Metro Vancouver's housing starts to climb as sales take a dive

As housing sales dropped to the lowest level in 5 years, Metro Vancouver new home starts have climbed in the first quarter with starts in Vancouver alone more than twice as high as the same period last year.

There were 6,542 homes sales on MLS in Metro Vancouver during the first quarter of 2018, which is a 13.1% decrease from the same period last year. This is the areas lowest first quarter sales total since 2013.

But housing starts have increased to 6,864 units in the first quarter this year, up 30% from last year.

In Vancouver, first quarter starts went up 109% to 1,959 homes, including 1,592 condos or townhouses.  Detach house starts jumped 93% to 364 homes.

So far this year there has been a smaller demand from buyers and fewer homes listed for sale. High prices, new tax announcements, rising interest rates and stricter mortgage requirments may be among the affecting factors.

Last month was the quietest for new home listings since 2009 and the total inventory, particularly in the condo and townhouse segments remain well below historical norms.

Even though there are 42,590 homes under construction across Metro Vancouver, the current inventory remains low. Of the nearly 7,000 new strata units or houses that have been completed so far this year, only 1,004 remained unsold as of last month.

In Vancouver, first quarter starts soared 109 per cent to 1,956 homes, including 1,592 apartments or


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