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Housing Starts... Forecast for 2012


Canadian Housing Starts - January 10, 2012


Canadian housing starts rose almost 8 per cent month over month in December, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 200,200 starts. New home construction in BC urban centres fell 20 per cent from November, at 21,000 starts (SAAR) and were down 26 per cent year over year in December. The year 2011 ended with housing starts 3 per cent higher than 2010 at 24,235 units, driven by a 20 per cent increase in multi-family starts.
Looking at major metropolitan areas, housing starts fell 30 per cent year-over- year in Vancouver due to a 40 point drop in multi-family starts. Total starts in Vancouver finished 2011 up 17 per cent at 17,867 units. Abbotsford new home construction fell 43 per cent year-over-year in December, but was up 4 per cent for all of 2011 at 543 units. Housing Starts in Victoria fell 54 per cent year-over-year in December and finished 2011 22 per cent lower at just 1,642 starts . Finally, new home construction in Kelowna showed some encouraging signs of recovery to end the year, rising 88 per cent year-over-year in December. However, 2011 was another challenging year, with starts ending the year 2 per cent lower than 2010 at 934 total starts.

For 2012, we expect that housing starts will grow roughly in-line with new household formations at 27,500 units, though with a clear bias toward multi-family units and relatively weak new single family starts.

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