Canadian Housing Starts - May 8, 2012

Canadian housing starts soared 14 per cent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 244,900 units. The jump in starts was driven by a big increase in multiple-unit starts in Ontario and Quebec. New home construction in BC urban centres rose over 6 per cent from March 2012, registering 22,100 starts (SAAR) in April.  On a year-over-year basis, housing starts were 1.6 per cent lower than April 2011.

Housing starts were flat on a year-over-year basis in Vancouver at 1,332. A decline in single family starts of 19 per cent was offset by a 7 per cent increase in multi-family starts.  Abbotsford new home construction was up 60 per cent year-over-year in April due to increased activity in multi-family construction. New home construction in Victoria was off 5 cent compared with April 2011.  Finally, new home construction in Kelowna fell 51 per cent on a year-over-year basis due to much weaker activity in both the single-family and multi-family segment of the market.

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