Vancouver Housing Bubble: Housing Starts Decline In September

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The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation delivered more bad news for Vancouver's housing market on Tuesday releasing data that housing starts were down in September 2012 compared to a year earlier.

The preliminary data showed that there were 1,716 Vancouver housing starts in September 2012, compared to 1,783 in 2011, a drop of four per cent.

That's consistent with overall Canada housing starts, which fell three per cent from last year.

A 15 per cent drop in housing starts for single-family homes in Vancouver appears to be driving the drop, as starts fell from 346 in September 2011 to 293 in 2012. Non-single-family housing starts fell only one per cent, from 1,437 to 1,423.

September housing news aren't quite as dire in Victoria, where September housing starts actually went up from 188 to 202, a jump of seven per cent.

But there was a significant drop in single-family home starts in B.C.'s capital, from 73 in 2011 to 46 in 2012, a drop of 37 per cent. That number was balanced out by other housing starts, which jumped from 115 in 2011 to 156 this year, a jump of 36 per cent.

Vancouver housing numbers from January to September don't quite trend in the same direction. Single-family starts fell from 2,744 to 2,617 between 2011 and 2012, but overall starts actually rose from 13,260 to 14,828 for the nine months, a jump of 12 per cent.

The biggest jump in housing starts in British Columbia came in Kelowna, where starts rose from 57 in September 2011 to 117 in 2012, a jump of 105 per cent. That includes a six per cent drop in single-family construction and an enormous jump in other types of housing construction, from 10 units to 73.

Meanwhile the Abbotsford-Mission area saw a 10 per cent decline in September 2012, from 29 units last year to 26 this year.

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