Let's round out this busy week with some hard data on Vancouver's new home market for the month of August 2007.
Housing starts were well above average, at 1855, during August with developers focusing on starting new multi-family units around the Lower Mainland.
Housing unit completions were above average in August as well with 1386 new units coming available in the Vancouver CMA during August.
Units under construction hit an all time high at 22,421 units under construction in the Vancouver CMA during August. Labour shortages are contributing to the problem of projects taking longer than expected to complete so they stay under construction longer than usual.
Some interesting highlights from the report:
Units under construction in Vancouver City during August 2006 = 7167 and during August 2007 = 5149. That is a big decrease year over year. New projects are being focused in the suburbs.
Units under construction in:
Langley = 1368
Maple Ridge / Pitt Meadows = 1464
New West = 1317
Tri-Cities = 2789
Richmond = 2086
Surrey = 3311
Burnaby = 2608
A number I have been paying attention to in the report lately is the Completed but Not Absorbed metric. It has been increasing drastically representing a fairly severe slowing in new home demand.
Units completed but not absorbed (August 2007 = 1140; August 2006 = 783):
Maple Ridge / Pitt Meadows: 80
One thing to watch here during this fall/winter is the beginning of some competition between developers wanting to unload completed inventory. They will compete with each other and with existing homes for sale in order to avoid carrying the inventory for a long time. This is especially the case when the pipeline is already full of projects just months away from completion.
2008 will surely be interesting.