B.C. housing starts up in February on higher multi-family dwelling projects

Increases to the number of new multi-family dwelling projects across B.C.’s urban centres nudged overall housing starts up in February compared to the same month last year, according to new numbers by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

While more condo and townhouse projects got underway in cities with a population of 10,000 or more across the province, the number of new single-family detached homes decreased, compared to the same period last year.

In Vancouver, 1,675 new multiple-family dwelling units got started last month, up 38 per cent from 1,211 in February 2011.

In the same period, the number of new detached homes decreased from 203 to 195.

Across all of urban B.C., the total number of housing starts climbed by 28 per cent in February, year over year, increasing from 1,805 to 2,302.

The year-to-date numbers showed increases in both housing categories across urban B.C.

Single-detached starts rose from 739 last year to 808 in January and February this year, while the number of new multiples climbed from 2,957 to 3,546.

“Residential construction activity during the first two months of 2012 is ahead of last year’s levels due to strength in a number of housing markets around the province,” said Carol Frketich, CMHC’s BC Regional Economist, in a release.

She said Nanaimo, Victoria, Abbotsford-Mission, Vernon and Chilliwack also recorded an increase in total housing starts so far this year, compared to January and February of 2011.

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