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Canadian Housing Starts – March 8, 2015

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Canadian housing starts jumped close to 30 per cent in February following a dip in activity to start the year. Total housing starts were 212,594 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR).   The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts of 198,880 was up slightly.

Housing starts in BC were the highest on record in February, reaching an astounding 50,780 units SAAR. The record-setting pace of new home construction was the result of record setting pace of starts of apartments and other multi-family units, which were up 183 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were up 199 per cent year-over-year in February due to a record setting month for multiple unit starts. In the Victoria CMA, housing starts were up 46 per cent year-over-year with strong gains in both single and multiple starts. Home construction in the Kelowna CMA also posted strong gains as starts of multiple units hit an 8 year high and total starts increased 253 per cent year-over-year. Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA were up 49 per cent in February on broad strength in both single and multiple units starts.

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