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.