between September and October, with Vancouver’s starts declining 19 per cent, according to Pershing Sun, a Victoria analyst with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). 

The monthly SAAR of total housing starts for all areas in Canada declined 11 per cent in October, to 267,055 units, compared with September’s 2022 high of 298,811 units, according to CMHC data released Nov. 16.

“If we look at more historical patterns and the third quarter, from July to September, this trend number is actually higher when compared with the beginning of this year,” she said. 

Across Canada, starts in urban areas also declined 11 per cent with the multi-family sector driving the downward trend. Multi-unit urban starts decreased 13 per cent to 188,189 units, while single-detached urban starts fell four per cent to 57,045 units, says the CMHC. 

“Monthly SAAR declined in October, while the six-month trend in housing starts slightly increased,”Bob Dugan, CMHC's Chief Economist, said in a media release. “October’s decrease in monthly SAAR housing starts in Canada’s urban areas was driven by both lower multi-unit and single-detached starts. 

“Among Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, Montreal was the only market to post an increase in total SAAR housing starts, driven by a 19 per cent increase in multi-unit activity,” 

“Toronto, down 47 per cent and Vancouver, down 19 per cent, contributed to the overall monthly decline in SAAR housing starts for Canada. Despite this, housing starts activity remains elevated in Canada in 2022.” 

Rural starts also saw declines following September and were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 21,821 units, says the CMHC.

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