Housing starts slightly down for May

Housing starts in Kelowna were slightly down last month compared to April numbers, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The numbers were trending at 839 homes in April, compared to 800 starts in May. These numbers are based on a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts.

“The starts trend reflects moderating levels of multiple-family construction. The single-detached starts trend has remained relatively stable during the past six months,” explained Paul Fabri, CMHC’s Senior Market Analyst for Kelowna.

Preliminary numbers show that 61 homes were started in May. That is down from 87 for the same month last year. But the numbers are much closer when figures are looked at for the past 5 months, which show 267 starts in 2013, compared to 273 during the first five months of 2012.

Kamloops saw their housing starts spike in May with 167 homes begin construction, compared to only 65 in May 2012. The Vernon area has maintained a steady pace in 2013, as both their May and year-to-date numbers are sitting at similar levels to those reported in 2012.

Prince George housing starts have drastically fallen with only 12 starts in May, compared to 47 for the same period last year. Their year-to-date totals have also fallen over 50 per cent from 2012.

Across the country, the latest data showed buildings rose to an annualized 200,178 units last month -- with condos leading the way -- about 20,000 over economists' expectations and almost 25,000 above the April number.

The total is also above the 170,000 units analysts consider the fundamental growth in housing formation in Canada, or the rate by which demand for new homes are in line with demographic factors.

There were an estimated 18,301 actual starts last month which would equate to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 200,178 starts.

Urban starts increased 14.6 per cent in May to 177,234 units, led by gains in Atlantic Canada and Ontario, while the Prairies saw little change and British Columbia and Quebec decreased.

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