BC Residential Construction Monthly News: Starts in Multi-Unit Buildings Down 22.2% in February 2014
In the last quarter of 2013, things were looking good for residential construction businesses in BC.
According to Statistics Canada, residential permits were up 29.9% and there was a 9.9% increased investment in residential structures (mostly single family homes, row houses and doubles).
With this in mind, BC Stats predicted a 3% growth for BC’s residential construction industry in 2014 (an increased value of about $450 million).
The numbers for the first two months of 2014, however, aren’t meeting expectations.
In fact, we’ve seen declines.
According to the CMHC, housing starts in urban centres across BC fell 11.8% in February. (That figure is seasonally adjusted.)
And that number doesn’t even tell the whole story. In February 2014, the number of starts in multi-unit buildings was actually down 22.2% and only offset by the rise of starts in single-detached homes, which rose 11.8%. (CMHC via BC Stats.)
And then in mid-February the federal government announced it was scrapping the immigrant investor program – and although industry reps are putting a brave face on it in the media, this could have a significant impact on pre-sales, existing inventory and new multi-unit starts in Greater Vancouver.
Still, there are 889 open tenders listed on Merx for residential construction projects in BC – and, anecdotally, we’re seeing recruitment activity in project management, engineering and field positions (foremen and site supervisors).
I’ll be watching the numbers from all sources to see which way they’re moving and I’ll continue to post updates of what’s significant each month.
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