Vancouver housing starts increase as projects ramp up in the suburbs in July: CMHC

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The number of housing starts jumped year-over-year in July with the construction of more townhomes and apartment buildings across the region, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation data released August 9.

A total of 1,906 starts were recorded in July – an increase of 18% compared with 1,618 units in July 2016. The growth related to an increase in the number of starts of attached properties, while the number of single-detached starts dropped 1% to 492 units.

The biggest growth in the number of starts was seen in some of the suburban municipalities around the region.

“The largest increase in construction activity occurred in Burnaby, New Westminster and Coquitlam, as the relative affordability of more modestly priced townhomes and apartments in these communities supported consumer demand,” the CMHC said in its report.

“The number of units under construction in the Vancouver CMA remains near record highs, and developers will be keeping an eye on market conditions as these projects are completed in the coming year.

Across British Columbia as a whole, the number of starts increased 29% to 2,922 units in the month. Single-detached home starts dipped 1% to 998 units.

A total of 12,309 starts were recorded across the country in the month, which is 17% higher than a year ago. The number of single-detached home starts increased 9% over the year to 6,511 units.

“In July, Canada’s pace in housing construction ramped up for a seventh consecutive month,” said CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan. “British Columbia and Alberta were the main contributors to the higher trend in housing starts.

“While B.C.’s construction coincides with near-record low completed and unsold units in the past few months, Alberta’s inventory of new unsold homes is ramping up, highlighting the need for managing inventories.”

ecrawford@biv.com

@EmmaHampelBIV

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