After a 14 per cent increase in the Canadian housing start in November, there is a 12.6 per cent decrease in housing starts in December 2020. This includes a 6.2 per cent decrease in single-detached building activity and 15.5 per cent in the multi-unit segment building activity. However, the total number of housing starts in 2020 is still higher than in 2019.

In B.C there is a 51 per cent increase in November’s housing start, which is 1.2 per cent more than the total housing starts in November 2019. However, in December COVID-19 restrictions caused a 12.1 per cent m/m SAAR decrease in housing starts. Also, there is a decrease in building activity, 15.7 per cent in the multi-unit segments. On the other hand, a 1.5 per cent in single-detached starts.

Dec 2020 Housing Starts
BCRE year-to-date housing start by city data

Despite the decline in housing starts in December 2020, following the recovering economy, BC’s total building permit value in November 2020 has increased by 27.8 per cent from the value in October, present-day by data from Statistics Canada. The increased building permit value indicates that BC’s residential development market is recovering from the pandemic.


Total Building Permit Value

Statistics Canada Total value of building permits

“Total housing starts are forecast to rise 6.5 per cent in 2021 to 37,700 units, increasing by a further 4.5 per cent in 2022 to 39,400 units.” Said Central 1 Deputy Chief Economist, Bryan Yu. As the housing demand increases along with low borrowing rate, there will be an increase in the number of housing starts in 2021.



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