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Home construction surges in Metro Vancouver, led by condos

Construction workers build new homes in a development in Ottawa on Monday, July 6, 2015. The board of Canada's housing agency is getting a makeover as the Liberals look to cement the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. as a vehicle to deliver more affordable housing to millions of Canadians. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Multi-family projects surged 13%

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Construction of condominiums, apartments and other multi-unit homes powered a huge increase in Vancouver-area housing starts in March.

The federal housing agency says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of starts was 32,428 or 60 per cent more than the previous month’s rate of 20,252. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation says the six-month trend, which smooths one-month distortions, was eight per cent higher at 30,681.

Starts on multi-family homes surged 72 per cent seasonally adjusted, while actual starts rose 13 per cent to 2,319.

Keith Stewart, CMHC’s market analyst for the Lower Mainland, says March “capped off a strong first quarter… with activity concentrated in the core areas of the City of Vancouver, Richmond, and North Vancouver.” He adds “Demand for new homes continues to be supported by strong migration, household formation and employment growth in the region.”

Bank of Montreal senior economist Robert Kavcic says B.C.’s 12-month average is running at the highest since at least 1990. He adds that in Vancouver and Toronto, “builders are basically putting up whatever they possibly can… and the market is gobbling it up.”