CMHC released the March data last week and it looks like this:
We are well into unprecedented territory for units currently under construction in the Vancouver area at 27,000. This is enough housing under construction to house nearly 60,000 people which is enough to handle two entire years of population growth of the Vancouver Census Metro Area.
It also looks like the rolling 12 months of starts number may reach record levels this year too.
The past few months of numbers are really messing with my head right now because I don't understand how developers are starting construction on so many projects while not completing much. Starts were 1353 in March and Completions were only 890. This has been going on for quite some time now and it is clearly unsustainable and the hangover from this overbuild is going to be absolutely massive.
If we were to follow some of the previous boom bust cycles we would have seen the starts line fall below and stay below the completions line in early 2007 but the boom was extended for whatever reason and developers are starting way too many projects now.
I find it very telling that the units under construction number has always, in previous cycles, remained below the number of starts and completions but we have been moving into highly uncharted territory for quite some time now. I am certain that the bust portion of the cycle will be 'uncharted' as well.