VANCOUVER -- Metro Vancouver’s housing starts finished 2010 on a strong note, recording 15,217 new homes over the year, close to the 10-year average, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
“Every municipality in Metro Vancouver recorded significant increases in housing starts over the past year from the previous year,” Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA) president and chief executive officer Peter Simpson said in an interview Tuesday.
“It was an 82-per-cent increase,” added Simpson, who noted that there were 8,339 housing starts in the region in 2009. “To see this growth happen so quickly is very encouraging as we go into 2011 as well. The increase has generated 22,258 additional full-time jobs over the year.”
Tuesday’s CMHC report follows a Statistics Canada survey released Monday that showed building permits plunging across Canada in November, with B.C.’s drop leading the way.
The StatsCan survey, which industry officials believed was a one-month aberration, concluded that the value of building permits for Metro Vancouver for November was $338 million, a 30-per-cent drop from $486 million in November 2009.
However, the CMHC report concluded that the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) had 4,533 single family and 10,684 multiple unit starts in 2010.
As well, Vancouver’s new home construction sector recorded 1,715 housing starts in December.
“An uptick in apartment condominium starts in Vancouver city, Burnaby, and Port Coquitlam accounted for the year-end surge in homebuilding,” CMHC’s B.C. regional economist Carol Frketich said in a statement.
In B.C., December’s seasonally adjusted rate of urban housing starts rose 47 per cent to 27,900 units, from 19,000 units in November. Vancouver’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts increased to 21,600 units in December from 10,900 units in November.
In the Abbotsford CMA, annual housing starts fell short of their 10-year average of 896 units. Concrete was poured for a total of 42 residential units in December, bringing the annual total to 516 homes started.
Nationally, housing construction slowed by a more-than-expected 13.5 per cent in December, led by a decline in multiple-unit activity in Ontario, CMHC said.
The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts nationally totalled 171,500 units during the month, following a upwardly revised 198,000 units in November.
“Housing starts moved lower in December due to the multiple starts segment, especially in Ontario,” said CMHC’s chief economist Bob Dugan. “Single-detached starts were also down, but minimally.”
Economists had expected about 180,000 housing starts in December.
In Ontario, urban starts dropped 45.4 per cent in December, while Atlantic Canada saw a 9.8 per cent decline. Quebec rose 13.5 per cent and Prairies gained 0.7 per cent.
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