Housing starts plummeted 39 percent in Abbotsford-Mission in September compared to September of 2013. In the last few weeks leading up to the November 15 election, the numbers bring into high relief what has been an ongoing problem in Abbotsford – the local economy.
For two election cycles economic indicators have been pretty dismal in Abbotsford compared to other jurisdictions. While economic growth has been sluggish across the country since the economic collapse of 2008, the Abbotsford indicators have been typically much worse than in the rest of Western Canada.
The real estate market, despite ups and downs in prices and sales, while it has recovered from the worst of 2008/09 has been terribly slow to recover in terms of building permit values and housing starts – two of the major economic drover of prosperity.
The area has posted the highest unemployment in Western Canada for over a decade.
Housing Starts Down
Abbotsford-Mission grew from a quiet 26 single-detached homes started last September to 30 this year, down 2 from August of this year and representing a 15% increase. In the ‘all others’ category, which includes commercial, industrial and residential, we dove from 104 from lst September to 20 this September, down from 24 August, representing a decrease of 81%.
Other major Western Canadian centers saw declines but not as precipitous..
Looking at the numbers for last year and the dip since August, Abbotsford-Mission continues to be a dead housing market.
The National Picture
The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 197,747 units in September compared to 191,095 in August, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)1 of housing starts.
“The increase in the trend reflects stronger starts activity since April, largely concentrated in multi-unit dwellings including condominiums,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s Chief Economist. “However, the currently elevated level of condominium units under construction supports our view that condominium starts should trend lower over the coming months.”
CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of the state of the housing market. In some situations analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading, as they are largely driven by the multi-unit segment of the market which can be quite variable from one month to the next.
The standalone monthly SAAR was 197,343 units in September, up modestly from 196,283 in August. The SAAR of urban starts increased to 177,019 in September, from 176,234 in August. Multiple urban starts in September increased to 114,579 units while the single-detached urban starts segment decreased to 62,440 units.
In September, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased in British Columbia and Atlantic Canada, and increased in Quebec, Ontario and the Prairies.
Rural starts2 were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 20,324 units.
Preliminary Housing Starts data is also available in English and French at the following link:Preliminary Housing Starts Tables
As Canada’s national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of high quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable housing solutions. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making informed decisions.
1 All starts figures in this release, other than actual starts and the trend estimate, are seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) — that is, monthly figures adjusted to remove normal seasonal variation and multiplied by 12 to reflect annual levels. By removing seasonal ups and downs, seasonal adjustment allows for a comparison from one season to the next and from one month to the next. Reporting monthly figures at annual rates indicates the annual level of starts that would be obtained if the monthly pace was maintained for 12 months. This facilitates comparison of the current pace of activity to annual forecasts as well as to historical annual levels.
2 CMHC estimates the level of starts in centres with a population of less than 10,000 for each of the three months of the quarter, at the beginning of each quarter. During the last month of the quarter, CMHC conducts the survey in these centres and revises the estimate.
Information on this release:
CMHC Media Relations
Follow CMHC on Twitter @CMHC_ca
Additional data is available upon request.
|August 2014||September 2014|
|Trend1, all areas||191,095||197,747|
|SAAR, all areas||196,283||197,343|
|SAAR, rural areas||20,049||20,324|
|SAAR, urban centres2|
|Atlantic, urban centres2||7,533||6,409|
|Quebec, urban centres2||29,807||34,767|
|Ontario, urban centres2||49,208||51,759|
|Prairies, urban centres2||55,731||56,514|
|British Columbia, urban centres2||33,955||27,570|
|Canada||September 2013||September 2014|
|Actual, all areas||17,554||17,343|
|Actual, rural areas||2,108||1,948|
|Actual, urban centres2|
|September – Single-detached||5,838||5,653|
|September – Multiples||9,608||9,742|
|September – Total||15,446||15,395|
|January to September – Single-detached||47,056||46,195|
|January to September – Multiples||77,339||82,284|
|January to September – Total||124,395||128,479|
1 The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR).
2 Urban centres with a population of 10,000 and over.
Detailed data available upon request.