Thursday, August 30, 2007

CMHC Data Update

I received the August Housing Now report yesterday from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for the Vancouver and Abbotsford Census Metro Areas. The report covers housing starts, units under construction, and completions for these areas during the month of July 2007.

Starts were 1524, which is down significantly from July 2006 at 2163 but the starts series is highly volatile and July 2006 was a higher than average month.


Completions were average with 1534 new housing unit completions in the month of July.


There is still a near record number of units under construction in the Vancouver area right now at 21941. Starts have really come off their rolling 12 month highs during 2006.


On another note, I have noticed a recent trend with the completions numbers that CMHC publishes. They publish two separate completion numbers: 1) Completed and Absorbed and 2) Completed and Not Absorbed. The "Completed and Not Absorbed" count has risen by 48.4% from last July. There are currently 1083 new housing units for sale (Up from 730 in July 2006) that nobody apparently wants to buy. I wonder why?

And just to emphasize my point for clarity. Who the heck is going to buy all of these new units? If existing residents buy them then who will buy their house?

Population growth is anemic and current building levels are unsustainable without population growth. Who wants to move here with these high housing prices?

Props to VHB for the head start on the charts.

13 comments:

freako said...

Does anyone have the Cansim q1 2007 population growth numbers for Vancouver? Surely they are published by now. Sauder is still showing only q4 2006.

freako said...

I found the B.C. numbers from q1:

http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/070628/d070628c.htm
British Columbia's population increased 0.34%, the second-fastest increase among the provinces and the highest first-quarter growth for the province since 1997. This was due to an important increase in the number of non-permanent residents and higher net gains from interprovincial migration. British Columbia's net gains from other provinces were the highest for a first quarter since 1996.

Warren said...

Interesting set of graphs.

The last one caught me by surprise... based on slow immigration and rapid completions, we're still getting 1.5 immigrants per completion. Historically that's low, but what's the average household size?

freako said...

Historically that's low, but what's the average household size?


AFAIK 2.6, and that has been fairly stable over time.

mohican said...

freako - can you post that link as a tinyurl?

do you know what the population numbers were for the vancouver cma?

freako said...

freako - can you post that link as a tinyurl?

Sorry, I hate tinyurl, so I gambled that it'd fit. Don't have it anymore.

freako said...

Oh, and no they were preliminary q1 numbers by province only.

jesse said...

"do you know what the population numbers were for the vancouver cma?"

The labour force survey estimates population for Vancouver CMA but I don't know if it is based upon trend set months ago or more recent data. Vancouver area (including Abbotsford I think) gained 40K population YOY according to survey.

Also interesting that unemployment in Vancouver is very very low. Most of the jobs growth has been service related jobs (called "Trade" on the report).

Warren said...

freakoAFAIK 2.6, and that has been fairly stable over time.

I'm sure its smaller than that in Vancouver (city). Got any stats?

freako said...

I'm sure its smaller than that in Vancouver (city). Got any stats?

No that is from memory. It has been discussed in the past on various blogs. There was an official stat floating around. I believe it was for Vancouver proper. Don't forget about the huge number of SFH outside downtown.

Joel said...


Freako's link


the data is always there, you can select the first couple characters then hold down shift and press 'end', then ctrl-c.

alternately, right click and view source ... copy/paste.

M- said...

IIRC, the GVRD stats page pegs the number at 2.3 people per household in Vancouver, and that number's been pretty steady over time.

freako said...

IIRC, the GVRD stats page pegs the number at 2.3 people per household in Vancouver, and that number's been pretty steady over time.

Thanks for the clarification. My bad, the 2.6 was for the entire GV. I should not that the latest data is from 2001, but the number didn't change between 1991, 1996, 2001. I guess 2006 was a census year, so data should be forthcoming.